Freelancing For Business
Neil Bromage has run his own small business and is a freelance business writer working on a range of newspapers including The Times, Sunday Times, Telegraph and Financial Mail on Sunday. This book is based on a wide range of columns and Q&As written and answered by Neil for Business Link over a number of years. He is based near Preston, Lancs.
Successful freelancers operate within wide-ranging occupational environments. A website designer might choose to freelance, along with PR consultants, artists, writers and journalists, sales or marketing specialists or bricklayers and plasterers. In fact anyone who chooses to work on an ad hoc contract basis is a freelancer.
The simple fact is that freelancing is more about choosing a lifestyle than anything else. It offers the opportunity to say yes or no to the work you do and when you do it. Some freelancers work for six months of the year and then holiday for the remainder. Others choose to work the same patterns as their employed counterparts.
Freelancers are not employees of anyone and must actively seek out their own work, negotiate the terms and conditions of the project and complete it to the satisfaction of the client. The pay is usually better – a good freelancer can generally do much better than the average employee doing the same work, though it takes time to develop a reputation that people are prepared to pay a premium for.
But there are also things that you may find less attractive. For instance, in most occupations you’ll need to be prepared for isolation and loneliness. You’ll have to chase payments not everyone is going to pay you merely because you send an invoice. A good proportion of your time will be spent cold-calling, selling and marketing yourself. If you don’t like doing that freelancing may not be for you.
Networking is probably is one of the most important aspects of the freelance life. Much of this can be done on the telephone – you will be surprised at the relationships you can build up without ever meeting someone. Similarly, keeping good records and accounts is vital for the freelancer – you’ll have to pay tax just the same as everyone else!