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New business?

Discussion in 'General Business Forum:' started by Neon, Jul 29, 2015.

  1. Neon

    Neon New Member

    Hi, I currently work as a graphic designer in a studio. I am 28 and graduated last year. Since graduating I have worked in house for 6 months and in a studio for now 9 months. I have had previous life/work experience in admin/project management roles that have helped serve as a good foundation for any client contact I have had as a designer. I have had good feedback from each of my roles, both saying I can progress into management eventually. However I am not on a good wage which is motivating me more to set up on my own. I am only on £17,000 per annum.

    My real passion is to start my own business, a freelancer at first then see where it leads. I want to be able to make my own creative decisions and know that if I succeed its because of me and if I fail its because of me. I am very motivated and a hard worker. I know working for myself won't be easy, my plan is to have 3 months wages in the bank to see me through the first period. I need to set up a website/business strategy etc but I was wondering if anyone had advice on setting up freelance. Should I do it sooner rather than later? I know there are pros and cons, lack of security, not working on as creative projects.

    What things do I need to consider? Who else has done this and how have they found it?

    Many thanks,
    Mandy
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    Hi Mandy

    Where in the UK are you based?
     
  3. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    One thing you will learn is that there's NEVER a good time to go freelance. There will always be a reason to hold off for 6 months and over the years those reasons will become bigger and bigger. Take me for example, when I was 23 I wanted to go freelance but decided to get another couple of years experience as I was worried about finding clients, meeting the rent etc... By the time I was 26 I had a baby and partner to consider and putting food on the table was more important than self employment. Now I'm 31, I have 2 children and a partner to support, the rent is quite high in York so I'd need to make a good chunk each month to cover the bills. I'm working 2 jobs, my day job and freelancing in the evenings in the hope that one will eventually supersede the other.

    If you've little or no responsibilities, just do it! If it goes wrong, then it goes wrong, you've only got yourself to blame and its only you who'll suffer. It'll be bloody hard to get going but I'm convinced that the self employed have a much better life that those of us who are stuck working 9-5 to pay for someone else's Bentley.
     
    @GCarlD and Stationery Direct like this.
  4. Neon

    Neon New Member

    Hi, i'm based in Newcastle
     
  5. Neon

    Neon New Member

    Hi Dave, thanks for your words of motivation. It really has helped put things in perspective and I really don't have any responsibilities, no mortgage, children etc. I hope you can eventually get set up freelance, it must be a hard decision when you have children. I keep doing research about freelance and advice and it's just this burning desire I cannot get away from. Like I said, I want to be able to please myself and make my own creative decisions that benefit the client and that I believe in, although I know there are challenges where you also have to please the client.

    I am considering a lot and thinking possibly a little too much about it all, I do want more information in relation to wages too, to find out how relative mine is for the North. It isn't very motivational knowing I am on the same wage as when I was 18 in an admin job. So that is a big option swayer also.
     
  6. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    I'm about there, I get a lot of referrals from a really good agency locally (I'm taking on 3 or 4 projects a month now) so it wont be long for me.

    Just keep plugging on and you'll be fine. Make as many connections as you can within agencies and they should send you bits of overflow work.
     
  7. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    £17K - 19K is pretty standard for a graduate / junior position wage. The most important thing at this stage of your career is to gain experience and learn as much as you can at your current job, as you can use everything you learn there, when you decide to go freelance. Have you thought about maybe easing yourself into freelancing by staying in your current job and working freelance on weekends? And see how you get on.

    To be honest though, if your wages is the only thing that you are unhappy about, I would hold off going freelance (full time) for now. It is a lot harder than you may think. You've been in your job 9 months now, after a year they should really offer you an increase in wage, if all is going well?
     
  8. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    Is that from a local recruitment agency or from a design / web agency?
     
  9. bonsdes

    bonsdes Member

    Can you start getting freelance jobs on the side to do in the evenings? Also go onto Design Network North website & see when the Rise & Design meets are on, they're a great way to learn & meet others in the design business around the north east. If you want to do it you will! Best of luck. PS are you signed up to Concept Personnel? they get freelance work in occasionally or you might just get a better job?!
     
  10. Neon

    Neon New Member

    A design agency
     
  11. Neon

    Neon New Member

    If I were to start freelancing, I am going to try and have a transition whilst working. I am going to start doing a couple of evenings a week and have a goal, possibly in around 6 months time to set up completely full time. All is going well at the design agency, I am completing tasks which are higher than my junior designer role, including project management, cost forecasting, presenting and networking. I am learning a lot which is always helpful. I am starting to keep a log of helpful information business related, which will all help and I am also trying to build a network of creative contacts. So far I know a freelance copywriter, another freelancer, and a developer.
     
  12. Neon

    Neon New Member

    Hi Bonsdes, I have attended a couple of the Rise and Design meets already - I found them brilliant in terms of networking. I would definitely make time for things like design events as I'm sure they are invaluable for freelancers. Also, are there any websites you can sign up to that advertise freelance work? Does anyone have any advice on that? I will look into Concept Personnel, thanks!
     
  13. bonsdes

    bonsdes Member

    Sounds like you're doing all the right things! Best of luck.
     
  14. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    check your contract of employment!!

    Whilst it's a great idea to ease yourself into freelancing slowly, you will probably find that your contract of employment will forbid it and you could get sacked as soon as they find out. In an extreme case they could even try suing you for taking potential customers or some such craziness.

    If there's nothing in your contract, talk to your boss and ask his/her feelings on it. Maybe sell it to them an opportunity to develop your skills and improve yourself. Make it clear you'd not be competing with them for clients.
     

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