Starting a Freelance Business

by WorkFromHome on April 28, 2011

A freelance business is an excellent way for you to supplement your income or even replace your regular day job with a business that allows you the freedom of setting your own hours, making all the decisions and seeing how far you can fly while spending time with your family on a schedule that works for you and them. Regardless of whether you live in the heart of a big city like Melbourne or Sydney, or in a scenic rural area, the internet has made it easy for you to start and run your freelance business without worrying about whether you can reach your intended audience.

Before you set up your freelance business, decide what you want to do. Consider your strengths and which areas you have past experience in. Businesses both large and small often find themselves in need of services on a short term basis that are too specialized for their regular employees to handle or are in an area that they do not have an office. For example, a corporation without offices in an area that they are conducting an acquisition may need short term assistance ranging from basic office services to more specialized marketing, purchasing and even research services.

Start-up businesses also frequently take advantage of the comparatively low cost of a freelance business specializing in administrative services like payroll, accounts payable and bookkeeping, instead of hiring on a full-time employee. Even a part-time employee, with his associated payroll taxes and possible benefits, is more expensive than a freelance business’s services, which means that if you are able to offer your clients a quality menu of services at reasonable rates, you can enjoy significant financial rewards in a field that is ever expanding.

Leverage technology to get the word out that your freelance business is ready to serve busy individuals and businesses. A website is an essential component of today’s freelance business model, with information about the services that you provide as well as your own biography. Invest in a website that is as professional in appearance as your services are in their execution. While your freelance business, regardless of whether it is bookkeeping or graphic design, will only grow to great heights if your reputation soars as well, all of those word-of-mouth referrals will likely include a stop at your website, as doing a search for a business has become a part of every consumer’s basic due diligence prior to hiring a freelance business.

Once you have set up your website, though, there is no reason for you to be tied to a desk or even an office. One of the benefits of owning your own freelance business, is that whether your clients are in Brisbane or across the world, as long as you are able to connect to the internet and communicate with them, it does not matter whether you are in the same time zone as them or not. Remember though, that you are in business to serve your clients. This means that should you choose to zip across the world for a convention, or even a permanent move, but still serve clients here in Australia, you are likely to find yourself awake in the middle of the night for phone calls with clients.

Regardless of what time it is, your communications with your clients should always be polite and prompt. This means that while you do not have to return e-mails instantly, you do need to reply to your clients’ messages within the same business day. Provide them with the information that they have asked for, or, if you do not have that information yet, tell them when you will be able to deliver it. Similarly, if you find yourself running behind schedule on a project that you are working on for your customers, then it is up to you to tell him or her about the delay as soon as possible. After all, your client has hired you to perform your research, writing or other freelance work because he or she needs it for another reason. When you fail to provide it at the time agreed upon, you make yourself look unprofessional, and may do the same to your client.

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