People consider freelance designing to be a very easy job because it offers the designer a lot of perks. The best thing about freelancing is that it brings along the independent factor and a freelancer is his own boss. Apart from this, a freelancer gets an opportunity to work on various projects which helps in gaining experience and increasing income. As it has been said a million times, everything has its pros and cons and same goes for freelancing as well. If you want to get into freelancing as a designer, you should prepare yourself for a lot of challenges that would be coming your way.
Freelancing is mostly considered to be a part time job for easy cash. However, if you plan to take it as a full time job, it should involve a lot of thinking. Before you get into freelancing you have to ask yourself a few questions so that you can decide if this is the right thing to do or not. We will be discussing a few points to consider if you plan opt for long-term freelancing. Freelance designers should always have their business cards handy.
What is the Reason behind Freelancing?
Anyone who gets into freelancing has a different reason behind it. Some people simply want to earn some extra cash to pay bills and some people do it because they like to. As far as graphic designers are concerned, freelancing can help them in gaining a lot of experience.
If you are or want to be a designer, your freelance experience can help you a lot in building a reputation in design industry. Plus, you will be working on some great projects to gain experience. While you are at it, you should ask yourself if freelancing is just a temporary thing for you or if you want to take it as a full time job. For some people, freelancing is a good option when they are out of work or jobless.
Freelancing can definitely help you in paying bills but it surely depends on how you treat your freelancing job. The results for a temporary freelancing and a full time freelancing will result into completely different things after a few years. So, you should be very clear in the beginning how far you want to take this freelancing of yours.
Now, if you plan to work on your own as a freelance graphic designer for life time, some points should be considered and this is exactly what we will be discussing in the rest of the article. All you need to do is make up your mind regarding short-term and long-term freelancing before you actually get into it.
Representing Yourself as a Freelancer
While starting off, most designers prefer to work under their own name to gain some recognition. You should continue working under your own name if you plan to leave freelancing in a few months time. However, if you plan to continue it for a longer period, you should try to get a business name for you. Working under your own name or a business name should be your decision. Both will have their own advantages and disadvantages. You need to determine what is going to work for you. If you plan to expand your business in coming years, you should definitely get a business name for yourself. Â Do a good research on how to represent yourself as a freelancer.
Planning and Preparation
As mentioned earlier, planning is way too important before starting anything. If you plan to continue working on your own and leave freelancing then you might not need a lot of planning. However, if you plan to expand your business of graphic designing, you need to consider a few points. Ask yourself following questions:
- Will your team work in a same office or you plan to hire freelancers too?
- If you decide to hire a team for same office, where your office would locate?
Expanding your business is never an easy thing. Deciding a location, renting out a place and a lot more needs to be done and its better that you plan everything first and then start the execution. Â Since hiring and expanding is a huge responsibility, you need to be sure that you are ready for it before jumping into anything.
Selecting Business Entity
If you want to be a long term freelancer, you will have to decide a business name. If you do so, you will have to select a business entity for yourself too. Selecting your business entity depends completely on your personal choice. You should get a professional advice for this too to make a better decision.
Long Term Planning When it Comes to Skills
We all know that in graphic designing industry, things change rapidly. You might have a specific skill which is in demand today however, the way things are changing you should always be prepared to learn new things. For instance, you are running a graphic design business where you design things like brochures, flyers, posters etc, and get these printed from some other vendor. However, if you plan to learn the skill of printing yourself instead of outsourcing it, you can add a lot of revenue opportunities to your business.
Adding new skills to your profession will definitely help you in surviving with the changes. Since such changes are pretty much expected, you should plan things from the beginning so that you have saved enough money and time to avail learning opportunities.
Bringing in Stability
Specialization in any field is very important. However, when it comes to graphic designing, it does not look like a great idea. The reason is same as mentioned above; things are changing so quickly in graphic and technology world that your todayâ€™s specialization might not be of any use tomorrow. So, in order to bring in more stability to your long term plans you should specialize but always keep room for more learning and improving.
If you are really looking for career advancements, long term freelancing is probably not your thing. When it comes to freelancing, you might stay at the same place career wise. You will gain experience, new and good clients but at the end of the day, you will be known as a freelancer.
If your motivation is to earn money, freelancing can definitely help you in earning good amount of money and with the passage of time, it will advance too. If advancement in job titles is your goal, you should not be heading towards long term freelancing.
Re-investing in the Business
Re-investing in your freelancing business is very important so before you jump into long term freelancing, you should have a proper plan regarding re-investing. You need to make sure that you are earning for a living and at the same time you are able to save for any future investments.
The reason why most of the people prefer full time employment is that it offers a lot of additional benefits including health insurance. Without an employer, getting a health insurance can be very costly. Your employers might be offering you with a spouseâ€™s insurance as well. So, if you want some additional benefits, you should go for employment and not freelancing.
With a permanent employment, you will not have to worry about saving for retirement. However, if you are working on your own, you can still have a retirement plan but that will obviously require more effort.
You should definitely give a good thinking before you decide whether you want to be a full time freelancer or a full time employee.