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Ready for Freelance? DO's and DON'Ts of Freelancing

Freelancing is exciting and we at Shop a Small Business know it so well. Many small business owners and women entrepreneurs start freelancing to grow their businesses from it. Check a few tips and resources on DOs and DON'Ts of freelancing that can save you time if you are ready to take this step.

Every freelancer has his reasons to jump from a full-time job to freelancing. London Business School/Eden McCallum survey found 67% of freelancers earn the same or more while working fewer weeks than in their previous full-time jobs. But if freelancing were that simple and successful for everyone, they would quit their 9-5 job. So before you decide to go freelance, consider how well you are prepared to take this leap.

Woman on a computer

Check out this flowchart and infographic on freelancing to help you decide if you are ready to become a full-time freelancer. Consider that to produce stable income freelancing has to be run like a business. You become your own boss, and it takes a physical and emotional toll on people. Ask yourself if you are ready to become your own boss.

  • Designate a working space (or spaces) and hours.

  • Research how to find work and schedule time to do so.

  • Plan accounting and administrative time.

  • Determine what tools and software you’ll need and budget for them.

Consider not spending too much money at the very beginning of your endeavors. You don't want to be sitting on a piece of software that you never actually use, or a delivery van that sits in your garage. You might imagine that going freelance is the best and most rewarding thing you would do for yourself, and it truly could be. We just want you to be ready to face the challenges and successfully overcome them.

Here are some DOs and DON'Ts of Freelancing:


  1. Continue learning in your area of expertise. Dedicate time and effort to take an additional class online or in-person courses that would help you to understand your subject better and stay relevant in your field.

  2. Use free social media and other channels to share your projects. It will help your existing clients and potential clients to understand processes better and relate to you. On top of that, you may receive great testimonials and endorsements from your colleagues and customers.

  3. Ask for deposits for your work. It should not be an issue for a solid client. And keep track of your deadlines and progress. It is also a good practice to agree on some kind of monthly or bi-weekly reporting if you are running a long-term project.

  4. There is no such thing as over-communicating with your client. Do make sure you communicate with follow-up emails after your conversations with the client, provide timeline and project expectations, ask for any additional assets you might need for work (digital assets like a logo for example).


  1. Underestimate and neglect your social media presence. Often your social media channels represent your voice, your level of professionalism, and your freelance business.

  2. Work for free. If you add value to the client's business, you should be paid. If you are volunteering in a non-profit, make sure you use this project as an example of your work on social media and your portfolio as well.

  3. Communicate during odd hours. Try to keep your freelance business communications during business hours. Although it might be convenient and productive for you to work late at night or early in the morning, your clients might not agree with receiving texts or emails during odd hours.

  4. Forget me-time. After all, you decided to go freelance to have flexibility in your life. Check some good tips from a mom and business owner on how to make sure you don't forget about yourself during a busy work schedule.

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