Gone are the days when the traditional 9-5 was the only option for earning a pay check. Now, work comes in all shapes and sizes. More and more full-time workers are increasing their income capacity by working freelance, taking advantage of evenings and weekends to earn extra cash.
For those who may have reached a ceiling on their full-time work salary or simply want to earn more disposable income, starting a freelance business could be the answer.
Determine your capacity
Managing full-time work and freelance work is a balancing act. There are only so many hours in the week, so you will need to first determine how much time you can realistically give to your freelance business.
Obviously, you will need to take into consideration the time it will take to complete work tasks, but also account for time spent doing invoices, negotiating rates with clients, and promoting your business. Be realistic and calculate how much work you could achieve in an ideal week, without affecting your full-time job.
Survey the market
Whether you’re a writer, a designer, a developer or a tradie, your skills could make for a successful side hustle. Once you’ve decided to journey down this road, take a look around and determine the competition.
What can you offer that no one else is doing? How can you stand-out from the freelance crowd? If competition is high, consider doing a short course to upskill. Make connections with other freelancers and entrepreneurs in your niche so you can learn and grow together.
Discover your brand
As a freelancer, you can work under your own name rather than creating a separate small business. Even so, you as a person, are now your brand. When you are creating a website or business cards to advertise your services, you will need to create your own personal identity.
Do you want to be seen as creative? Professional? Proficient? Or all three? The way you present your business will determine the types of clients and work you can win. It may even pay off to have a professional create these business elements for you.
Create a portfolio
In order to win business, most freelancers will be asked to present a portfolio of work. Whether it’s online or as a hard copy, it’s your chance to showcase your talent. Don’t put every piece of work you’ve ever done in your portfolio – this is a place for your very best work.
At the beginning, it may be a little bare, but remember to continually update your portfolio as you complete different projects. A well-crafted portfolio will be invaluable when it comes to winning new business.
Manage your time
Even if you’re not an organised person, running a successful freelance business will force you to make good use of calendars, diaries and time-management apps. With deadlines looming both inside and outside of your full-time work, you will need to learn how to manage your time very, very well.
In the beginning, try not over-extend yourself but simply take on small pieces of work at a time. Even though it can be difficult, remember to factor in some relaxation time during the week, because all work and no play doesn’t make for a successful side hustle.