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What Does It Take to Run a Successful Freelance Business?

Posted by Valencia on March 28th, 2009

Everyone’s definition of success differs. Supporting themselves entirely on freelance income can be the meaning of success for one person, whereas another person has to triple or quadruple their previous income before they feel successful.

I don’t pretend to know the definition of success. But as someone who’s worked solely as a freelancer for the past seven years….I feel good about my business. No, I haven’t published an article in a major national publication, nor have I had a children’s book published. But I am confident that I’ll achieve these goals.

So, what does it take to run a successful business? I don’t have the expert answer…but I do have a few guesses.

  • Perseverance: You won’t strike gold the first week or the first month…but it’ll come.
  • Patience: Clients are iffy, and payments are slow. It’s frustrating, but things normally work out in the end.
  • Self-discipline: There’s no boss telling you to clock in or clock out. You control your business and income. And to make money, you have to get off your butt and find business. Working for yourself isn’t an excuse to sleep late or lie around the house all day.
  • Positivity: Expect ups and downs. Some months (and years) will be better than others. Anticipate setbacks, and consider them an aspect of the business.
  • Desire: Do you really want to run your own business?
  • Common sense: Business and work at home scams are everyone. And con artists look to take advantage of gullible and inexperienced freelancers. If a business deal or opportunity seems fishy…turn it down.

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I’m in Uni and I have a fair amount of knowledge of using photoshop. I was thinking of making a website and try to perform services for clients but I never had any work experience as a designer. So I feel a bit nervous about pulling off a successful freelancing business. Any tips or advice or even steps to start it up?

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