After successfully learning the ropes within a complex, fast-paced industry, acquiring the relevant experience with reputable firms, building up a portfolio of clients and making connections within the finance world, the time may come when you’re ready to step out and fly solo.
As is the case with any new venture, going it alone can have a lot of benefits — managing your own schedule, developing your personalised business strategy, enjoying flexible working opportunities, broadening your skillset, and choosing who you work with — to name a few. Going freelance is an exhilarating time, but it also requires a lot of work, time, patience, and money.
In this article:
- Assess your pricing
- Build a solid reputation
- Get insured
- Register with HMRC
1. Assess your pricing
One of the most important decisions you’ll make as a freelancer is how much you’re going to charge for your services. Take some time to assess the market and get a sense of what competitor’s fees are like.
Your level of experience will help dictate your costs, but make sure you’re sensible — starting off too low may devalue what you can offer and will also cause problems down the line when you’re forced to up the price to existing customers.
2. Build a solid reputation
Establishing stable relationships with clients is key when you’re creating your own business network. Make sure you’ve earned their respect and trust so they’re more likely to follow you in your new venture.
Encourage customer referrals and ask for regular feedback to increase word of mouth endorsement and ensure you continue to provide the best possible service.
3. Get insured
If you’re still mostly home-based, the standard home and contents policy may not be enough to cover your company activities. Explore more tailored business insurance and consider professional indemnity insurance and business equipment insurance.
Speak to an insurance advisor about specific requirements to avoid a nasty shock further down the line.
4. Register with HMRC
Take some time to make sure you understand your tax responsibilities from the start.
Keep a record of all your conversations with HMRC and store both hard and digital copies of everything, including your personal information and logins. Getting all tax in order early will avoid time-consuming — and sometimes frustrating — phone calls with HMRC later on.