Most Important Skills for a Freelance to Master
Do you think you’ve got the right skills to provide a service, and are you interested in running a freelance business around it? It sounds quite straightforward, but you will need a few key business skills to keep it running. It’s tempting to think these are not important, but you certainly shouldn’t overlook them!
As an entrepreneur, you’re going to need to manage your own work and income. Freelancing is more than just being able to do a particular job; you also need to know how to manage your time effectively, and keeping yourself motivated is another challenge you’ll have to overcome. Brushing up on your communication and negotiation skills will also be beneficial. Finally, you’ll need to be able to manage your finances effectively. Below is a further look into these important skills.
When you are a freelancer, your income is going to be irregular. For some, this can be difficult to come to terms with, while others see it as a challenge. There are going to be months when you simply can’t move for the amount of work, and others when you’ve got nothing to do. Thinking and planning ahead is the way to get around this problem.
Furthermore, working for yourself also means you need to understand the principles of book-keeping. Unless you’ve got a very patient and understanding accountant, you won’t be able to go in at the end of the tax year and drop off your receipts and invoices, leaving them to sort it all out. When it comes to paying taxes, you’ll need a company like Online Tax Return to help out.
Your time is valuable; you don’t want to waste it or give it away freely. To help you manage it better, consider the following:
- Be careful when picking your clients
- Be generous with your estimates of time
- Pick and choose the work you do
- Treat freelancing as your job
Part of time management is keeping yourself motivated and always remembering why you decided to start freelancing. It could be because you wanted to earn more money, work from home, gain more experience or stash money away for the future.
Communicating with Clients
If a client is not happy with the way you communicate, it is unlikely they will come back and hire you again. If communication is good, you’ll enjoy a good relationship with your clients; there will be less confusion, customers will be more satisfied and inclined to recommend you to others. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and provide prompt responses to their queries.
This is a big one because you’re going to need these to come to an agreement on deadlines and your fees. You are going to be asked by some clients for a lower fee or a quicker turnaround than you are happy to agree to. This is when your negotiating skills will come in because you’ll need to work on a compromise. If you can hone your negotiating skills, you’ll find yourself being paid more and not having to work all night to meet a deadline.
Deciding to become a freelancer is a bold move to make. However, with the right skills behind you, there is every chance of success.