If you are looking to become a freelancer/contractor but you are nervous about how to do it the below information should be extremely helpful.
- Register for an ABN
- Set strategic prices for your services
- Learn how to create Invoices – or hire a bookkeeping service
- Get Insurance and make sure you are legally compliant
- Create examples of what you can deliver
- Be an expert in your niche
- Start looking for work/clients
- Register for an ABN: If you are not working through a contractormanagement company, you will need an Australian Business Number. This unique 11-digit code identifies the business to the government and community before you start sending out orders, invoices and making money. This can be done easily online via abr.gov.au; always make sure if you are Googling not to click on the first link as this is usually an ad. Always look for government sites when registering anything to do with your business. https://www.abr.gov.au/business-super-funds-charities/applying-abn Before applying, please consider talking to a Contractor Management company first as there may be an easier alternative than setting up your own ABN.
- Set strategic prices for your services: You must consider your own value. If you are currently employed, take your yearly salary, add on at least 30% or more (as you must take into consideration insurances, your time for invoicing, slow periods etc), then divide it by 220 days and then divide that by 8 hrs… that will give you a minimum hourly rate for the value of your time. Once you have that value, you can check the market rate, remember if your talents or services are niche or unique, you can always charge a premium. It’s easier to bring your prices down than put them up.
- Invoicing – bookkeeping: As a freelancer/contractor, you will have to make sure you are on top of your invoices and accounts/bookkeeping. Assuming you’ll have multiple contracts to finish, raising/chasing invoices and collecting debts may be a hassle for you. You will require a good bookkeeping/accounts person or company to ensure you are on top of your cash flow. For this, you may consider outsourcing your back-office services to a third party like Pendragon Management.
- Insurance: You will need to have the correct insurance cover, which can be very expensive. You should talk to your accountant or get professional advice from an insurance broker to make sure you are adequately insured for your skillset within the industry you are working. If you are running through a third party such as a recruitment or contractor management company like Pendragon Management, they will cover you for all the necessary insurance.
- Create examples of what you can deliver: One of the best ways to attract clients is by showing them your skills through the previous work you might have done. Regularly posting content, blogs, images, or videos will help you impress your target audience and let them know what you can do for them.
- Be an expert in your niche: Definitely, there will be a lot of competitors in your industry that will voluntarily charge much less than you do, most probably because they are providing an inferior service and can afford to undercut you… position yourself as an industry expert and share your knowledge with your clients. Be sure to sell yourself rather than put your competitors down it’s much more professional to be the bigger person and rely on your own talents to win and retain business.
- Start looking for work: Finding work as a freelancer/contractor can be challenging. You can use business connections if you have any or do a little bit of social media marketing to let your target audience know about you. Moreover, there are websites like Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, Indeed and many more to help you get started. Once you have a few clients under your belt, don’t be shy about asking for referrals from them; more than likely they will know someone who needs your services.
If you just don’t know where to start or are confused about what’s involved in invoicing or compliance and would like some expert advice, we are happy to help. Everything you need we do this is our business we are contractor management specialists and we’re happy to help.
To contact us on our website, click here: