Sick of being stuck in the rat race? Want to work a job you love, and from the comfort of your home? We live in an age where it’s perfectly possible to do so, if you’re planning it there here’s what you need to get started.
A quiet place to work
When you’re working from home, it’s easy to think that you have plenty of places to work from. Your bed, your sofa and your dining room table all might spring to mind. But do this, and you’ll quickly find that the boundaries between work and home become blurred.
You end up feeling like you’re constantly ‘at work’ and never properly switch off. It’s much better to have a set area that’s solely for working, you know that when you’re sat there it’s time to get down to business. Once you’re done, you can walk away and know that you’re finished for the day and can mentally detach yourself. It’s important to do this or you can end up burning out, without a proper break you never truly see your work with ‘fresh eyes’ so it’s harder to spot mistakes. Ideally, turn a spare room into your office. At the very least, set up a desk in the corner of a room and define this as your working area.
The right equipment
The best thing about freelancing from home is that you don’t usually need much equipment. It’s not expensive to get started, unlike setting up a business where there are costs of stock, staff hire, premises hire and more to consider. However, there are a few things you’ll need to get started. The first, for almost everyone is a good computer or laptop. If you already have one you’re happy to use, get it into the best condition you can.
Run virus checks, and get rid of any unnecessary files that could be slowing it down. You could do this by emptying your recycle bin, delete browsing history then move large files such as photos and videos to a hard drive or cloud storage. Depending on what you do, you might need to purchase some software, if you’re a graphic designer for example then Adobe’s Creative Cloud softwares will probably be essential. Think about other equipment too, if you want to sell photos or you write a blog that requires nice images then you might need to upgrade your DSLR or buy more lenses.
The right paperwork
As a home based freelancer, in most cases you’ll be classed as a sole trader. You need to go online, and fill in the relevant forms to declare that you’re working for yourself. It’s not complicated, it just makes everything official and ensures that you’re paying the right tax. You’ll need to do this even if you have another job where you’re paying tax as an employee (you can be employed and self employed at the same time). Keep twenty percent of your profits so you can afford your tax bill each year.
Heaps of motivation
Starting up as a freelancer can be a scary career move. If you’re going at this full time, you’re giving up a stable income as an employee for a lot of uncertainty. But stay patient and motivated and it could be the best thing you’ve ever done. Once you’re established, you might well end up earning more than you ever did working for someone else. And doing so working a job you genuinely love.