Thinking about quitting your day job and working from home full-time?
Here are 10 questions you should ask yourself first (and then grab the cheat sheet for the top 5 things you need to do before you say “goodbye” to your 9-5 office job)…
1. Do I already have some experience under my belt? One of the best ways to get more clients is to have already worked with clients. If you’re just starting out, you can manage this by offering to work for a friend, family member, or colleague in exchange for a sincere testimonial. The more experience you have working on projects and with clients, the more you’ll be prepared for running your freelance business full-time.
2. How well do I know my skill for the service I’ll be offering to clients?
If you want to be a freelance copy editor for indie authors but you had to look up the definition of what exactly a copy editor is, or you don’t own any style guides, or you’ve never actually done any training as an editor… you should probably brush up on your skills. Keep in mind that no matter how good we are at our skill, there’s always more to learn! It never hurts to do more professional development and get more training.
3. Do I REALLY know what I’m getting into?
Being a freelancer and working from home is amazing—but it’s not for everyone. Have you thought carefully about this life-changing business decision? Are you able to think creatively if and when you make a mistake? Are you willing to be honest with yourself? Is problem-solving one of your many talents? Can you juggle wearing many hats and are you able to manage yourself effectively? Check in with yourself and ask each one of these questions before you quit your day job.
4. Have I properly prepared my freelance services webpage?
Remember to outline any pre-packaged freelancing services you offer, the parameters around custom freelancing services, your rates, testimonials, and a few samples of your work. Click here to get a worksheet that will help you put together an AWESOME freelance services webpage your clients will love.
5. Have I budgeted accordingly?
Get those financial ducks in a row! Set aside a small amount of money in a savings account to help supplement your income during your first few months as a full-time freelancer, and explore where you can cut back to save money as you transition into full-time freelancing.
6. Do I have a Plan B and C in place?
The trick to setting additional plans in place if the first one doesn’t work is to ensure that they are things you can do in a pinch, but which you REALLY don’t want to do. For example, if your Plan A is to be a freelance artist, you might make freelance graphic design as your Plan B, and waitressing as your Plan C. If you really aren’t interested in either being a graphic designer or in waitressing, but you know that you could more easily find work doing either of those things than as a freelance artist, it will put your fears and anxieties about being a full-time freelancer to rest (knowing you can fall back on one of them if absolutely necessary)… and also make sure that you HUSTLE to find clients so you can do the work you love, rather than resort to something you aren’t interested in.
7. Have I organized how my schedule will look when I work from home full-time?
If you have never worked from home full-time before, you might be in for a surprise. It can be a challenge to manage yourself and keep yourself disciplined and productive (as well as to know when you are in need of a break). Have a structured daily schedule can help you to ease into working from home full-time.
8. Am I interested in the business side of things (as well as the service I’m providing to clients)?
It’s very important that you enjoy the actual service you’ll be offering to clients—but you also need to have some kind of interest in the business side of things. After all, at least half of the work you put into being a full-time freelancer will be working on your business, not just doing work for clients! Going in with some business knowledge is useful, but it’s perhaps even more important that you go in with a willingness and eagerness to learn and put in the effort to manage your business. You’ll be far more successful as a result.
9. Is my home office ready? It doesn’t need to be anything elaborate, but a good laptop, a large desktop calendar, and an organized filing system can go a long way to ensuring your home office is ready for you to be around full-time.
10. Do I have the systems and strategies in place for succeeding as a full-time freelancer? It is SO IMPORTANT that you set yourself up for success. Too many freelancers don’t prepare themselves in terms of carefully setting up systems and strategies—and then they wonder why they have such a hard time of being successful at freelancing. But you’re already making a great step by reading this article!
Are you working toward transitioning out of your 9 to 5 job and into freelancing full-time? Click here for a free cheat sheet on the 5 things you need to do BEFORE you quit your day job.
This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.