Should you go freelance (3 big questions)?

If you have a particular skill or hobby that you enjoy, it can seem like going freelance is a good choice. Sometimes it may even feel like it’s the obvious choice. For people who are in a job that they hate, for example, it can seem like the only way to rid themselves of the frustration and stress is to go freelance.

However, freelancing is not something you can just jump into because you’re annoyed with your boss. Freelancing is a big deal. There is plenty of stress and frustration in freelance work, and if you’re not in the right frame of mind you could be in serious trouble within weeks of ‘ditching the day job’.

There are so many experts and Gurus online right now who are talking about the day they quit their job and decided to go freelance so they could make millions. I’m here to tell you that there are many reasons to not become a freelancer.

Right now, if you’re thinkning about going freelance, you need to take a look at the following areas.

Have you got clients?

If you don’t have a ready-made (or nearly ready-made) client base to jump into, stay put. Once you start freelancing, cash flow becomes everything, and if you don’t have at least a few clients that pay well, you’re going to struggle within the first few months (and that’s even if you have the next thing on this list taken care of).

Having a ready client base gives you confidence, and it allows you to focus on doing your best work for a reasonable fee, rather than accepting any wok that comes your way. So don’t become a freelancer until you have a solid list of clients.

Have you got six month’s of savings?

This is vital. It is absolutely important that you have some money saved up. This gives you a cushion financially, allowing you to focus on building the business rather than just paying the bills.

Another thing to consider is the fact that freelance work isn’t salaried work. You are paid when you complete a job, and jobs are often spaced out, so one day you could be full of work, and the next day you will have nothing to do.

Of course, you may be thinking that sounds great. But when you have nothing to do, you’re not being paid. Freelancers have to continuously manage the stress of not being paid. And it is rare (when you start out) to have a continuous flow of work.

Six months of savings is what you need. And I mean enough to support your current standard of living.

Do people want what you do?

This is something that every freelancer has to think about before they make the leap from salaried work to a freelance environment.

You make great sculptures. Your friends love them and you sold one or two at a craft fair.

This does not mean that you can become a freelancer.

You write great content that you know people like reading. Some of your friends say you should write a book on the subject.

This does not mean that you can become a freelancer.

You make beautiful items of jewelry. You sell a few every week at the local outdoor market. Your customers say you should start a business.

This does not mean that you can become a freelancer.

Unless you are selling consistently, and you have plenty of people asking you for more of what you do, and there is a long list of leads ahead of you, don’t bother.

Freelancers need to make money. Unless there is a healthy, vibrant market for your product, you are going to run out of cash flow very quickly.

Keep selling. But until you know that there is a long list of people out there who want what you do, stay in your day job.

Believe me, it makes a huge difference.

Published by Sal Ashraf

I'm a freelance writer. This site is all about getting more business, and keeping that business, whether you're a solo entrepreneur, or a large company.

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