Becoming an independent contractor, freelancer or limited company owner is an exciting adventure, full of challenges and successes. There are, however, some pitfalls – and one of the most common is the habit of spending beyond your means. The reason for this could be to bring your new solo venture up to the same level as your former employer – you will, after all, have grown used to a certain level of comfort in your previous working environment – or it may be to try and convince yourself of your business’ legitimacy. The truth is you don’t have to do any of that! We’ve brought together a handful of overheads you should definitely try to avoid in the first year by yourself, along with a few alternatives. Good luck!
You may be tempted to throw yourself into owning or renting office space. Instead, aim to work from home (or just remotely in general). If you absolutely need an office to work out of, try renting a desk in a shared space instead – you’ll find it far cheaper and it’s a great chance to network.
Obviously, you’ll want to get clients through the door as quickly as possible following your company formation/freelance launch, and investing in some marketing might be your first port of call. Rather than splash out on expensive offline advertising, try social media first – there’s a much lower cost and a greater chance to reach a wider audience. Save yourself some time by starting with one platform that you’re comfortable using (such as Twitter) and take advantage of a free tool such as HootSuite to manage your activity.
At your previous workplace, you may have grown accustomed to using a specific type of software; the temptation when starting out by yourself is to buy the same level of software to be back with something familiar. Although that can save you time in learning something new, it’s not doing anything good for your bank account. Instead, use as many free trials as possible or search for a free software (even if it has limitations) and work your way up to that point.
A Launch Party
We’re not saying you shouldn’t celebrate your new career path, but don’t go overboard with the party to end all parties – you’re not the Great Gatsby, after all. Keep things sweet and cheap, and invite your most important supporters first.
Finally, you may find yourself a little overwhelmed with the new workload. This isn’t, however, a sign you should immediately spring for some full-time help. Try instead to prioritise, rearrange your work day, or hire the services of a virtual assistant/freelancer. It’s normal to spend more time working than your old job, and it’s just part and parcel of going your own way.
Published: 07/02/15 01:08:pm