Guest Posts

  • 9 Tips on co-working and managing teams remotely

    jo2_smallToday, we have a guest post from the digital diva herself, Jo Gifford. Read on to find out a little more about co-working and managing teams remotely.

    Throughout my portfolio career I have had the pleasure of working closely with some amazing people.

    Co-working with others as a solo entrepreneur, when it works, can allow everyone to benefit. As a small business, gaining from the expertise of others in an ad hoc team can open new doors of sales possibilities, whilst co-workers benefit from collaborating on new projects.

    As a self-employed Mum of two, co-working remotely with a team of other designers, social media experts and writers allowed me to grow my business throughout pregnancy, maternity leave and beyond. I was fortunate enough to work with loyal, trusted, talented people who were not only happy to handle clients directly but were excellent at doing so, which meant that our services could carry on more efficiently than if I was still working solo in the early years of having the girls.

    That’s not to say it has always gone smoothly, far from it. Relying on others to deliver a service removes your autonomy and invites in risk, and there have certainly been a few situations where I have had to send flowers, reimburse invoices and apologise profusely. Thankfully, the overall success outweighed those bad times, and it all serves to go in the learning curve pot.

    So, here are some of my tips on working with and managing a remote team as a freelancer or solo entrepreneur:

    1. Choose reliable people

    Ok, so this sounds obvious, but use your gut instinct here. I don’t believe you need to have a physical meeting to work with someone, and as such working remotely allows some great relationships to be formed with experts situated all around the world. However, make some time to speak via Skype or Google Plus hangouts to get a feel for who they are as people, and whether they might be a good fit for your project.

    2. Try them out on a non-risk job

    If you have a new client, a new co-worker and a tight deadline, don’t under any circumstances, try them out on that job. Looking back it seems incredulous, but I did exactly that, and of course it all went belly up. Try your potential co-worker on a small, low risk job that you will have time to amend if needs be, and play it safe before you commission them for bigger projects. Use your instincts; if a potential co-worker is slow to reply to communications and late with work, do you want them working on projects that affect your business?

    3. Be clear on what you expect

    From payment terms to delivery of the brief, be clear from the outset what you expect and require, it saves problems later on for everyone concerned.

    4. Develop smart feedback loops and communication

    Managing a group of coworkers, even remotely, can be surprisingly time-consuming. Build in time in your schedule to manage, as effective management will save time later on if things start to unravel.

    Use a group coworking system like Basecamp, ManyMoon or others to aid project management and accountability, and ask everyone to feedback what they have done that day via systems such as I Done This.

    5. Try to anticipate problems before they arise

    Computers break, files corrupt, children become ill – life happens. Try to scenario plan a fail safe plan if any of the above happens and affects the work of your colleague. This may mean having a reserve team, being able to re-juggle your own commitments to do the job, or negotiating a deadline. Things will and do happen, so think about how you can deal with them without upsetting your client.

    6. Share files and archive them in a sensical way

    We used Dropbox with team access, but whichever service you use, the Cloud is the way to go. File items sensibly, make sure you look after drafts, proofs and final files in a way that the whole team knows about.

    7. Consider documentation

    If you have a workflow that team members need to adhere to, create some simple documentation to refer everyone to. This saves time when managing a few people (alongside children and other aspects of business!), and makes it easier to convey key FAQ’s and standard procedures. Say it once, and keep in on file for reference.

    8. Learn from your team

    A good team will have some points of view you can learn from, so take ideas on board. Allowing people the freedom to be the talent you hired them to be creates possibilities for your business. Don’t over manage and stifle your outsourcers, but do manage expectations.

    9. Make sure your team are tax registered

    I have my accountant to thank for this one, who pointed out that HMRC can come after you, the commissioning business, if outsourcers default on their tax. Make sure your team are registered to pay their own taxes, and consider asking your accountant for a document outline to give to new team members. It’s a formality, but no-one wants nastiness with the taxman, especially as a small business.

    Managing my team as a small business owner has been totally different to managing teams in my previous agency jobs. It all comes back to you, as the linchpin, to make things work.

    If tech fails, people let you down, or work isn’t filed properly it’s your business and reputation on the line.

    That said, co-working with a trusted team is a great way to offer more services and run a very profitable business without the need for overheads like wages and office rent. My leveraging other people’s time the constraint of chargeable hours in the day is removed, and more possibilities can arise.

    Have you worked with other people as a small business owner or freelancer? Have you experienced problems or did it help your sales?

