(by Andy Bailey, CreativeZone.ae)
When you say the word freelancer out loud it has very powerful connotations. It speaks of freedom but responsibility, flexibility but with purpose. Moreover it says to the world that you are in charge of your own future.
Freelancing has long been the domain of journalists and photographers, artists and consultants. Today it’s an option for everyone. Anyone can be their own boss, decide their own working hours and pick and choose whom they want to work with.
It sounds perfect! Where do I sign?
Actually, it’s not quite as simple as that.
Here in the UAE there is the small matter of a trade license. UAE law dictates that in order to do business here you must be licensed to do so. Furthermore your license states what activities you’re able to perform.
Thankfully there are companies out there who can assist you with obtaining the right license for what you want to do and where you want to do it. The right license for one company may not be the right license for yours. Which is why there are some important things to consider.
Here to help you on your way are Creative Zone’s 5 steps to establishing yourself as a freelancer.
- STEP 1
Do some research and choose your industry carefully. If things go well this could be what you do for the rest of your working life! It’s not enough to just want to do something. Choose an activity or skill that you enjoy and that you can talk about to others with passion and pride. Remember, most people set up their own business because they want to be their own boss, have financial freedom and have flexibility. If you don’t enjoy what you do you may find it hard to motivate yourself later down the line – especially when the only person you have to answer to is yourself!
It’s important to know what market you will be competing in, and make no mistake it is competitive in all markets these days. Find out what other companies are doing. Can you do it better? If so, how? Can you do it cheaper? Money is a huge motivator and business is often won or lost based on the cost. Entering into a new market blindly is as good as not entering it at all. You have to know where your clients will come from, and more importantly how you will keep them as clients. Think long-term if you want to succeed.
- STEP 2
Create a business plan. Although it is not always a requirement to do a business plan in order to get your license, it’s still one of the most vital planning tools for a new company. A business plan is more than just a forecast on where you’ll be in a year, 3 years or 5 years. It also allows you to see things in black and white, and be able to compare your performance later against your predictions. Successful business owners will revise their business plan every year to factor in changes in costs, legislations and budgets. Remember the age old saying; “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.” It’s also worth remembering that most banks will insist on a business plan should you ever need to apply for certain facilities such as business loans, credit cards or card-reading machines.
- STEP 3
Choose your company name. So you know your market and you know how you’re going to do business. You can already picture yourself sipping cocktails on the beach after a hard days work right? Well, almost! It’s time to get creative. Your company name speaks volumes about who you are and what you do. A company name should be catchy but not trivial, memorable and relatively short. Some experts recommend not having more than 10 letters to the name. Don’t be tempted to use words like ‘Elite’ as it gives the impression that your services will be expensive, likewise words like ‘budget’ or ‘discount’ should be avoided for the opposite reasons.
- STEP 4
Get a license. This is often the most daunting aspect of setting up your own business. It is not uncommon for people to delay setting up their company because they don’t want to tackle this problem. Thankfully help is at hand! Creative Zone is able to offer many different set up solutions based entirely on your circumstances, requirements and budget. Whether you are a Consultancy or a General Trading company, there are packages to suit everyone. One of the biggest advantages of setting up your business with Creative Zone is that we already have a panel of experts in place who would be more than happy to help. Whether it’s accounting or law, immigration or labor laws you can get the help and advice you need to assist you in moving your business forward. The best part about it is that once you’ve discussed what you want and what you need, you can sit back and let the experts do all the hard work for you. For Nabbesh users, we are offering a discount on business setup. Have a look here for further details
- STEP 5
Surround yourself with experts. No matter how much you know you can always learn more. It’s always useful to be able to ask an expert when you come up against a tough question or decision. You can use Nabbesh.com to find people with the skills that you need who are experts in their field. Our business development and networking events will put you in touch not only with business owners who are happy to share their past experiences, but also professionals in a range of industries ready to provide ongoing support. You should never be afraid or too proud to ask for help. One day you could be the one giving out the advice!
Establishing yourself as a freelancer has never been so easy. All you need is desire, determination and the 5 steps above.