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Can freelancing project be done as a full time profession too?

 
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Many people do Freelancing projects along with their job in their free time.I think part time freelancing is common. I want to know whether it can be done as a full time career once you quit your job. I work in India and thinking about whether it can be done full time as a profession too later in life.
 
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Definitely. I was freelancing full-time for about a year before I joined my current company (which was earlier my customer). It's important to build first a good network of contacts before quitting your job. A good freelancer gets his job through his contacts and their recommendations. In my case, I think first 3 or 4 months I was getting most customers through posting on forums and so on. Later, virtually all my jobs were from old customers or from friends of old customers.

I do not know India's law, but many countries offer possibility to create one-person companies, aka self-employment. That way you can send invoices, pay taxes and have your business running fully legally.

Successful freelancers often convert into fully working companies hiring other people. There can come a time when one has too much for to do and he needs help. I never get to this point, I just limited myself to hiring other freelances per-project basis to help. But I have one friend who is running his own office with a few employees and doing business with big local companies.

One thing to remember with freelancing, is that you will be one-man-army. You will have to do all the paper work, taxes, organization stuff, and so on. It can take a lot of work but it pays off.
 
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Why not work as a contractor/freelancer onsite for larger client? The hardest part of freelancing is to be able to continuously find work. You need to have good contacts. The freelancing sites are low cost sites. Working for a larger client in an ongoing contractual basis can be more rewarding.
 
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Adam Scheller wrote:. . . It's important to build first a good network of contacts before quitting your job. . . .

And when the book you won last week arrives (congratulations) you will see that John Sonmex has lots of suggestions about how to make such contacts.

one-person companies, aka self-employment. That way you can send invoices, pay taxes and have your business running fully legally. . . ..

You can also legally claim all sorts of things as expenses against your taxes.
 
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Satyaprakash Joshii wrote:I want to know whether it can be done as a full time career once you quit your job. I work in India

yes It can be but before taking such decision of leaving current job, you must ponder on it.You need to think of your age, financial condition etc.
First you need to have strong network plus need to persuade customers that you will do your job as they expect you to do. Don't go for OPC(Act Since 2013 in India) as it requires auditors to audit so more expenses(Couple of days ago I had talked with CA for OPC).

You can start without registering you company or firm but the problem with this which I faced is, your client( End users not any company) keeps changing their requirements and asks for more features than decided at the beginning of project and also may face payment problem as there is no legal documentation.

So at beginning don't expect much from customers. Just get experience of understanding customer requirements(Most important thing which I felt when I was doing Freelancing) then technical knowledge which you never know before but you'll learn in this phase.

If want to make it look professional then just register a firm by any name and open current account in local bank which needs less deposit amount. My suggestion is don't leave job immediately, first try to do one project while doing job then once you get confidence that you can get more projects & also hire other freelance(As if you do alone it takes much time to complete all work) then think of leaving job. I don't mean to discourage you but It's very important decision think twice before making it. Best of luck
 
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Agreed with Ganish. Test the waters before jumping in. Also keep an year or more worth of savings as runway if you do decide to jump in.

Ganish Patil wrote:...may face payment problem as there is no legal documentation. So at beginning don't expect much from customers.


From personal experiences, I have come to believe this is not a "may" but a guaranteed "will". IMO, always ask for an advance. Even from client #1. If a client refuses, it's a client you *don't* want.
 
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:And when the book you won last week arrives (congratulations) you will see that John Sonmex has lots of suggestions about how to make such contacts.


I really, really can't wait for that book!

Campbell Ritchie wrote:

one-person companies, aka self-employment. That way you can send invoices, pay taxes and have your business running fully legally. . . ..

You can also legally claim all sorts of things as expenses against your taxes.


Yes, I totally forgot about this one. Not only a new laptop or computer hardware can get deducted from tax, but anything that can be interpreted as a thing required to run the business. Imagination is needed here to get most of this advantage. It's good to consult with a tax consultant before to learn what things can get deducted. One of the best things is that you can get deducted tax from part of your rent, if you dedicate one room as your office. All IT books and magazines can get deducted too, as long as they are related to your business. Visiting remote clients or IT conferences? You can get your transportation and hotel costs deducted as well.
 
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Make sure you check the details of the tax regulations, though. For example in Canada (last I heard) you can deduct the cost of a room in your house as a business expense... provided the room has a separate entrance from outdoors. Things like that can trip you up. Fortunately people who do computer projects tend to be detail-oriented, so it isn't as hard as for other lines of work, but you still have to seek out the details.
 
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Karthik Shiraly wrote:IMO, always ask for an advance. Even from client #1. If a client refuses, it's a client you *don't* want.

I think this strategy may not work for all. Yes you can ask for advance payment to your first client, by chance if your fortunate you may get paid in advance
But most of them would deny because they may be skeptical about whether you will complete job successfully as expected and on time.

I think in first project we better not expect advance payment but make sure your customer really needs that project so once you complete that project he will use it for sure and can be a reference and medium of your work and project example for others who want akin application or different so new customer may trust you by seeing your previous project success.

Unfortunately though you get paid less compared to what you expected (I wish you may not face this situation as I faced ) your profit is that you might learn how much analysis and information gathering is important and new things you will learn as in company we generally get a module to develop but here you have to manage everything from GUI to database and what not.
You also get to know how to implement client's new changes and what sort of problems and bugs you may get in your project and how to tackle them so at the end you earn this in your first project of your first client. From project two you may apply advance payment strategy that's my opinion.
 
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Karthik Shiraly wrote:From personal experiences, I have come to believe this is not a "may" but a guaranteed "will"

Thoroughly agreed! Experienced same
 
Satyaprakash Joshii
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The hardest part of freelancing is to be able to continuously find work. You need to have good contacts. The freelancing sites are low cost sites



Does that apply even if someone is ready to work for low price? If someone has a target of earning around 6 Lakh INR a year, is it still that tough?
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Probably, yes. You will not earn 6lakh. You may earn 1.5lakh for two months and then nothing for two months. You need to earn a lot in a short time to compensate for the time and expense used looking for the next job.

And why should you sell yourself short? If you charge less than everybody else, your customers will assume you are worth less than anybody else If you have done the work you should be paid for it.
 
Satyaprakash Joshii
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And why should you sell yourself short? If you charge less than everybody else, your customers will assume you are worth less than anybody else If you have done the work you should be paid for it.



Was thinking about that strategy to increase the chances of getting work easily (Even if the money earned is less).
 
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There is a risk that people will assume you are no good if you charge less than anybody else.
 
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