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5 Tips To Maximize Your Income | Freelance Sprout | Find, Start, and Grow Your Dream Freelance Business
Read the six part series on creating a freelance business plan
 

5 Tips To Maximize Your Income

Date February 11, 2009


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Whether you refer to yourself as a freelancer, an independent contractor or a sole proprietor the end result is the same, you enjoy the opportunity of working each day at a job you love with the added benefit of being your own boss. There is no arguing that working for yourself comes with a bevy of bonuses that many people envy, however one thing that many freelancers have in common is the lack of “predictable” income. This is not to say that all freelancers fly-by-the-seat of their pants but many will agree that their income has definite periods of ups and downs. One week you may wonder where your next pay is coming from and the following week you have more projects and clients than a single person can handle. For individuals with such “flexibility” in their income the following tips may provide some insight on how to maximize your income.

  • Make the most of your time- When you answer only to yourself it may become easy to find other things that you could be doing besides working. This is especially true for people who work from home. It is important to not only track your time but to recognize when you are most productive and take advantage of that time. If you are most creative first thing in the morning, make sure you commit that time to working versus running errands or doing other activities. By valuing your time you will be more likely to produce quality work in a shorter period of time which is the most time and cost effective way to work.
  • Don’t undersell yourself- If you are new to freelance work you may find yourself jumping at any offer to work. While this may be necessary when you are starting out, once you have established yourself in your field it is important to charge a rate that reflects the value of the service/product you are offering. In this economy everyone is trying to save a buck but that should not cause you to undersell yourself or the value of the work you are providing.
  • Don’t accept every project- Sometimes you will find a client who simply requires too much time for too little in return. It is important for not only your income potential but also your creative psyche to work on projects that you enjoy or in the very least find satisfaction in completing (even if the satisfaction is the paycheck).
  • Send invoices in a timely manner- It stands to reason if you expect to be paid in a timely manner you must do your part and send invoices in a timely manner as well. If you find you work on multiple projects from multiple clients simultaneously you may be wise to either employ a bookkeeper or accountant or do-it-yourself with a good web-based invoicing tool, like Blinksale.com or Freshbooks.com. Choose whichever method works for you to ensure you are requesting payment for all projects that have required your time.
  • Prepare for the expected- Your income may come in bursts but your expenses are likely fairly routine. To reduce stress in your life and increase the likelihood that all your bills get paid it is important to have a budget or spending plan in place to help manage your personal finances.
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Related posts:

  1. How to Improve Cash Flow When You Are Self-Employed
  2. 4 Tips For Successful Freelancers
  3. Disorganization Costs the Freelancer Money

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