With more that 4.3 million self-employed workers ‘going it alone’ in the UK, the world of freelancing is a career that many finance industry professionals are either currently immersed in, or thinking about as a move away from ‘corporate life’.
So, if you’re considering the chance to be your own boss, what are the advantages and disadvantages to think about before taking the plunge?
In this article:
- Making your own decisions
- Selecting the clients who are right for you
- Building your professional expertise
- Prioritising self-care
- Managing budgets
1. Making your own decisions
You’re likely to have risen through the ranks under the guidance of line managers and your senior leadership team. However, the prospect of taking charge of your own destiny can be an exciting prospect as you search for an autonomous way of working to bolster morale and motivation. Which way of working would you prefer?
2. Selecting the clients who are right for you
When you first step into the finance world, you’ll likely have been placed onto a series of accounts to manage, all of which have been chosen for you by your boss. This is still an enjoyable way of working – as no two days are the same – however, you might crave the opportunity to select clients that fit with your values and complement your personality.
If you go freelance, firstly discover your niche – to stand out from the crowd – and put yourself in a stronger position to work with likeminded organisations.
3. Building your professional expertise
If you’re part of a financial firm that provides additional learning opportunities, they’re typically the ones to pay for specific training courses or online accreditations.
Map out the direction of your entrepreneurial career and what that looks like in terms of building on your industry knowledge. It’s vital you stay ahead of the curve, so make sure there’s a budget set aside for your ongoing development.
4. Prioritising self-care
The freedom to select your hours is a huge reason for accountants to become self-employed. But remember, more businesses are switching their thinking – in light of Covid-19 – to provide flexi-time and remote-based working to help with staff wellbeing.
When you fly solo, you might feel an added pressure to work all hours just to keep clients happy. Take a step back to focus on your health and explore groups that can provide advice when you need it. Check out freelance-focused and finance-based networking groups on LinkedIn as a good starting point so you don’t feel like you’re going it alone.
5. Managing budgets
We’ve all heard the statistic that 80% of new businesses fail within their first year – after all it’s not easy setting up when you have to handle your own cash flow. Invest wisely in the things you need to get up and running from technology to invoice payment support. Also, could you explore the possibility of meeting with a business coach to help you with time management and more?