Thinking of going out on your own as a freelance web designer? It’s an attractive idea and one that many people consider. Before taking the plunge, make sure you know what to expect and how you will handle unexpected problems that crop up.
Finances May Be Tight in the Beginning
There is no question that you can do well for yourself as a freelancer, but building a business from scratch is no joke. To give yourself the best shot at success, have a healthy savings account and a well-designed portfolio you can use to attract clients. Another way to prepare financially for going freelance is to lower your personal monthly expenses.
Needing less money to make ends meet each month will allow your savings to go further while you are building up a steady stream of clients.In addition to the obvious ways to cut costs, such as cutting streaming and subscription services, look at some ideas you hadn’t considered. For example, you can get rid of multiple balances and lower your monthly payments by consolidating your existing student loan balances into one payment with a new loan from a private lender.
Know How Much to Charge
Pricing is one area where many new freelancers struggle. It is tempting to price yourself too low in an effort to attract clients, but the clients you attract may not be the best. Businesses who want quality services know they need to pay quality rates and may overlook you if your price is out of line with your competitors. However, the folks looking for a bargain who shop strictly by rate are likely to come with drawbacks. They may pay slow, or not at all, or may want to skimp on other areas. This can leave you struggling to design something you are proud to have your name on to protect your reputation.
Rather than thinking about how much you should charge, think how much you need to charge. Add up your anticipated business costs for the year, such as space you may be leasing, business licenses, insurance, and any continuing education you may want to invest in. Now, add the salary you would like to draw to that number. That is the amount of money you need to generate for the year. Divide that number by 48, which gives you a few weeks off. That is how much you need each week. Now, divide that number by the number of hours you plan to work.
Don’t make the mistake of dividing by 40 here. You will spend hours on marketing and administrative tasks that you won’t bill for, so aim for around 30 hours of billable time each week. This is the hourly rate you need to charge.
Build Your Business
When you are first getting started, you may be tempted to accept every job you land and look everywhere possible for leads. As you become more established, however, dialing back on the marketing and spending more time on the work allows you to make more money in the same amount of time. One way to do this is by finding clients that are likely to have more than one job for you. Working with a company that provides on-going work allows you to count on a certain amount of income each month, which is great news for a freelancer.
It also allows you to spend less time marketing. How to find these clients? Cultivate relationships, provide superior service, and be responsive. Once you finish a job for a client, ask if they have anything else you can help with. If they don’t, follow up every few months.
Article Submitted By Community Writer