The UK’s gig economy has continued to grow and according to the latest figures, there are now around 2 million freelancers in the UK. Whether you’re looking for a job with more variety, to strengthen your skill set in a certain industry, or want a job with flexible working hours, freelancing is a great way to leave behind your 9am-5.30pm job and explore your options.
What is a freelancer?
A freelancer is someone who is self-employed and provides their skills to a variety of different businesses, on a flexible basis. Freelancers work on both short-term and long-term projects which vary in size and there is no expectation of a permanent single client.
Some common freelance work includes marketing and PR, website design, graphic design, programming, photography and videography, fashion, data entry and bookkeeping, and writing of blogs and editorials.
Benefits of becoming a freelancer
There are several reasons to start freelancing:
- It offers a more flexible work schedule than full-time employment, allowing you to work part-time or during off-business hours if you want to.
- It gives you the opportunity to follow your interests and pick and choose what assignments to take on.
- You can work from anywhere, as many jobs require just a laptop and internet connection.
- As a freelancer, you have more freedom to negotiate your rate of pay.
- It allows for greater independence.
- You can use freelancing to generate extra income alongside your normal job if you are initially unsure whether running your own business is for you, or whilst you build up your client portfolio.
The downside to being a freelancer
Whilst the benefits far outweigh the downsides to freelancing, it is still worth considering the following:
- When you first begin freelancing the pay is often low, and it can take a while to increase.
- It can take time to sufficiently build up your jobs to equal that of a full-time income.
- Work can be irregular so you need to plan for periods of little to no income.
- You need to be organised, as managing clients and projects can be confusing and needs to be planned to avoid overlapping.
So, the question remains- should you become a freelancer?
When you first start freelancing it may seem daunting, but freelance work can be found just about anywhere in the UK. The best place to start to find potential clients is on freelance job sites such as Upwork and Freelancer. You can also join an association within your industry which will give you the opportunity to network with like-minded professionals and potential clients. Through the association, you may also hear about job opportunities and learn more about the market which you are operating in.
Becoming a freelancer could be one of the most rewarding things you ever do but becoming your own boss means you have no one to report to and it is up to you to find your clients, as well as choosing the hours you work. For some people, this means more freedom and greater control. However, it’s important to create a plan and a routine and stick to it. Set yourself goals and follow a structure to remain disciplined and keep yourself on track with work and targets.
Still unsure whether you should become a freelancer? Speak to one of our helpful experts
Churchill Knight Umbrella is backed by providing 20 years of compliant accountancy and payroll to contractors. Regardless of your contract rate, length or industry, our friendly experts are happy to offer advice and answer any queries you may have.
Our service is easy to use and you can count on our expert team to support you throughout your contract work. If you would like to speak to one of our team about our accountancy and payroll options, please call 01707 871622 or request a callback or complete the short form on this page.