It is a super exciting thing to become your boss. Freelancing or running your own business requires a lot of dedication and commitment – but there are huge perks too.
Turning time into money can look like a magic trick – and it’s one of the best. Of course, the secret ingredients are skills and hard work.
But before you leap at being your boss, there are a few things you should know – to help keep you on the right path.
Can’t wait to break away from the 9-5, ditch the routine, and become a free spirit? That’s great! Just one thing, though.
Setting a routine for your working hours helps you and your clients see eye to eye. Clients know what they can expect from you, and they have firm boundaries.
If there is no routine, a client doesn’t know when they can and cannot contact you – and might overstep boundaries they didn’t know you had.
Those regular hours will also give you insight into when you are most productive and get the most work done to the highest quality.
Get the lowdown on what it really looks like to be a working parent sometimes: Diary of a Working Mum.
Breaks are not negotiable, although in the early days of your business, or when you are against deadlines, you might skip them.
If you currently work for an organization, take a look at their break policy, and think about the break policy you would give yourself.
Coming away from your computer often is good for your eyes, and moving around is good for your body.
Where possible, you need to take the whole break. If you have set yourself a break from 10 am until 11 am, then take the entire break. Don’t be tempted to short-change yourself by jumping in calls and answering emails.
You are now in control of everything, and that includes your business finances. If you have multiple clients and multiple payment options, there are several streams you need to keep track of.
Many new freelancers and small business owners forget to keep track of working from home expenses. It is safe to say that many don’t know what is and isn’t allowed.
Do some research, and decide if you want to do your accounts, or they’d be better left to a professional.
If you were previously, or are currently in an office or work environment, then you’ll know most people have a dedicated space.
Each person has a cubicle or desk that they work in.
While you don’t need to create a claustrophobic cubicle in your home, it is advisable to have a dedicated workspace.
The separation allows for some small distance between home-life and work-life – since they are now in the same space.
You are not confined to your house; you are free to head to a co-working office space, your friend’s house, a coffee shop – or a different country.
As long as you stick to agreed deadlines and work well in a new area and different surrounding noise, then try it out.
Co-working spaces are often great for creative roles and can even help you network with other small business owners and freelancers.
And that’s it before you start your freelancing adventure, remember it is now your job to take care of the details.