    Jo Gifford

    Jo Gifford is a designer, writer, blogger and creativity passionista. Jo writes on creative tips, hacks and tutorials for productivity, business and blogging on her websiteThe Dexterous Diva. She also works with bloggers and small businesses across the globe, to help them make the most of blogs and social media to elevate their brand.

    Jo is mum to Eva and Mia, and you can also find her on Twitter (@dexdiva) and Facebook.

    http://www.dexterousdiva.co.uk

     

    Enhanced by Zemanta

  • Getting started in networking

    This week, I have a guest post from Michelle Jackson Rowe, all about networking (something I know a lot of us struggle with).

    Young_Chamber_Networking_Function
    By Townsville Chamber (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

     

    If you were to ask me what has had the biggest impact on my business(es) since I launched, I would say networking.

    Back when I was thinking of becoming self-employed I attended my first event, a Women’s Business Club lunchtime event. There were about 8 of us sat around a table; we introduced ourselves, we ate lunch, we talked about business issues, it was OK.  I wasn’t blown away by it, but I enjoyed it and I made one good contact.

    We were encouraged during the event to arrange a ‘one to one’ with another member so to get to know each other better. Which I did; over coffee I discovered this lady was a ‘veteran networker’ and she suggested another group that I might like to join.

    The other group was still all women, they met from 9am to 11am each fortnight.  The event itself followed a similar format, although this time, there were around 15 of us and standing up to do my ‘one minute’ I was a little more nervous.

    I was a member of the group for a year, I made a huge number of contacts and sat and had coffee with each of them at least once.  During that year, I quit my job and set up three businesses.  The women I met at that event, were a huge source of support, both during the networking events and if I needed additional support outside of them. And I hope that I was able to help them as well.

    Building websites, finding an accountant, designing and ordering stationery, sorting insurance, answering my phones, testing products, legal support and my first 20 or so clients.  If the members themselves couldn’t help, they would ask around and find someone who could.

    They suggested other networking groups, which I attended and made even more contacts and so on and on. As my network grew, so did my businesses, my confidence, my knowledge and my love of networking.

    You’ve probably heard before that networking isn’t about selling stuff and it really isn’t.  Increasing your sales should be a natural by-product of having a good network.

    Here are my five tips for starting networking:

    1. Go to different types of groups; the chances are you will enjoy some formats a lot more than others.  I can’t stand the kinds of group that push referrals, things like BNI, but I know others who swear by them.  Each group and format will be different, try them all at least once so you can learn what you like and what you don’t like.

    2. Tell the person running the group that it is your first time or that you don’t know anyone in the room and ask if they can introduce you to someone.  And then tell the person that you’re introduced to that it’s your first time and so on – people are generally very nice and will go out of their way to introduce you to others.

    3. If at the last minute, you’re too nervous and you don’t want to go, then set yourself a target; make yourself stay until you have spoken to five people or collected five business cards, after that if you want to stay great, but if you’ve had enough, you’ve got five more contacts that you didn’t have yesterday.

    4. Wear something memorable, I’m not talking about a hat in the shape of a panda bear, but wearing something bright will help people remember you, it can also be a good ice-breaker to have be wearing an usual necklace – I find a lot more people will come and say Hello, when you have something easy and friendly to say and “I really like your necklace” is a great opener.

    5. Hover around the food or drink – If you are nervous about approaching people, hover around the coffee, with a smile on your face.  You’ll soon find other people will grab a cuppa and then come and say Hi.

    Hopefully once you’ve been to your first couple of events you will find them a huge boost to your business and like me, five years later, you’ll have some fantastic stories of the people you have met while you were there.

    Michelle Jackson Rowe offers freelance sales, marketing and promotions support.  You can find out more and read her blog by visiting: http://www.michellejacksonrowe.com.

    This guest post was part of Operation Entrepreneur.

  • Freelance Freedoms VS Employed Freedoms

    One of my aims at The Freelance Lifestyle was to give an honest and real idea of what freelancing is like. Which is why I love this guest post by freelance writer Katie M Anderson. Katie shares with us the real freedoms of freelancing and self-employment – and how to decide which kind you’re better suited to.

    Freelance and employment freedoms

    As a freelancer, I often come up against other people’s ideas of what freelancing is like. Most of the time it’s ‘the freedom to have a lie in’ or ‘but it’s not a proper job’ or ‘you can take time off whenever you want’. And though I will admit to getting up later than I would if I wasn’t freelancing (let’s think of it as my commuting time), this style of working isn’t all about freedom and flexibility.

