Understanding how appealing freelance services are helps you to see how your services might be successful in today’s financial climate
In a post-Covid Britain it is a good time to consider the pros and cons of freelance work. One of the key trends we are seeing right now is flexibility. Being able to adapt, work in different ways and explore options is vital to surviving in an uncertain time. If you have a set of skills that can be offered widely, why not consider how you can enjoy a different kind of employment?
One of our clients was a marketing manager working in the IT sector. He took his skillset, packaged it as a freelance offering and tested the market. After securing his first contract he took a gamble and offered his resignation, along with his freelance services, to his employer. The employer was attracted by the new arrangement as he paid only for productive outputs and just for the time he needed him. This was the foundation of a highly successful self-employed career that has spanned three decades.
Now we’re not saying that this will work for everyone but certainly setting up as a freelancer has huge potential in the current climate. If this is interesting to you, undertake some research and a viability study into becoming self-employed. We will cover this is a future article in more detail but you need to know what you can offer, to whom and whether the service is required. How large is your market? What growth potential is there? What could you charge? We’ll provide a checklist to help with this.
Why would someone use your freelance skills?
1. Your client pays only for what you produce. For them this is great as they don’t pay for the time your printer won’t work or for the moments you are sat staring into space! For you, it means you have to be on your game and accountable for everything you are billing for.
2. As a freelancer, you will probably have a wealth of contacts at your disposal who you can collaborate with and bring in to projects that exceed your own skillset or time available. If you don’t, then now is the time to create a network easily and quickly online. Use recommendations and referrals where you can. You can work together and produce exactly what’s needed, all through one point of contact (that’s you!).
3. Overheads are low and the client receives the benefit of this in your costs. They don’t pay for your company car, pension scheme, sick pay and other costs. They just pay for what they’ve asked for without any of the traditional costs of employing someone.
4. The same applies to workspace – as you’ll be set up to work from any number of places such as a home office, maybe occasionally at your client’s premises or even the local coffee shop, the client no longer funds space and equipment specifically for you. We’ll cover IR35 in a future article which has an impact on how working at a client office or predominantly for one client might affect your tax position and indeed your freelance status.
5. Easy come, easy go. Unless you tie up your client in a heavy contract, they are able to use your services as required. Sometimes more, sometimes less and sometimes not at all. This is their luxury and makes you very appealing.
6. Freelancers are hungry. They are only engaged for as long as they are useful. In our experience this makes the freelancer a hugely attractive option as they fight to keep their clients’ attention by producing high quality work. There’s no room for complacency!
7. For clients who want to be sure you are going to be a regular supplier, they may choose to pay you on a retained basis where you agree a fee for a set number of hours each month. This gives both parties some security and consistency.
8. Clients can choose specialists instead of a jack of all trades. For example, an IT computer specialist might not be a web designer so these two types of freelancer can be taken on separately so you have those who are the very best at what they do on your team.
You can see that in today’s workplace, where there is a high level of uncertainty, employing freelancers has its merits. We are evolving from an existing and growing ‘gig economy’ where freelancers work from project to project. Post-Covid Britain can only benefit from this growing pool of accessible talent.
In our next article we’ll explore what it takes to set up as a freelancer but if you’d like to chat it through with us now, please do get in touch.