Are you considering the possibility of making some extra money on the side? If you are, you wouldn’t be alone. A survey conducted by the Freelancer’s Union and Upwork in the year 2015 revealed that close to 56 million Americans or a third of the workforce work as a freelance contractor or have done some amount of freelance work in the last 12 months.
Check Your Company’s Policies
Even if you hold a regular well-paying job, you can take up additional assignments and do them in your personal time. However, you might want to check with your company’s HR department for their policies regarding allowing employees to take up work on the side. Some companies let employees work as freelance contractors. But, only as long as they take up different kind of assignments that are unrelated to the tasks they do in their regular job. Some other organizations may actually encourage freelance working. That’s because the additional skills and experience that you’ll gain can ultimately benefit them.
Invest in Your Own Equipment
Once you have your company’s go-ahead, arrange for the equipment you’ll need. If you’ve been using company-assigned devices, using them for your work as a freelance contractor may not be ethical. Consider investing in refurbished laptops, cellphones, tablets, or any other equipment you need. These devices are available on all online stores like Amazon, eBay, ReUseTek, Newegg, and others. You can also check with original manufacturers like Dell, Lenovo, Apple and, Samsung, to name a few. These companies have a separate page on their websites where they sell refurbished devices at very economical prices. Take care to choose a gadget that is compatible with the kind of work you’re looking to do.
Work out the Ideal Pricing System
Do all the research you can to find out about the prevailing pricing structure in the market. Also, assess the value of the work you’ll provide. Many freelance contractors make the mistake of quoting prices that are much lower as compared to their skills and the quality of work they deliver. At the same time, quoting too high prices may make it difficult for you to snag jobs. Do keep in mind that clients prefer to work with freelancers in the hope that they can get the job done at economical prices than if they were to work with a company. Also, factor in the fees, taxes, costs of utilities, internet expenses, and any other overheads you’ll incur.
Learn Time Management Skills
Holding a full-time job and working on the side cannot be easy. You’ll have to carefully manage schedules so you can make money but also keep up with personal commitments and obligations. This is especially true if you’re a single parent or caring for elderly dependents. Learn to juggle schedules so you have enough time to devote to your freelance contractor career. But, ensure that you don’t compromise on your health and quality of output in everything you do.
Learn Marketing Strategies
As long as you’re working in an established company, you need not worry about managerial tasks. These can include choosing the best-paying jobs, advertising your business as a freelance contractor, or creating and sending proposals. Nor, will you have to worry about acquiring clients, keeping track sheets of assignments completed and delivered, and getting paid in time. An important facet of freelance working is to negotiate prices that are fair and reasonable so you make good money. Once you begin working on the side, you’ll have to learn all these skills as well. By managing such tasks efficiently, you’ll have a better chance at maximizing your earnings while working on the side.
Build an Extensive Network
Never pass up on an opportunity to sell yourself and your business. Sign up with networking websites like Linkedin, Facebook, Google+, and any others where you can get in touch with people working at similar jobs and prospective clients. Work hard to deliver great results and then ask satisfied clients to refer you to their family and friends. If you’ve started a freelance contractor business in a niche entirely different from your company, you can also ask colleagues for referrals. Consider offering to work free of cost by way of advertising. Say, you design an awesome website for a close friend. You’ll have the opportunity to show it off to potential clients looking for demonstrations of your skills.
Freelance Work can be Rewarding and Profitable
By using these 6 strategies, you can begin your freelance contractor business on the side and make good money. Aside from the extra income, you’ll have the opportunity to develop and explore your creativity and a whole different range of skills set. Eventually, if your business grows well, you might even be able to give up your regular job and focus your entire attention on this brand new venture you’ve successfully set up.