    Freelancing definitely has its upsides, but it comes with all sorts of downsides and responsibilities to balance them out. In reality, making the decision between employment and self-employment is a matter of swapping one kind of freedoms for another kind.

    Employed Freedoms

    The freedom to be paid the same amount on a regular day

    Freelancers don’t tend to have set paydays. I certainly don’t! Invoice payments can vary from same day to two or three weeks later. (And in some cases, much much longer!)

    The freedom from having to make all the decisions yourself

    Being able to make decisions yourself is a mixed blessing. Sometimes it’s overwhelming not to be able to leave those decisions to a colleague or manager.

    The freedom to fluctuate workload without affecting your salary

    It’s natural for our motivation and workload to fluctuate over time. Some weeks we feel majorly productive, and some weeks we feel a bit run down and don’t get as much done. When you’re employed, this fluctuation doesn’t affect your pay cheque at the end of the month. When you’re freelance, and only get paid for the work you do, it does.

    The freedom to take a proper day off when you’re ill

    When you’re too ill to work and you’re employed, you phone your employer and tell them that you can’t come in. Any work that can wait is left until you return, and any work that can’t will be picked up by one of your colleagues. When I’m too ill to work, there are always a few deadlines that need to be met… and there’s only me to do it. At these times (when I’m sniffing over my laptop on the sofa) the idea of colleagues on hand to help out seems like a luxury.

    The freedom to step away from work

    There’s a perception that those of us who are freelance can take time off whenever we feel like it. Although there is more flexibility when you’re freelance, it’s actually much harder to step away from work completely. Even when I’m on holiday, I still monitor emails and client work. Why? Because there’s no one else left in the office to do it for me, and not checking emails could mean lost clients.

    Freelance Freedoms

    The freedom to set your own schedule

    All of us have different daily rhythms, routines and responsibilities, and it makes sense to work to a schedule that fits us best. Working as a freelancer means that I can choose which hours I am more productive in in.

    The freedom to increase your salary

    Simply put, the harder I work the more I get paid! This is a pretty good motivator.

    The freedom to make all the decisions

    Remember that thing I said about having to make all the decisions sometimes being overwhelming? Well, here’s the thing: it can be wonderful too.

    The freedom to take breaks when you need them

    Sometimes things just won’t come together. Maybe I’ve got a lot of other things on my mind, maybe I’m a bit under the weather, or maybe I’m seriously unmotivated. Whatever the problem, the freedom to take a break at these times is blissful.

    The freedom to work from wherever you want

    The freedom to work from wherever means that I have the flexibility to get away from my desk… or to move my desk altogether. I’m currently planning a move to a new city for the second time in two years, so this is a vital freedom for me!

    Conclusion

    I find that a freelance working style suits my strengths and my weaknesses, and helps me to live the lifestyle that suits me most. However, what works for me (self-motivated, highly organised, happy to be alone for long periods of time) won’t necessarily work for everyone.

    If you’re thinking about moving from employed work to freelance work, or vice versa, my advice is to consider which type of freedoms are most important to you.

    Katie M Anderson is a freelance writer based in the North of England. She blogs about freelancing, productivity and fiction at http://www.katiemanderson.com

  • A day in the life of a freelance PR: Clare Homer

    Freelance PR

    Clare Homer has kindly submitted a guest post all about being a freelance PR…

    I am sitting comfortably (with funky music playing in the background) in a creative venue in Nottingham – better known as Antenna. It’s designed for self-employed professionals like me and is a fantastic place to work from. As I write this post, I’m juggling various tasks for various clients. I fancy a break. I’ll ask one of the brilliant staff for a cup of tea and pain au chocolat.

    Ok, so not every day is like this. But I have the option to work anywhere I want and, within reason, anytime I want. Flexibility is what makes freelance life so appealing.

    Just a few months ago, I was employed as a PR manager for a software firm, working a typical 9 to 5. It was a great experience, getting involved with product launches from start to finish and taking control of the company’s social media strategy. I worked with some really nice people too. But what I do now – freelance PR – is the icing on the cake when it comes to my public relations career.

    Today, I am working across a number of clients, so there is no risk of boredom or procrastination. And no day is ever the same. I always have interesting projects I can sink my teeth into. What’s more, I’m learning so much. I specialise in technology and, in my first week of freelancing, I had brain overload. But I am gaining knowledge that I can share with others (IPV6 anyone?!).

