19 of 2019

19 of 2019

From:  
Tips and Predictions from 19 hot freelancers

New year, new you. The famous words many of us hear ourselves saying come January 1 each year. For some people, these resolutions define the rest of the year for them, for others, well... let’s not go there.
But what about if you’re running a business: do you set yourself yearly goals? Or are you looking at taking the plunge into freelancing this year? Modern Work asked 19 freelancers about their tips, predictions and goals (personal/business) for 2019.

Caroline Morgan, IPSE Chair, business change consultant

What is your goal for 2019?
To improve my work-life balance  and learn to surf. 

What was the best piece of advice you were given when starting out?
Develop a good network, as future work will more than likely come from someone you know.

Will Brexit affect your freelancing business? If so, how?
There’s a chance that if Brexit causes the economy to dip then my clients may have less to spend on projects and programmes, so my business may be impacted. 

What are your top networking tips?
Smile; ask questions that you’re genuinely interested in; have a polite way of ending the conversation for when you want to move on.

Iona Bain, 30, Founder of the Young Money Blog and Agency, IPSE Freelancer of the Year 2018 winner

What is your goal for 2019?
To take my blog to the next level, establish my online crash course, attract more readers and do more videos.

What was the best piece of advice you were given when starting out in business? 
Question everything.

How have you dealt with late payment from clients?
A polite but firm email outlining possible legal action always does the trick.

How do you manage your finances?
I keep digital and physical records of everything and do my own tax returns.

What are your top networking tips?
Listen more, talk less, be polite, not pushy, make a note of people’s names.

Alex Massie, 44, Freelance journalist, columnist for The Times, Scotland Editor of The Spectator

What is your goal for 2019?
Maintain work at 2018 levels and thereby, boringly, increase my pension contributions. 

What was the best piece of advice you were given when starting out?
Always reply to emails promptly and, unless it is unavoidable, never turn down work. 

Will Brexit affect your freelancing business? If so, how?
Hitherto and on a personal level, Brexit has been good for trade. Uncertain, complicated times make newspapers more essential than ever. Of course, I would think that. 

Who do you think will be Britain’s Prime Minister in January 2020?
Theresa May.

Katy Carlisle, 37, Squarespace web design and training

What is your goal for 2019? 
Live more simply. I’ve been decluttering at home, but I’d like to apply the principles to my business too. 

 

What was the best piece of advice you were given when starting out? 
Be yourself and don’t worry if that means you put some people off. Quality is better than quantity.

How have you dealt with late payment from clients? 
Find out the problem and be annoyingly persistent when chasing up. 

How do you manage your finances? 
Coconut (banking for freelancers), Finto (plan and track income goals) and Simple Tax (self assessment without the jargon).

What are your top networking tips?
Find the right people for you, know what you want, and don’t feel pressured to make a decision.

Jennifer Corcoran, 45, LinkedIn consultant

What is your goal for 2019?  
Release my online course ‘LinkedIn Profile Success’ in February. And relocate to Devon in March. 

What was the best piece of advice you were given when starting out? 
To get a mentor/coach, surround myself with positive people, to outsource what doesn’t come naturally and to believe in myself. 

How have you dealt with late payment from clients?
All of my services are payment up front to avoid this scenario. 

How do you manage your finances?
I use a CRM called Dubsado and I also have a book keeper.  

What are your top networking tips?
When meeting fellow networkers, SHINE: smile, handshake, ‘eye’ contact, name and be enthusiastic.

Abigail Baldwin, 24, Co-Founder of Creative Studio, Buttercrumble

What is your goal for 2019?
To refine the industries that I truly want to work with. As I become more experienced, I am more  selective. 

What was the best piece of advice you were given when starting out? 
Strike while the iron is hot! If you procrastinate, your business will never blossom when starting out.

Will Brexit affect your freelancing business? If so, how?
I hope not. I believe we’re a resilient workforce and will support other businesses during this turbulent change.

How do you manage your finances?
We check our accounts weekly and evaluate monthly. It’s formed into a regular habit, which helps us stay in control.

Stephen Ward, 60+, Entrepreneur 

What is your goal for 2019? 
Launch a Cannabis startup and gain  affordable online marketing knowledge.

What was the best piece of advice you were given when starting out?
A genuine handshake is better than an unenforceable contract.

Will Brexit affect your freelancing business? If so, how? 
Brexit cannot happen because the EU will only offer draconian terms, which cannot be accepted. This is to deter several others who would follow suit.

Who do you think will be Britain’s Prime Minister in January 2020?
Difficult; I think that Corbyn is still not electable but cannot see how May can survive. I think that the UK needs a new, credible third party.

Emmeline Pidgen, 30, Freelance illustrator

What is your goal for 2019? 
I’m looking to move further into developing my own author/illustrated projects for both comics and book work. 

What was the best piece of advice you were given when starting out? 
To just keep at it! Having really great feedback for my work, and people who believed in me definitely helped.

How have you dealt with late payment from clients?
I’m tougher with payment terms now, and have been able to weed out bad clients from my list.

How do you manage your finances?
I keep spreadsheets detailing incomings and outgoings, and (against the unfortunate stereotype of a creative person) really enjoy being completely organised with it!

Chris Pipe, 41, Founder of Planning House (Town Planning Consultancy)

What is your goal for 2019? 
Expanding Planning House. My first employee started in January and I’m looking to develop the team further as the year progresses.

Will Brexit affect your freelancing business? If so, how? 
I am in the construction industry so Brexit is a worry. If the housing market declines further this could have a severe impact on my business.

How do you manage your finances?
With a great accountant who doesn’t mind me asking lots of trivial questions.  I use FreeAgent accountancy software, which I’ve found easy to use.  

Who do you think will be Britain’s Prime Minister in January 2020? 
I have no idea.

Brian McConnell, 43, Software engineer

What is your goal for 2019? 
To ride out the storms of Brexit and IR35 reform.

Will Brexit affect your freelancing business? If so, how? 
Yes I believe it could do by causing harm to the foundations of our economy, and firms will reduce budgets and delay projects. Very worrying.

How do you manage your finances?
Good old Excel!

What are your top networking tips?
Don’t confuse “networking”, which can feel forced, with simply building and using a network of contacts you can rely on — and they can do likewise.

Who do you think will be Britain’s Prime Minister in January 2020? 
I can see Keir Starmer and Amber Rudd fighting it out in a hastily constructed Westminster Collosseum. 

Harvey Morton, 20, Managing director of ‘Harvey Morton Digital’

What is your goal for 2019?
To achieve a better work/life balance — I’m terrible for working round the clock. 

What was the best piece of advice you were given when starting out?
Don’t let anybody ever tell you that you’re not good enough. Focus on what matters.

How have you dealt with late payment from clients?
I now use automated invoice reminders and once payment is 30 days late, I suspend their services (this usually prompts them to pay)! 

What are your top networking tips?
Make the most of NOT working and be present, speak up and shout about your successes; and always follow up with those you’ve met, it really does make a difference.

Andrew Vorster, 53, Innovation catalyst

What is your goal for 2019?
To increase the number of clients I have on a monthly retainer basis to smooth out my cash flow a bit more. 

What was the best piece of advice you were given when starting out? 
Bill for outputs, not for hours - and get a 50 per cent deposit up front! 

How do you manage your finances?
Carefully. As a sole trader not (yet) VAT registered, my business is still so uncomplicated that I use a spreadsheet to track all income, invoices, payments, expenses and receipts.

What are your top networking tips?
Always carry business cards: you never know where your next lead will come from.

Who do you think will be Britain’s Prime Minister in January 2020? 
Sajid Javid

Daryl King, Managing director of A New Narrative Limited, coach and consultant

What is your goal for 2019?
To continue doing good work with good people, and being able to take care of those I need to.

What was the best piece of advice you were given when starting out?
To accept that I couldn’t be an expert in everything myself, and to buy in services as needed. In my case, employing a good accountant was the first thing I did.

Will Brexit affect your freelancing business? If so, how? 
I’ve a number of European clients, so I’m keeping a close eye on what this might mean for things like the existing VAT arrangements.

What are your top networking tips?
Be curious, listen more than you speak, don’t try and sell before you’ve built relationships.

Kuljeet Chhabra, Website engineer

What is your goal for 2019?
Provide better customer care experience and increase my number of clients.

What was the best piece of advice you were given when starting out? 
The best advice given by my professor in university was if you want to succeed you have to change yourself with the changing world.

What are your top networking tips?
Use social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. Meet people through other people such as your old clients. Before you start networking, it’s important to have a clear agenda so you won’t waste your time.

Who do you think will be Britain’s Prime Minister in January 2020? 
Micheal Gove.

Caitlin McEvoy, 27, Graphic designer and blogger

What is your goal for 2019?
To make the switch to being a full-time freelancer. Failing this, a steady stream of client work and funds to make the switch possible next year. 

How have you dealt with late payment from clients?
Money is such an awkward topic but you’ve got to keep on-top of those late payments. I’ve recently added a deadline on invoices to which a late fee will be added. 

What are your top networking tips?
Networking isn’t always about business – its useful just to meet similar, like-minded people. Be yourself, show interest and, most importantly, have fun.

Who do you think will be Britain’s Prime Minister in January 2020? 
Barack Obama – wishful thinking.

Yassmin Abdel-Magied, 27, Writer/ broadcaster 

What is your goal for 2019?
I’m hoping to get a book deal for my third book, which is very different from my first two. 

What was the best piece of advice you were given when starting out? 
There are peaks and troughs - everyone has them - so always keep some money aside for the tough times.

How have you dealt with late payment from clients?
God, this is my bugbear. I just continue harassing them until they pay up!

How do you manage your finances?
It’s all about cash flow. I’m still learning to be honest.

What are your top networking tips?
Treat folk as people, not as tools for your end game. Be generous without expectation. Have fun!

Ruby Beattie, 51, IT project / service manager

What is your goal for 2019? 
My personal goal is to develop skills in agile project management methods, putting the theory into practice.

Will Brexit affect your freelancing business? If so, how? 
Yes.  I think there will be a movement of companies out of the UK, and demand for IT freelancers will decrease.

How do you manage your finances?
Badly! I’m always ‘running at the coo’s tail’, and use excel spreadsheets. My accountant is a patient man.

What are your top networking tips?
Mutual respect, a positive outlook and reliability go a long way. 

Who do you think will be Britain’s Prime Minister in January 2020? 
Theresa May, but I’d prefer to have an ex PM in charge: John Major.

Luke Nicholson, 31, Accent Coach

What is your goal for 2019?
To launch my new online pronunciation course by the end of the year. 

What was the best piece of advice you were given when starting out? 
Focus on getting money in (rather than spending too much time on passion projects).

How have you dealt with late payment from clients?
I always take payment in advance. 

How do you manage your finances?
Excel spreadsheets. You can use them to record finances, budget and visualise data. 

What are your top networking tips?
Smile, don’t get too close to the person you’re speaking to, exchange business cards. 

Who do you think will be Britain’s Prime Minister in January 2020? 
Will Britain survive 2019?

Kerry needs, 34, Freelance copywriter

What is your goal for 2019? 
To create another revenue stream, preferably passive like an online course.

Will Brexit affect your freelancing business? If so, how? 
No thankfully, as I am based 100% remotely and work with clients all over the world via online platforms.

How have you dealt with late payment from clients?
I usually send an extremely polite ‘if you would be so kind’ notice and that generally gets payment. If not, I inform them that unfortunately the next step would be a statutory demand. I haven’t had to go there, yet.

How do you manage your finances?
I keep a weekly tracker, and I have a target for each month so I know where I’m up to with my goal.