Freelancing is a competitive marketplace. Although it’s the quality of your writing that will land you new opportunities, employing smart business practices fuels growth for your business. Here are ways to help freelancers make decisions that will maintain a sound business and generate more money:
Create a Contract
Having an agreement in writing prevents clients from nonpayment. Your contract isn’t required to be 20 pages long or filled with difficult legal terms to be effective. It should identify: a) overall budget for the project, b) billing expectations (flat rate or hourly), and c) payment due date. To show good faith, there should also be a section in which you are legally bound to deliver services for the agreed upon amount, plus specific repercussions if either party breaches the contract.
Provide Availability & Accessibility to Your Clients
Make certain that your contact information, including your name, cell number, email and website are on all materials that are connected to your business. Understand that you need to respond to inquiries in a timely manner, especially if you are a newer freelancer. This solidifies your reputation among your peers and potential clients.
Establish a Marketable Price
Gauging the value of your work is integral in the freelance profession. If you undervalue your prices, you may set a dangerous precedent in trying to create a higher pay rate in the future. On the flip side, if you overvalue your work and charge a higher price, the incentive for businesses to retain your services may plunge. Knowing the sweet spot for pricing is a key component in creating more business and retaining loyalty from your existing customers.
Set-Up an Online Payment Method
Clients and freelancers want the most effective way to secure payment. Freelancers should invest in Flint, an app that is a great resource to conduct in-person mobile credit card processing and the ability to send electronic invoices to remote clients for online processing and payment. The secure scan feature, as well the ability to receive payment via credit, debit, cash or check and an online merchant portal allows clients to know that Flint offers not only convenience, but a safe exchange of personal data.
Create a Network
By joining professional organizations, you become familiar with your colleagues and possibly create opportunities to land newer clients. The quality of your work is essential, but spending extra time to network may give you the leg-up on a potential client or help you learn more tricks of the trade.
Find a Business Mentor
Although unconventional, seeking out a trusted and a more experienced colleague could reduce your learning curve by years. By asking advice and gaining mentorship from this person, you can familiarize yourself with new or improved business practices.
Track your Time
By taking an account of where you are spending your time, you track which opportunities pay you the most for your effort. It gives you an idea of where you want to direct your marketing push to gain the most opportunity for revenue and is good insight in case you want to adjust your rates in the future for certain assignments.
Know Your Tax Implications
Sit down with an accountant to organize the tax implications of your freelancing business. Find out your responsibilities and whether it is profitable to set your business up as a limited liability company or as an independent contractor.
Freelancing will provide an upsurge in revenue if you establish good and solid business practices to cultivate growth. The more you invest in protecting and marketing yourself, the further success you will achieve as a freelancer.