    The downside though, as I’m sure many freelancers would agree, is that if you work alone at home you can feel isolated. I admit there have been days when I have not left the flat and I’ve seen the same four walls for too long. Or I’ve forgotten to play some music in the background so all I can hear is a really loud clock (thank you friends for this gift – you know who you are).

    But there are no distractions: no office chat, no tea-making rounds and less baking (yep, I started volunteering as office baker and brought in cakes). As a freelancer, I am far more productive!

    Now, I’m 100% focused on work when I am ‘at work’. I can’t afford to waste time, as I would be doing my clients a disservice. And I can’t have an ‘off day’. If I don’t work, I don’t get paid. It’s that simple. I don’t have a set income paid to me on a set date either. At first, I missed the secure world of employment, but the prospect of earning more money and choosing how much I want to work far out ways this. I realise there are no guarantees with freelancing. I have worked hard to find the clients I have now and I know this doesn’t mean I can relax. I look to the future more now than I did as an employed PR. That said, is employment any more secure in the current economic climate?

    The future of freelance is bright. The level of responsibility motivates me to learn about new developments in PR and social media. I also make an effort to network, constantly putting myself in front of potential new business leads – or friendly faces that I can call upon anytime.

    It is early days but I can confidently say that I love working for myself. When I first started seriously looking at launching a career as a freelancer, I wondered how I’d ever be able to submit my own tax return, set up business insurance and all the other paperwork that comes with it. But it’s actually not that bad. If you are good at what you do, then there are fantastic people out there to help you with the bits you aren’t so good at. Everyone has something to offer. Get back in touch with past industry connections, attend networking events, and join LinkedIn groups. Discuss IR35 worries, have a rant or just talk about why going freelance is one of the best decisions you ever made. Emma’s site Freelance Lifestyle is a great place to do this. So what do you love most about being a freelancer?

    By Clare Homer

    PR & Social Media Consultant 

    http://www.cfhmedia.co.uk 

  • Saving Money as a Freelancer or: How to Afford Better Cereal

    Today we’ve got a guest post from Josh Boyd, a freelance copywriter, who wants to share his tips for saving money as a freelancer so you can enjoy more of the good stuff!

    Hurray! You’ve thrown off the shackles of full-time employment and are now reaping the benefits of being able to work in bed while eating Sugar Puffs. You relish in the ability to do your top quality work in your garishly bright pyjamas, while you pity the poor souls going to the office from your window. How foolish they seem now. Unfortunately, this feeling of happiness and sense of superiority will likely be brief and misleading. A few months have passed since you walked out of your old job laughing and mocking your ex-coworkers and the Sugar Puffs have now turned to Morrisons own brand corn flakes (the ones that don’t even come with a cardboard box). You’re also on the powdered milk too. Turns out the work hasn’t come as thick and fast as you’d hoped and all your friends with proper jobs have started to complain about your raggedy clothes. Time to start saving some money, you short-sighted fool.

    So, chances are you’re going to want to claim some tax back for those corn flakes as some kind of business expense. Unfortunately, you have pretty much no idea what you’re doing and so you got an accountant. This will have been bleeding you dry and has left you in the sorry cereal state you’re in. There is a much better alternative to this. You should try online accounting instead. It simplifies the whole process massively meaning that even your malnutritioned brain will be able to use it and keep track of everything. You’ll also have much easier access to your accounts and what’s going on too. So, find your trousers with the least holes in, get down to your accountant, fire them and then get online.

    You might have decided that your genius deserved it’s own .co.uk website. You guffawed as you saw other freelancers use blogs as their websites. “Unprofessional!” you scoffed as you bought way more bandwidth that you really needed. Time to scale back. Move all your stuff to Tumblr instead. It is completely free and very customisable. You can make a great site with Tumblr, plus you can use it to link up with people who might be interested in your work. If people like your stuff, it’s also very easy to share it with other people who too might appreciate your incredible skills. Plus Tumblr is, like, cool and stuff. Don’t be a square, daddio (and if you’re that fussed about having your own URL, just buy one and have it re-direct to your Tumblr).

    Marketing yourself can be a difficult task, especially when you start out. For some reason, people just aren’t drawn to your impeccable work through unprecedented word of mouth spread. The few jobs you have done so far has, as of yet, failed to cause panic among prospective clients to hire you. There are a few ways to get free publicity. One of the best is to find a blog dedicated to your field and attempt to get an article posted on there which outlines some thoughts from your incredible mind. You’ll be unlikely to get paid for this, but suck it up and enjoy the chance for more people to discover you.

