In a blink of an eye 2015 has flown by, here we are hurtling towards November and what do you know, it’s nearly the end of the year. The start of a new year normally is the signal for many peoplefreelancing in 2016 to take the plunge on either a new job or stepping out into the freelance world. Many will have been pondering through the year about making a move, putting things off because ‘the time isn’t right’.

However the turn of a new year often brings that kick up the backside many need. So if you’re taking the plunge into freelancing in 2016, what should you be doing now in preparation?

Our tips for newbie freelancers heading into 2016

  • If you are going to be working remotely as a freelancer, get a workspace organised. Don’t leave it until you actually start up freelancing. Get everything you will need, including any hardware like printers and office furniture. The sooner you get things in place the quicker it will feel like your dedicated work spot when you actually start your freelance work.
  • Join freelance communities and forums now to pick up any information that will help you start out as a freelancer. If you plan to start in the new year, use the next few months to pick up tips and get involved with an online community, they will be more inclined to offer up support in the future if they know who you are.
  • Sign up for an accountant now. There are a number of things you will have to do if you are transferring from full-time employment over to being a freelancer. Again, don’t leave it until you start freelancing, now is the time to select a good accountant and inform HMRC of your plans. Check out our accountant guide here
  • Start looking around for new clients now! Building a reliable pipeline of work is the key to being a successful freelancer.  Start with people you know, make them aware that you will be freelancing your skills next year, they will also be more inclined to recommend your services – start that ball rolling now.
  • Brand yourself. Get a website, business cards and social network in place so everything is ready for the new year. You want to start off with a bang, having your brand in place (either of yourself or business) will make you stand out from the rest.
  • Set goals for the new year. 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months. Use these as guides only, things will change. You will quickly learn that being adaptable and flexible are the key components to becoming a great freelancer!
  • Seek out any online resources that will help you, there are a number of great places you can find lots of free apps or software. Check out our resources page

Above all be prepared! If you’re moving from full time employment to becoming a freelancer in 2016, get things in place now!