Freelance web design is becoming a successful business for many people wishing to go self employed. But what inspires these folks to leave the security of full time employment?
This guest article has been contributed by our friends at PeoplePerHour
Being Your Own Boss
A lot has to be said for rolling out of bed in the morning to a leisurely cup of tea before taking a short stroll to the office in the spare room. It certainly beats the daily grind of gridlocked traffic and chasing that elusive parking space. And the extra time saved can be ploughed straight back into your business or used for well earned relaxation: the time is all yours; the choice is all yours.
Being your own boss means you can tailor your workload around your other commitments, whether that involves a young family, a busy social calendar or studying for a university degree. Being your own boss creates the perfect opportunity to dictate your personal work-life balance. As freelance web designer, Phillip Lovelace stated in an interview in March 2010, “I do prefer being able to set my own hours”.
It isn’t just the practical issues that appeal to would be freelance web designers; it is often the creative elements. Many want to break free of bureaucracies that flourish all too often in regular employment. But more than this, freelancers aspire to do their own thing. How much better it is to be rewarded with praise for a good job done and be empowered to see that job through from beginning to end. Working for yourself enables you to achieve just that, or sub-contract out the parts you don’t particularly enjoy yourself.
The overriding seller for many freelance web designers is being able to create without intrusion, without your boss pulling the plug on your project and ultimately being empowered to complete the transference of the image in your head to the blank web page you are designing. As blogger and freelance web designer, Luke van de Paverd attested in an interview in February 2010, “I feel a lot of freelancers are creative types first and business people second”.
For other freelance web designers, the motivation comes from a combination of creativity and work-life balance. It simply enables you to take complete control over all aspects of your life.
So if going freelance is so wonderful, why doesn’t everybody take the plunge? For many of us, going it alone is a pretty frightening thought.
Suddenly there is no-one to turn to if you have a problem. There is a deadline looming with no respect for the fact that you have the flu. There are piles of administrative chores to face from writing contracts to chasing payment, from bookkeeping to filing self assessment tax forms.
Despite the glamour of freelance, the tedious elements are unavoidable. Just as a business has to work hard to succeed, so does a freelancer web designer. But if you are prepared to put in the groundwork and are not above tackling the more menial stuff, freelancing can work for you. Perhaps most importantly, whilst clients will have deadlines and specific requirements, the strategic agenda is yours and no-one else’s.
It can be a daunting decision to take the leap in to the freelance world. Luckily, there are many articles and resources written by freelancers who have taken the risk and are prepared to share they advice. Be sure to bookmark and read the following articles:
- Start Your Own Business by Mark Boulton (essential reading!)
- Starting a Business series from John O’Nolan
- Organise and Manage Your Freelance Business from The Design Cubicle
- Become a One Man Web Agency from .net
- Contract Killer by Andy Clarke
- Invoice Like a Pro by Smashing Magazine
- Estimating Time For Web Projects More Accurately Part1 and Part 2 by Sam Barnes
- 10 Excellent Tips For Designers to Improve Their Income by Web Design Depot