    Decrease your outgoings enough and you’ll be back on the Sugar Puffs within no time. One day, with enough work, you might even reach Lucky Charms levels.

  • Should you go Freelance, be employed or be an employer?

    This week, I’ve got a guest post from the wonderful ReeRee Rockette, who has experienced being employed, freelancing and now being an employer. ReeRee runs the Rockalily hair salon and founded the Wonderful Women: Minding Our Own Business group.

    When I was a teacher I had to work very set hours. Up early and working late; counting down to the holidays. I started dreaming of a freelance lifestyle, and eventually made the jump.

    What I wanted from my new life:

    1. The ability to choose my hours. I don’t want to necessarily work less, just when I want.
    2. To choose who I spend my time with.
    3. To be able to influence my own success.
    4. To have a flexible working situation; my end dream was to be able to work from a Starbucks!
    5. To have more variety in my working life.

    For just over a year I worked from home, and yes, I managed to work from coffee shops a lot! I woke up later, but worked later into the night, using my natural night owl tendencies to their best effect.

    The only concern I had had when leaving the world of regular work was that of being lonely. To prevent this (which actually turned out to be rather unnecessary but awesome nonetheless) I started my own business support group. It’s called Wonderful Women: Minding Our Own Business, and we’re a small group of fabulous ladies who have started running their own businesses. We meet a couple of times a month to share ideas, learn and debate and have a cheeky cocktail or two.

    Rockalilly

    However, my journey has now taken me on a different path, and I have recently opened my own hair salon. So although I still run my own business, I’m not quite as freelance as I was last year.

    However, it does come with its own perks too (even if I’m not working from Starbucks anymore!).

    1. Despite having set hours to work, I can still be flexible. I can decide to open later/early or to take a day off!
    2. I get to meet lots of awesome new people every day.
    3. The routine can be quite nice – you get up at a certain time, no wasting time lounging in bed!
    4. It makes having time off easier. When you work from home, switching off is very difficult!
    5. Being part of a team. Although I’m the boss, I definitely feel like I’m part of team. Which is cool.

    So I have experienced regular employment, a freelance lifestyle as well as a business owner’s working day, and I have to say I have enjoyed the benefits of all three. I imagine that eventually I will settle into a mix of the last two, having a concrete business to run, but one which doesn’t need me physically there to be running successfully.

    Some of us are more suited to different work patterns, have you reflected recently on what sort of working day would be your ideal?
    [custom_author=ReeReeRockette]

  • Guest Post: When Blogging Took Over My World

    A month or so ago, I signed up for a scheme called Big Bloggers, Little Bloggers. It’s a scheme that matches up newer bloggers or those that want to take their blog to the next level, to those with a little more experience. I’ve been working with the lovely Ashley Stallings from Flats to Flip Flops to help her (although she’s teaching me lots too!) Her blog is a wonderful mix of fashion, parenting and philanthropy.
    Here, Ashley explains a little more about her blogging journey (with a poetic edge).

    So it all happened one night in September.
    I threw some shoes on the lawn, snapped some pictures, and my blog, flats to flip flops was born.
    If you know me, than you know that when I get an idea I kind of run with it.
    Actually more like marathon with it, I guess.
    A fashion blog?  Geared towards mom and real life women?
    Sure, I can do that, what the heck?
    Little did I know the world I was entering.
    Late nights stressing out over posts.
    Signing up for Facebook and Twitter and Bloglovin and Instagram and Hellocotton and Pinterest and the list goes on and on.
    HTML, who?
    I swear I had never goggled so much in my life!
    And balance?
    There was none.
    My kids were left to their own devices.
    My husband came home to a disaster and a crazy stressed out wife.
    Blogging had taken over my world.
    So how do you reign it in? ; ;
    How do you stay at home, take care of your family and blog?
    Here are just a few of my tips to taking back your world:

    1.  Set a schedule.

    I only do the bare minimum amount of work in the morning. ; All my posts are pre-scheduled so they pop up all on their own.
    All I do is Tweet and Facebook that day’s post out to the world and I am done.
    I save all of my other work(writing posts, commenting on other blogs, returning emails, etc) for naptime.
    I make a list, do the most important things first and I get done whatever I can get done during naptime.
    The rest of the evening is family time.
    I occasionally work at night too, once the kids are in bed, only if my husband isn’t at home.
    He deserves my time and attention when he is home.
    Figure out what works best for you and your family.

