Deciding to go on a full time freelance work takes more than just the guts to go on a career adventure. There is a massive financial risk involved and a ton of preparation that needs to be settled before you can fully say that you are ready and good to go. There are more factors in the package than what meets the eye. And realistically, freelance home based job is not all good times. If you are just starting today, that is even of greater concern because the risk is twice than the risk involved if you have started probably 3 or 4 years ago because of the financial crisis.
If you have kids to send to school, a mortgage or loan to pay, a sickly family member, then those are just the tip of the iceberg that you have to deal with and make sure that are carefully addressed. It’s good to be filled with enthusiasm when you are starting on freelancing but the fire of enthusiasm can be doused if you take things for granted.
There is actually no exact figure or amount that you should have in your savings to start a freelance homebased work. But as a rule of thumb, it is advised that you have funds that can sustain your needs for a 6month period. That is considering unexpected end of work, low income flow, or a sudden sickness which means no earnings for you. This is also to buffer the transition period of your 9-5 work to the freelance home based work.
2. Health Insurance
Health is wealth. I think that is something that we can all agree on. And if you do agree, you ought to agree as well that getting a reliable health insurance is a must if you will be hopping on the freelancer’s wagon. If you are enjoying free medical and dental benefits, hospitalization for you and your dependents, then you “must” (emphasis added) also ensure that you and your family enjoy the same benefits after you resign from your 9-5 work. It will make you feel more secure and confident that your funds will not be depleted in cases of sickness in the family.
3. Skills and Education
At this point, your resume and experiences, as well as the skills acquired will be your key in securing a job. Your marketability to employers will depend on how well you have established your skills and your proven track record will mean a lot. But the more well rounded you are, the more opportunities will be available for you. If you know just the basic, try to at least advance your knowledge. Take as much relevant training and certifications that you can and make sure that you brush up on your English communication skills. Make sure that you can effectively communicate not only on your line of expertise but also on a personal level. Remember that you are not only selling your service, you are selling yourself.
4. Materials and Equipment
Many online opportunities are available today and one of them is online tutorials. And if you would consider applying for such a position you must take into consideration the material requirements of the job. Do you have a reliable internet connection? Is your office conjucive for classroom type of environment, no noise, no distractions? Do you have a noise cancelling microphone? etc. etc. This may not be true in your case but it would also be a good thing to consider. Whether it is just plain writing that you do, or coding and other programming jobs, your clients may call you from time to time and may bring a bad impression if your room is noisy, your internet connection disconnects. It would be a wise investment if you can purchase the following:
- UPS or uninterrupted power supply
- printer, scanner, and copier
- mic & headset
- back up wireless internet subscription
- portable HD drive
5. Network and Resources
Working online as a home based freelancer doesn’t mean that you have to alienate yourself from the outside world. It is even more advisable that you create a bigger network now, whether online or offline, than ever before. Why? Because your network can be a good source of referral projects. Word of mouth can travel at lightning speed and creating a good network that can help you spread the word about your work. It can bring countless potentials at your doorstep. Join likeminded people. There are freelancer forums and discussion boards, as well as websites that cater to online freelance works. And remember, always maintain a good reputation with the people you deal with, both client and colleague because a bad reputation is a devourer of your income.
Create a list of where you will get your clients. Evaluate the Terms of Service and check for user feedback.
NOTE: This post was originally posted on my blog: DrEy's CaLl CeNtEr WeBlOg under the title: Cheklist for Online Homebased Freelancer