December 30, 2012 2:15 PM Subscribe
Self-employment filter: I'm leaving my job to freelance full-time. What do I need to know that I don't already?
posted by wansac to Work & Money (23 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
I've freelanced part-time since 2010 while holding down a regular job from which most my income came. I've recently expanded my business to several new services, and to my surprise, I'm suddenly overwhelmed with clients that like my work. Business is booming. My regular job is low paying and the schedule is awful, and I'm headed back to school for another degree in a few days, so it's time to leave. I will be giving two weeks notice tomorrow.
I'm looking for advice from other self-employed MeFites. What do I need to know to make this work?
I'm already familiar with taxes, as I've paid them for two years now. I keep a very detailed spreadsheet that I udpate daily with projects that I'm working on, how much money I'm making, who's paying me and when, how much more money I need to make this week to meet my pre-tax minimum goal, etc. I'm not the primary breadwinner in my family, but I do need to bring some money in to keep us afloat. I have a list of all my clients, as well as several fairly dependable "back up" (i.e. low paying) agencies that I can get some work with if business is slow to at least ensure I have some money coming in.
I'm working on getting a website up. I doubt the site itself will generate much business, but I'm hoping a nicely done professional website will help lend credibility to proposals. I use a variety of freelance websites to find clients, and have in the past done a little local advertising in relevant publications. I am currently investigating other affordable advertising options as possibilities.
I have a lengthy list of more freelance sites and relevant agencies to apply to, so at least in the short term I have a good list of places to seek work.
I use PayPal most of the time and let a few trusted clients mail me checks. I just got a Payoneer card as well, but I haven't yet figured out if that is something I want to use.
I work from home with my own computer and equipment. It's very unlikely that I would ever have a real reason to rent office space. Thus my overhead is fairly low.
What else do I need to know? What could go wrong here? Are there any huge pitfalls that I'm forgetting about?