Before going freelance, there is one thing you must know: A freelance designer’s life is very unstable. This month you can be very busy: you have no time to sleep, all the clients seem to appear out of nowhere (which is actually a good thing) and every day is deadline day. Then BOOM – next month you wonder where they all go. This happens, no matter how good you are.
SO BE PREPARED
Remember to set aside a portion of your monthly income to deal with those difficult times, or when you are waiting for invoice payment. Some big companies are reported to stretch from 30 days to 60 and even 90 days to pay an invoice.
According to Wall Street Journal, a webdesigner in Washington sent a $6,600 invoice to an online retailer for redesigning an online “shopping cart.” He didn’t receive his payment in 404 days after the invoice was issued. The following graph proves that big clients don’t always mean good clients:
Because you don’t often get payment upon completion of the project, having a back-up plan is good. I remember reading a book by David Airey where he stated that he set aside 3-4 months of income before he went freelance. But then again, the amount varies, depending how much saving can make you feel financially secured. If you can’t work well when you have to worry about money constantly, having savings will help.
Being a freelance designer means that you have full control of your money. No company takes a cut of the profits you make, but you have to learn how to plan and use that money wisely.