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Freelance Idea Roundup Monday - March 10th 2008 | Freelance Sprout | Find, Start, and Grow Your Dream Freelance Business
Read the six part series on creating a freelance business plan
 

Freelance Idea Roundup Monday - March 10th 2008

Date March 10, 2008


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My apologies for getting this out so late. Today’s three ideas are an eclectic mix of freelance opportunities. If you have any experience running one of these businesses, please let me know. I’d love to hear from you.

Database Web Designer

Don’t like the design as much as the technical side of Web development? This is the perfect niche for someone who enjoys putting together fully automated Websites.

This opportunity doesn’t require you to program databases from scratch. Database applications are all over the Web. You can download most on a trial basis. At that, many are in the $100 or less range. You might want to focus in certain industries or with specific applications.

Many small businesses want to update contact information or employee listings. Others want a directory they can post online and update as often as necessary. Your skill will be in providing quick solutions at an affordable price. Stick to well developed and supported applications.

If you plan to focus on a handful of solutions, learn everything you can about each software package. Learn how to install each package on Windows and Linux/Unix platforms. Another option is to find a reliable, and cost effective, host who will let you setup Web databases. Most good shared hosting providers allow you to setup several databases.

This is an option you can offer your clients if their current host does not provide the option or their prices are too high. Visit www.HotScripts.com to search for affordable database application solutions.

Freelance Bookkeeper

In my prior life, I was a financial analyst. Anything dealing in spreadsheets and numbers gets me excited.

Complex tax laws and record keeping are creating a demand for bookkeepers who are proactive, efficient, and organized. Small business owners, in particular, use bookkeeping services to keep up with the ever accounting details they don’t have time for.

Your clients will need help with financial report preparation, payroll, billing, accounts payable, accounts receivables, and bank reconciliation.

The difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant is that an accountant will analyze the numbers, offer advice, and make recommendations. Anything else—correct me if I’m wrong—can be done by a bookkeeper.

You’ll need a good desktop computer or laptop with the required accounting software.

Charging for your services will vary according to the extent of the project, but fees typically fall in the $35 to $55 per hour range. To optimize your billable time, charge clients a monthly retainer fee which includes a fixed number of transactions.

Even though you don’t need any prior experience, you should at least have a basic knowledge of bookkeeping principles, legal and tax knowledge, and a command of a common accounting package.

If you like numbers and enjoy working independently to solve problems, bookkeeping may be a great career for you.

Freelance Newsletter Writer/Designer

The purpose of a newsletter is to provide interesting, informative, and engaging information. 

You will contact local businesses and nonprofit organizations to design, write, and distribute a monthly newsletter. You either need to have graphic design, layout, and writing skills or be able to outsource those functions while you focus on the sales and marketing.

More than likely, your clients will already have a subscriber/distribution list so you can focus the bulk of your efforts on the publishing process.

There are two ways to charge for newsletter publishing—by the page or by the hour. From my research, hourly rates start in the $40 range and can go as high as $100+ per hour.

Potential clients include banks, hospitals, doctor offices, insurance agents, real estate agencies, homeowner’s associations, churches, and more.

You will need a powerful computer with desktop publishing software. You might also want to invest in a good color laser printer for newsletter drafts. But, if you’re going to spend money, invest in the computer part first.

The challenge to this business is coming up with quality information and design every month for multiple clients. If you like to write, but you’re short on design skills, you can team up with a designer to offer a finished product.

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Related posts:

  1. Freelance Idea Roundup Monday
  2. Freelance Idea Monday - Creativity Consulting
  3. Marketing your Freelance Services with an eNewsletter

2 Responses to “Freelance Idea Roundup Monday - March 10th 2008”

  1. Nate said:

    Excellent post! I was in that same boat in that everyone asked what I did for work and I would say I’m a “Web Designer” because that is the popular phrase.

    When in fact I really don’t like designing websites! I consider myself to be a web developer although some would say the same… they are completely different.

    My talents are in php/mysql/ajax etc… I carved out my niche by using pre-made templates / software etc.. and then customizing them for a clients solution…

    So all you people out there that like to make sites… but aren’t really a design oriented person there is room in the market for you.

  2. Jerret said:

    Thanks, Nate. I’m glad you liked the post. Thanks also for the shout out to all the readers.

    -Jerret

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