How to Go Freelance
Choosing how to operate
Many people start doing freelance work alongside their main job, notably in the creative or consultancy industries. This is a safe starting point, allowing you to build up contacts and business. You can also test the water to see if you enjoy working in a freelance, consulting or contractor role, before committing to going for it full time.
Creating the business
The internet has helped create a boom in small businesses, making it easy to create a website selling your services. With a clear explanation of what your business offers, a strong logo and a little search engine optimisation, you can appear near the top of local or industry-specific search results. That, and some strong word of mouth from your first clients or a spot of advertising, is a good base to get your freelance career started.
Ticking the freelance boxes
If you're working from home, you may need to check issues like paying business rates, potential changes to your home insurance or even mortgage and other issues. If you require a vehicle or specialist equipment for work, there could be tax implications for those. Also, if you deal with the public, a public liability insurance policy is a must, to protect you should something go wrong or if there is an accident.
If you are unsure about any aspect of becoming a freelancer, there are plenty of online resources offering tips and advice from the government, successful freelancers and small businesses about what to do, and what not to do. Once your operation is up and running, you can progress from being a sole trader and move to the greater protection of a limited company, or you could find yourself working with similarly-minded freelancers and form a partnership. For a successful freelancer, the sky's the limit.