Up, Up and Away
Youve got money in the bank, a great plan for moving
forward and the guts to make the leap. Now what?
The most important thing you can have in-hand when you leave
full-time employment is several people or organizations that
have already agreed to send work your way. Clients are your
ticket to success as a freelancer, and if you can start out
with a reliable few, youre ahead of the game.
If at all possible, begin moonlighting while still employed.
By creating your own business on the side, you can gauge your
skill set, get a feel for the market, and create a portfolio
of results and references before you hit the streets.
A word of caution: some businesses have regulations against
employees operating side businesses, especially competing
ones. Check out your companys policy--and even if your
company has no formal rules against moonlighting, make sure
your own work takes place on your own
time. Dont use the companys equipment or supplies,
either--a sure sign of an amateur.
Another great move when launching yourself is to maintain
a positive relationship with your former employer. Not only
might they become a client themselves, they may be able to
steer business in your direction. And they could be an important
safety net--should you decided to return to the fold if things
dont work out on your own.