The freelance revolution is here, and Nigerians are not left out. People are no longer relying on an HR manager in some company somewhere to make their dream job happen. They are finding their our own clients right from the comfort of their homes. More than any other generation, this generation is pursuing passions that are freeing, exhilarating, but quite frankly, a little risky.
Yes, doing your own thing, your own way may sound exciting, but here are the most important things to consider when you’re preparing financially for a freelance career:
Nigeria is recovering from its worst recession in decades, which simply means there isn’t much money going round. So, before leaping into the freelance world, ensure you are stocked up for the better part of the year.
For the unemployed or fresh graduates, this may be a stretch, but try to save up something, no matter how little. You never know when you might be out of freelance work—or for how long—and you can never have too much in savings.
You may never be able to pay your bills if your product or service is priced too low. Considering your time and product worth, be prepared to ask for a competitive rate. Remember, your competitors are charging but still get patronage.
There are a slew of factors to consider when setting pricing for your product or service. So it’s wise to invest some time in deciding your rates before starting out.
Usually, in other climes, everyone who earns money pays tax. In Nigeria, it’s quite easy to evade tax, but when you do start freelancing, keep in mind that someday, the government might decide to start hitting defaulters with interest and penalties.
All that money you thought was yours? Yeah—the government may want a good chunk of it back.
In addition to covering your cost of living, you’ll need to plan for your operational expenses, too. This may include a business name (costs vary by business type), website development, business cards, networking strategies, and training.
You may also need a computer, printer, or other office equipment and software.
In the freelance world, one thing is for certain: there will be a time when you’re not making much money or any at all. So, long before that ever happens, think of how to address it so you wouldn’t have to run back to the corporate world once things get tough.
Are you ready to start freelancing? Do you have concrete plans mapped out? We’d love to hear about them.