    2. Ask for help.

    Oh goodness.
    If only I would have asked how to write a guest post in html format.
    It would have saved me a super late night, a fight with my husband and a few tears.
    If you don’t know don’t be afraid to ask!
    The blogging world is full of super nice, super helpful bloggers who are willing to take the time to help (like Miss Emma, for example)!

    3. Take A Break

    Can’t think of a topic to write on?
    Didn’t have time to link up to your favorite linky party?
    Don’t have time for that guest post?
    It’s ok! You don’t have to write every day, you don’t have to link up to every link party known to man or comment on every blog every day.
    Take time for a break.
    This whirlwind called blogging can pick you up, twirl you around and never let you go if you let it.
    Even if you want to take a week or a month off, it’s fine.
    Your readers will understand and your posts might just be better for it!

    4.  Enjoy it!

    For reals people.
    If you don’t enjoy it, it is not worth it!
    Decide what you love about blogging and stick with that.
    Let the other stuff go to the wayside.
    Do you.
    Be you and all the other stuff will fall into place!
    So if you already blog, are thinking of blogging or are wondering how to make blogging fit into your world, those are a few of my tips.
    Just make sure to enjoy your world, first and foremost because you only get one.
    Happy Blogging!

    Thanks Ashley!

  • Freelance Finance: Living with a feast or famine income (Guest Post)

    Feast or Famine

    This week, the lovely Leanne has written a guest post on the feast/famine cycle of freelancing – something that a few people have asked about recently. Read on for some useful advice on how to deal with the up and down financial situation of working for yourself.

    There’s nothing quite like being able to work for yourself. It’s liberating to know you’re your own boss and it offers a kind of freedom like nothing else can—yes, it may be hard work but you get to reap the rewards of success, but it isn’t without its issues. There’s one aspect of freelancing that doesn’t always get the attention it deserves yet can be tough to get accustomed to, and that’s the feast/famine cycle.

    Think freelancing means you’re going to be rolling in cash month in, month out? Sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s time to think again. Yes, your earnings can technically be limitless—you’re free to work as much as you want and can set whatever rates you see fit—but it isn’t always that easy. You have to actually get the work in for it to all come together, and unfortunately it doesn’t always go according to plan.

    It doesn’t matter how effective your marketing efforts are or how many steady clients you have, you can never tell what’s around the corner. You don’t have the luxury of having a fixed income each month which means you need to be prepared for the fact that some months will be better than others—in fact, some months you could have so much cash coming in you don’t know what to do with whilst others you’ll be scraping the pennies together.

    And don’t think it’s an issue that only the novice freelancer can face. Yes, it’s always going to take a while to build up a solid foundation but even the most experienced of freelancers can face the dreaded famine from time to time, and that means you need to take precautions. So just what can you do to keep things on an even keel? Well, here are a few tips to bear in mind:

    • Save for a rainy day. You need to get into the habit of saving straight away. It can be tempting to treat yourself when those first few invoices start coming in, and whilst you need to celebrate you also need to start putting a bit of cash away, just in case. You never know when times could get tough, after all…
    • Don’t be cocky with money. When times are good it’s easy to start getting a bit reckless. You might shop in slightly more expensive places, go to pricier restaurants or simply treat yourself more often, and whilst you deserve a bit of luxury you need to stay sensible. Yes, you want to bask in your success, but that invoice you just got paid? It could be the last one you get for a while, so don’t get cocky.
    • Don’t get complacent. You’ve got a steady income, a solid base of clients and plenty of projects to keep you going, so you hold off on the marketing and let yourself relax for a bit. But what about when those projects reach their conclusion? What if clients decide they don’t need your services anymore? It can be a huge jolt back to reality and can put a serious dent in your income, so always keep up with your marketing efforts and keep a lookout for new income streams.
    • Remember the tax man! Ok, the tax man may not be high on your Christmas card list, but that doesn’t mean you can forget about him. He’s reviled for a reason—don’t pay your tax and you’ll suffer the consequences, and don’t leave it too late to start thinking about saving. You may not be getting money automatically taken out of your paycheque but you should treat it in the same way, so make sure to save a bit back each month (ideally in a separate savings account so you can keep track of things) because there’s nothing worse than knowing you’ve got to raise thousands of pounds out of nowhere.

    It’s all about being sensible. Going freelance can give you huge amounts of freedom but it needs more dedication, commitment and perhaps even common sense than any other way of working, so the rule to remember is this—enjoy the feast, but prepare for the famine!

    [custom_author=Leanne Richards]