Tuesday, January 18, 2022

What are the costs of going freelance?

Freelance work is more popular than it ever has been. According to statistics from the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE), there were around 2.2 million freelancers operating in the UK, of which around 239,000 were freelancing alongside other, salaried employment.

In the wake of the pandemic, freelance operators picked up a lot of the slack left by ordinary business, after pent-up demand meant that the latter could not cater to the needs of their clients. This is backed up by statistics from Capital Hair and Beauty, who provide a range of beauty products to freelance beauticians, including gel nail polishes. The company surveyed 2,000 adults in the UK, and found that more than half would prefer to receive haircuts and other services at home rather than in the salon.

The impact of the pandemic

The researchers cite data from the NHBF, which indicate that there is around one salon for every 1,589 people in the UK. When these people can’t get to the salon, there’s an opportunity for freelancers to pick up the slack.

Another survey found that most self-employed people were apprehensive about the future in the wake of the pandemic. Three fifths of respondents claimed to have decreased their turnover, mostly as a result of reduced spending caused by economic uncertainty.

Why go freelance?

Freelancers enjoy a range of benefits. Since they’re not employed by a given business, they can be selective about the jobs they take on. What’s more, they can take full responsibility for the decisions they take, rather than trusting in the wisdom of managers. This gives them the luxury, in many cases, of choosing their own hours. If you want to accommodate a certain lifestyle or sleep-pattern, then freelance work may be right for you.

On the other hand, this is counterbalanced by a lack of security, and of fringe benefits like a company car or pension.

What skills do you need to be successful?

The qualities you need to succeed will depend on your chosen industry. Hairdressers will need to be able to chat; graphic designers, writers and programmers might be more comfortable just getting on with the job. There are, however, a few skills that all freelancers will benefit from. The ability to market yourself to potential clients is fairly crucial, as is some basic knowledge of accounting. If you’re able to stay on top of your finances, then you’ll have an easier time when the end of the year comes around.

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