Starting out in any small business is a challenging endeavor. In the digital age, there are more opportunities than ever to take your career into your own hands and join the freelance revolution… But that also means that there’s more competition than ever. Then there’s the problem clients that you have to hound constantly for payment, and the myriad day to day problems that can compromise your productivity and keep you chasing your own tail so that you don’t have time to plan your business strategically.
In such a fraught climate, the last thing you need to worry about unnecessary overheads. Like any small business owner, freelancers walk a fine line between investing in areas that will facilitate growth while cutting down on unnecessary costs. What constitutes a necessary overhead will very much depend on the nature of your business, but there are some areas where virtually everyone can save money.
Your phone bill
Most freelancers (especially those in their early stages) spend a lot of time hustling for new clients and new contracts. While a good deal of this may be over email exchanges or even Skype calls, you’re likely also making a lot of outbound calls. If this is the case, you likely found that your phone bill has skyrocketed. If this is the case, you desperately need to change your tariff with your current provider or switch to another service provider who can give you adequate business phone systems.
You may well find that switching to VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) saves you a small fortune in outgoing calls. Plus, your rates will be more favorable, your service will be more reliable and you can even use it when on the go.
In their early days many freelancers (particularly writers) work from home or find a cosy nook in their local coffee shop. This works just fine for some, but as their business and client base expands, it soon ceases to be fit for purpose. They start to want the prestige of an office space to assure their clients of their professionalism.
The trouble is that this can be a pretty sizeable (and largely unnecessary) overhead. While it’s understandable that you may want a prestigious office address, this does not mean that you need to fork out large amounts of money to get it.
It’s understandable that you’d need an online presence to serve as a portfolio for your work and skills, as well serving as a tool to advertise your services. That doesn’t mean that you need to sink a chunk of your monthly profits on the wrong web hosting deals. Many new freelancers don’t realize that you can save money by buying their domain name and their hosting services from different companies.