The decision to establish a freelance business can be as liberating as it is challenging. Freelance set-ups tend to have both financial potential and freedom to work at your convenience. Nonetheless, to make your freelance business a success, you have to commit to high levels of professionalism and deliver quality services and products in your area of specialization.
You cannot just wake up and go into freelancing without a plan. First you need to be sure of the niche you intend to freelance in based on your skills and passion. You can survey the internet and look at freelancing opportunities that match your skills before settling on a particular service or product. Whether you choose to sell articles or provide construction services, there are some basic freelancing tools that you ought to have before launching your freelance career.
A full computer system (or a working laptop) is an essential tool for any freelancer regardless of the service or product you are selling. Your PC will help your get connected to the virtual world and find opportunities in the freelance fields. If you intend to offer copy-writing, editing, data analysis and any other writing services, you must install the necessary software such as Word Processor or Excel on your PC.
Website or blog
It is imperative for all freelancers to have an online platform and you should not overlook the importance of owning your site or blog. This will help you advertise your products or services and also get feedback from your clients on what they feel about them. Ensure that you get a web designer to help you set up a user-friendly site.
It goes without saying that the email is the most important form of communication for any freelancer. You need to have a working email address to communicate with your clients. Apart from this, you can also keep a record of all the conversations you have with clients or even suppliers on email. This can be helpful for future reference.
A strong internet connection is a necessary asset for any freelancer. It helps you access the web and keep abreast with available opportunities within your field. Also, you can browse about the products or services you offer and find out what other providers in your niche are doing.
A printer is a necessary equipment if you have to print out any documents concerning your business. Whether it is a business agreement or receipts for a client, you may need to have your business printer. In case you choose to go paperless, have alternative software (such as whole Microsoft office kit) to keep a record of the same documents you needed to print.
Telephone or Skype ID
It is very important to have separate communications for your business and personal life. This will help you maintain contact with your clients during working hours and avoid mixing business calls and personal calls. If you are working with overseas clients, you may need to have Skype Account to facilitate communication between yourself and the clients.
PC Maintenance software and Toolkit
This is essential because it offers your computer protection against viruses and hacking. You must make sure that this and any other necessary software is installed on your office PC before launching your freelance service or product. You will be visiting many sites on the net while researching about an assignment and some of these sites are not secure.
Every business must have an accounting section, and this software will help you balance your financial books. You will use this to make budgets and evaluate your financial records as well as monitor how you are doing.
This can be set in an office or even at home. You will need a quiet and ideal place to serve as your work space. You can set up your computer, printer and other devices in this space and also focus your energies on your freelance work within this space.
Apart from the above tools, you must also ensure that your freelance business operates legally. This might necessitate you to do a little research work or even find a legal practitioner to advise you. There are also some basic tools that you will need before setting up and these may include business cards, business bank account, phone listing, client list and advertisement agencies list. Remember that planning for your freelance venture will contribute to your success.