Seven questions to ask yourself before quitting your job and going freelance

Seven questions to ask yourself before quitting your job.png

Let's set the scene. You've started making some money from your hobby or side hustle.

Maybe an amount that you're able to live off.

You're starting to dedicate more and more time to your growing business, and it's becoming difficult to juggle it with your full time job.

You're starting to think that maybe this could become your full time job.

But before you do any of that, make sure you've thought seriously about these seven things:

Do you have a back up plan?

Before we go any further, I have to take on the role of your concerned friend and ask: what if it all goes wrong?

As much as you don't want to think about it, there is a chance that your freelance business won't be successful. So you need a Plan B in case the worst happens.

Would you be able to go back to your old job? Would you apply for another job? Or could you freelance doing something else if times are tough?

This is where having multiple streams of income comes in handy. For example, if you're a blogger and you make money from sponsorships, you could also look at taking on some related jobs like freelance writing, social media co-ordination and blog coaching services to add some extra strings to your bow in case blogging doesn't work out.

It's also a good idea to plan ahead and make sure you have as much money as possible saved before you ditch your job, ideally six months to a year's worth of your expenses.

Are you happy to do lots of different jobs?

You might think you're just a freelance copywriter, but you're also a marketer, accountant and social media pro.

When you go freelance, you are your business. It's up to you to pitch for jobs, promote your services, keep up with your admin...oh, and do your actual job.

If you aren't willing to do these less fun aspects of being your own boss, the self-employed life might not be one that you enjoy.

Sure, you can outsource a lot of things, but it will cost you and you'll still have to do some stuff that you don't enjoy.

So, if you want to go it alone, think about whether you're ready to wear a lot of different hats.

Are you prepared to work outside the standard 9-5?

As you probably know, most people who run their own business are always hustling, often at the expense of their free time and social lives. Is that something you're willing to do?

Can you deal with early starts, late nights and weekend hours to keep all your plates spinning? If not, freelancing may not be for you.

On the upside, you'll also have the freedom to hit the shops in the week to avoid the crowds and go out for a long, mid-week lunch. And Monday blues will be a thing of the past.

What kind of environment do you thrive in?

A lot of people think that working from home is the ultimate dream.

And in some ways, it is! But it's easy to slip into the habit of working on the sofa in your pyjamas and either feeling slobby and unmotivated or unable to relax at home because you associate it with work.

Take some time to learn where you work best.

If you enjoy the convenience of working from home and need quiet to concentrate, set up an office area for yourself so you aren't constantly reminded of work when you're having time away.

If you love the busy atmosphere of an office and thrive off interacting with people, you could look into co-working offices in your area. As working remotely increasing in popularity, more of these kind of spaces where freelancers can work, use wifi and take advantage of the free coffee on offer are popping up.

Personally, I find that my ideas really flow when I pack up my laptop and work from a coffee shop, but this can get real expensive, real fast. So I have a desk in my flat which I do most of my work at, and I'll head to my local cafe if I'm struggling to get motivated or as an end of week treat.

Can you handle rejection?

Unless you're a highly in demand superstar, it's likely that you're going to have to go out and find clients yourself, rather than relying on them coming to you.

This means that you'll need to be a) confident in pitching for jobs and b) able to brush off rejection without breaking a sweat.

We all get rejected. But when you're putting yourself out there and offering your services to potential clients, the sting is a little sharper.

Being knocked back doesn't mean your services are terrible, not at all. It just means that you weren't right for that client. But it can still be hard to deal with, so if you're set on going solo, make sure you've got a thick skin.

Are you planning on buying a house in the near future?

This might seem random, but if you're interested in buying a house in the near future, being self-employed is something that will be hugely affected by your new self-employed status.

Mortgage providers will often require a much larger deposit, as well as in-depth earnings and financial business records from someone who runs their own business. This is because lack of a steady job can mean unreliable income, and banks don't want to give a mortgage to someone who may struggle to pay it off.

This is something you should think seriously about too - will you definitely be able to keep up with repayments? You don't want to end up having your home repossessed and your credit ruined, so think long and hard about this before making the leap.

Are you legally prepared?

Sorry to end on a dull note, but you'll want to make sure that you're legally prepared to start freelancing full time.

Have you told HMRC that you're self-employed? Are you keeping track of your income and expenses? Have you taken out professional indemnity insurance to protect yourself in case something goes wrong?

If not, make sure your business has all the necessities in place to keep to the rules. Better safe than sorry.

Are you considering going freelance, or have you already made the jump? Let me know how you prepared in the comments!

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