Answer 7 Questions Prior to Launching Your Freelance Career

   Jeff Holmquist 

 

Thinking about becoming a freelancer rather than an employee of a company?  While the flexibility and variety of projects and organizations may be appealing, you need to do your due diligence and prepare before making the switch. 

 

Start by looking inward and realistically determining if you have the characteristics required to be an entrepreneur:

·         Do you like frequent change in assignments, teams, and schedule?

·         Do you enjoy learning new things?

·         Are you willing to do whatever it takes to complete client assignments on time in a high quality manner?

·         Are you willing to devote the time necessary to find new assignments? 

 

Websites such as entrepreneur.com and inc.com can help you determine if you have the characteristics necessary to be a freelancer.  You may also want to take an interest inventory at a local college’s career and placement office to see if business and management come out high on your results.

 

As part of your introspection, reexamine your career and life goals.  When you are older and contemplating retirement, what do want to have accomplished both professionally and personally?  What is your passion?  Depending on what is important to you, you may not want the instability that can come with freelancing or may not have the time to develop your business.  

 

Next, determine what skills you can offer potential clients.  Beyond education, this is where your experience as an employee can really pay off.  What skills have you learned or deepened in your career so far?  What do you enjoy doing?  The services you have to offer are the crux of your business plan.  In addition, you need to consider:

 

·         Who are the customers you will target for your services?

·         How will you differentiate yourself from competitors?

·         What is your financial plan?  How much money will you need to begin your business and what is the minimum you need to live?

 

In addition to the websites mentioned previously, the Small Business Administration site at sba.gov has advice and resources on writing your business plan.

 

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