I realize this is not a guide and not intended to be, not a set of steps on how to be a freelancer or a manual to be a successful freelancer (and take care of that other), is more a story from my perspective of how to be freelancer and not die from boredom and despair, my idea to get organize a business from home and feel happy with himself and full with the results.
First, let’s clear terms, a freelancer is an independent worker, a professional in a specific area that decided to sell its services and reach customers directly.
If you want to be freelance or you already play this way for some time you might be interested in reading this post or to enrich your experience.
1. It answers the most important question: why be freelance?
The answer to this question lies with you only you, but be sure to really convince you because you are starting a career of ups and downs that you need to win and your competitor is the toughest opponent of all is yourself. Feel doubt, spend much time alone and despite the decisions taken at extraordinary moments of lucidity will fight you to throw them back at every moment.
Keep in mind that your career is that which a sown field, you need to plow the ground, fertilize the land, throwing seeds, watering, watching plants grow and look after them while fruiting. Come on, I’m sure that there is the analogy, I know more than one to be expected after the plant begins to germinate, because they never go out of the ground, but some trees need a little more time, and you need to your will and patience. It is sad to see people give up when the whole process begins, which is why it is so important the answer to this question you need to be confident and know that it is worth the tremendous effort you do or you do every day.
2. Be passionate
If the answer to the above is correct for you it will facilitate, but not enough. Professional life is full of ups and downs and all freelance is’ something alone, you need a lot of energy to get your projects forward.
Work at something you are passionate about, if you have work you love, you need not be independent, just do not have the essence of this and the need to do well. Choose work that you like, then between work and find work that’s not all fun, so you need to see the whole picture and know that today you do not like is part of what you love.
3. Be consistent
The routine is your greatest ally, not let it be your enemy, make fun, but some events are getting repetitive, so when you do not have a work plan or when what you do is really complicated, difficult and boring you can get finished.
4. Be organized
What you need, you need to control your agenda, behave erratically will only end up with a bad taste. You need to motivate, to know that culminate your plans to finish what you start, you are your boss and you will need to convince you that it’s worth the effort, focus, complete some crucial things to consider before starting another, so you’ll be convinced you really can handle it.
5. State your finances
Let’s be clear, this is a business, you need to charge for what you do, you need to stop free, probably start to live it or already do, so you need to begin to define how much you spend, how much you invest in your business and how much they expect to win .
Probably find several ways to do this, I tell you a little mine:
What we plan to invest
I call it the annual investment plan, a simple excel sheet framework that I will buy in the year for business, ie make a list, for example: A new server for local testing and development, two 500GB drives for backups, copying and several 1000DVD (or 10 packets of 100dvd), a new scsi card, stationery, a 21 ‘. Some expenses are more difficult to define, so you can do it apart and record the total between them is marketing (adwords campaigns, radio campaigns, cards, etc..) Also plan to write down everything you spend in the year to improve business.
From this list you can not ascribe any costs to your customers, it would be unfair because the depreciation of the articles is not the same and some things take more than a year to depreciate, so Sort them, which are costs directly attributable to that year (in my example fit the dvd, stationery and publicity) of others what their depreciation and impútasela the year in which you make the purchase (fit the server, cards, disks, and the screen in this classification).
What you already have
Which accounts?, Computer equipment, office equipment, vehicle, etc.. stop and determine its current value (do not be cheeky!) since its value determines the depreciation that year and record this value.
Maybe working from home, so you think the consumption of public services is personal and should not impute to the business, but let me tell you that unless we work at home would not spend so much water, electricity and phone as you do now, so that estimates how much of that spending is due to your business, what 10%?, “40%?,” maybe 60%?, this need know or estimate with any degree of certainty, well, have this value and write it down (you’re going to need)
The direct costs of your business are easier to determine, for example pay monthly for a server, by a secretary and an accountant.
You know how much you spend every time you accept a contract? how much you invest in stationery, at the assistant, in software licenses, on so on., etc., etc. .. Try to take it to% on the average value of the contracts, so it’s easier to calculate everything. Included here are taxes you should pay the state withholding tax, stamps, etc. ..
Get the software you need for your work, but be sure to also have the license for the same, keep in mind the respect, if you wish to charge for your work, others too and they have developed these tools in the hope of selling well to respect that (as they applied to you) and buy what you need, this applies to software, licenses to use templates, photographs, and etc.. if you want to start, good start, be legal.
In my case I needed an operating system, office software and graphic design software. Covers all my needs the free software, I use openSUSE as base distro for everything, I also need Windows for some things (check designs and ensure the display) Windows licenses are paid (I bought OEM for cheaper).
Also need to quantify these costs, the problem with software is that you can easily calculate depreciation periods, since they are the same as the machine it is installed (depending on license) so we must rely to guide the know when to perform the next update or change of tool.
Your personal expenses
To this you can call opportunity cost, if you were not dedicated to this would be working on something to cover your personal expenses (that is working right?) So how much you spend per month mark, write everything: food, transportation, markets house, recreation, etc..
Now add all this and divide it between the months of the year you plan to work (usually 11, but what works for you). With this you will know how much you spend on your business, that’s the cost of your business in a total monthly balance, so you know how much it costs, how much you want to win now defines a “10% above? 30% perhaps? or 75%? once more what it’s worth to you, your business and your model, if the reach 250% is not unreasonable in what you do, then perfect.
If you want to know the value of one hour of work, simple, still divides;)
6. Have a defined infrastructure
Start with model contracts, trading patterns, letters, emails, etc..
You need to also know that you are using and when, “servers? customer management software, all you need.
7. Determine your customers
Not all customers are to you or you are for all customers, determine what your niche and Specialize, you’re independent, you have no ties, you can be flexible, but you lose much time if you can not hang up and reject offers.
8. Earn contracts
This is the interesting part, knowing what your customers, do not let them go to your competitors, you’re the best in your area, they need you.
9. Be consistent and passionate
Not everyone will like what you expect, remember:
I know its not everybodys
You got to lose to know how to win
Dream on, dream on
Dream yourself a dream come true
Dream on, dream on
Dream until your dream come true
(Dream On by Aerosmith)
10. Ask yourself and constantly studying
Analyze your methods, are effective? Do you get customers who want to see, and ask yourself as you need to ask you to get where they want to.
Another thing, what you learned at the university (if you’ve ever used) and is very outdated, the world is constantly changing what I was taught when I was taught old and has spent time, what you learned is already old when you finish read it, so stay tuned, reviews progress made in your profession, determine trends and determine what is important.
11. Improve your processes
I did not mention before (but it’s already 2am and I will not start again) but you need a work plan, so it basate and improve your processes to respond more effectively to your requirements.
12. begins again
This is a constant process of remaking, so you can not stop, you need to start over, you need to improve every day and once reached the goals need to stay and achieve new goals