How to start a freelance business in 2022
Many people are considering starting a freelance business in 2022, in order to demonstrate their skills and knowledge and receive an income from clients. For those that have not already taken the leap into freelancing, the main reason for not doing so is that they do not know exactly what or how to go about setting up a freelancing business.
This article will not only look into what you need, and how to go about starting your own business in 2022, but also why starting a freelance business in 2022 is a great idea. In 2021, there are approximately 2.3 million freelancers in the UK. This figure is constantly increasing as the freelancing industry is growing, and more and more people are choosing to do it, either to run their own business or to earn an extra income.
Why should I start a freelance business in 2022?
Many benefits come with starting your own freelance business in 2022. Some of the main ones are that you become your own boss, choose your own industry to work in, and potentially earn an extra income if you choose to freelance on top of a job you may already be in.
If you choose to become a full-time freelancer, you will have all of the flexibility you want regarding time of work and location. You will be able to dictate your workload as you are in charge of taking on as many projects as you want. You will also be in charge of how quickly a project must be done and will be able to negotiate regarding how long you want to be working on a particular project.
Being a part-time freelancer means you still receive the same benefits of choosing your industry and deciding how many projects you would like to take on in any given time, however, it might mean that you do not have as much time to do the work as you may also have other jobs or other commitments.
Regardless of which type of freelancer you choose to be, you will gain unique skills and knowledge which will make you an asset in the eyes of many clients who may wish to use a specialist for particular projects for their firms. 64% of employers in 2021 planned to outsource freelancers for projects, and this figure will only continue to grow as freelancing becomes more popular due to the flexibility it offers both freelancers and business employers.
How do I start a freelance business in 2022?
Below are some of the things to consider when starting a freelance business in 2022:
Find something you want to monetise
The main point of freelancing is to earn an income, you either have the necessary skills in order to monetise them, or you have somewhat of a plan to become skilled in a particular field. You need to understand how your skills can help others and find a way that differentiates your business compared to others.
A good idea would be to write down what skills you have, whether they are soft skills e.g. communicating or presenting to others, or more technical skills e.g. such as the ability to use Adobe Creative Cloud. After deciding which skills stand out to you the most (considering things such as the enjoyment you get from using such skills, as well as whether you see it as something you could do for the long-term), you need to see whether there is demand for such skills and how you could go about becoming competitive within that market.
Identify what your freelance business will provide
When you have an idea of your skills and knowledge, you need to be able to apply these in a real-life context. For example, if you were able to utilise software that a web designer was able to use, would you simply focus on being able to provide potential clients with photos, banners and logos, or would you be able to also produce videos, web pages etc. If you were a consultant, would there be specific industries in which you could or could not take a project on?
Understanding what services you want your freelance business to offer is an essential step in order to establish your target market. Once you set this expectation, you will be able to identify your goals, priorities, values and other things that shape your freelance business.
Establishing an online presence
Raising awareness for your business and informing potential customers about your services will be the driving force that generates interest, and potentially income to your business. People need to know more about your services: what you do, where you do it, how much you do it for. Setting up a business website is an opportunity for you to establish your own marketplace. Initially investing in your very own business website will make you look more professional and credible to potential clients.
You may also wish to consider setting up your own social media business accounts as these platforms may help your freelance business develop a better personality. Social media offers a platform where you can respond to questions and generate conversations, providing more specific information that may not appear on the website. Different platforms can offer different types of content which can aid your freelance business, for example, setting up an Instagram account can help you provide visual content to prospective clients, whereas, something like LinkedIn could be seen as a professional platform where other businesses could reach out to you and collaborate with your business.
Identifying your ideal client
Once you have gathered the core information needed in regards to what type of business you will run and how you will run it, as well as setting up your online channels, identifying your ideal clients is important. Market segmentation will help you identify the right audience for your business and having a more specified understanding of who you will be targeting, and this will allow you to plan a more detailed and engaging marketing strategy.
Setting up your charge rate
Another part of your responsibility as a freelancer will be to decide on a charge rate for your services. Whether you want to charge clients on an hourly basis or upon completion of a project, it is up to you to take into account the type of project, the duration of the project and whether you will do some sort of package deal to potentially offer clients some sort of discount. You may also wish to conduct research on the charge rates of your competitors (i.e. what types of prices do they charge for what particular service), because if you understand what types of charge rates already exist within your competitive market, you can tactically decide on yours.
Setting up a Cash Management process
As a freelancer, one of the most important things to set up is the cash management process. This process needs to be thoroughly thought through as deciding on how you will handle this will be vital for your business to stay operational and profitable.
There are many things you will need to be doing in order to stay on top of your cash management process, and there are also various software and apps available which will help you when managing your finances.
You need to ensure that you are able to monitor your daily, weekly, monthly and yearly earnings because you need to always be aware of the position in which your freelance business is in. You may even want to set up your own business bank in order to make transactions clearer and keep your business finances separate from your personal finances.
Develop a professional network
Networking with people will only benefit your business in the long-run. Making connections with others is important because there may be instances where you can collaborate with others and mutually benefit from one another’s services. Connecting with different people will give you access to more insights (i.e. which can be market or competitor related), you may be invited to events, webinars, conferences where you may learn more about your respective fields, or in some cases your connections may become clients or even refer potential clients to your business.
Visualise your long-term goal
Once you are finally up and running, it will still take time before your freelance business receives the amount of consistency that is satisfactory. Freelance businesses take time before they can consistently provide reasonable income. Building your internal processes will take time before you can fully rely on them, tactics and strategies will constantly require adjustments and building a loyal clientele comes with time.
By visualising what your goals are for your freelance business, you will be able to monitor how far off you are from getting to where you dream of being.
With the number of total freelancers constantly increasing annually, and more businesses looking to hire freelancers on a temporary basis, starting a freelance business in 2022 would be a great idea that could potentially generate countless opportunities for you and your business. Whether you choose to make freelancing a full-time occupation or something which you do part-time alongside other commitments, there are many benefits one could receive from starting up a freelance business.
This guide will give you a good idea of all the different factors you will need to take into account when starting as a freelancer, as well as both the positives and potential challenges that comes with starting up your own freelance business.
25th November 2021