Business / Career

Can you survive as a freelancer?

When viewed from behind a desk in a large company or corporation, the idea of working independently as a freelancer or independent contractor can be a tempting one. The rewards can be great, not just in financial terms but also in terms of an improved lifestyle, as successful entrepreneurs create their own working environment under their own management. The challenges can also be substantial, but with hard work, focus, and skill, most of the difficulties can be overcome so that the freelancer can prosper.

Expansion and difficulties in freelancing and contracting

While the UK is the global headquarters for many of the world’s largest corporations, over the years the United States has also become a nation of freelancers. However, even the most successful freelance entrepreneurs have to work from a solid business model and overcome a number of administrative, logistical, and business challenges on the road to profit and growth.

Perhaps the most important of these challenges is securing sufficient contracts and customers to ensure that the freelancer is able to turn a profit. Furthermore, while growth as a freelancer means continually seeking bigger contracts and a larger customer base, it also means that there will often be greater competition for each individual contract. It is therefore increasingly essential for a self-employed contractor or business owner to be able to spend enough time managing customers, maintaining customer relationships, and seeking out new opportunities or potential areas of business growth to keep the business moving forward.

Freelance

Freelance

Tips for success

Managing even a small company’s finances and a self-employed payroll can be time-consuming, and will not generate any income. However, having a reliable partner such as an umbrella company can help to ease the burden of even the most demanding and complex administrative and financial tasks, and ensure that they are handled efficiently. While it may seem counter-intuitive to spend money on having an outside company handle tasks that you could possibly do yourself, the pay-off in terms of freeing up time for profit-generating business-essential tasks can be quite substantial in the long term. Additionally, ensuring accurate, timely, and organized paperwork and financial reports will help to keep the business running smoothly. The time that is freed up can be used for marketing, networking, and winning contracts – all of which are central to the success of any business.

Using the digital revolution to your advantage

With the advent of digital communications and resources, data management and sharing information with a partner like an umbrella company has never been easier. Electronic communication and shared databases make data transfer for administrative purposes accurate and instantaneous.

It is also important to take advantage of the many entrepreneurial opportunities that are available as a result of the digital revolution. In a very real sense the world is a mouse-click away, which means that an almost unlimited number of potential customers are as close as your computer screen – regardless of where they may be physically located. This is true for product manufacturers and service providers, as well as for contractors and freelancers with special skills and know-how. Using digital technologies to reach a global customer base is currently at the forefront of marketing, and freelance contractors now have access to more customers than ever before.

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