Here's the final question when doing an evaluation on how you fared during your first six months in 2014 as a freelancing professional:
Did you set up a payment plan that made it convenient for your clients to fork out your freelancer's rates?
For a good number of freelancers, convenience means offering their clients several options (e.g. PayPal, making cash or check deposits through their preferred bank, money transfer, etc.)
For other freelancing professionals, it means adopting an installment plan, where clients pay them their required flat fee and a down payment (50 percent of the roughly estimated amount, or price quote, is the standard operating procedure in freelancing, but lowering it to 30 to 40 percent is reasonable if you're just starting out) before getting started with work. Afterwards, clients make succeeding payments, either within a 10- or 15-day interval, or according to his agreement with the freelancer.
Now, regardless of how you choose to get paid, an even more important financial aspect is establishing a regular cash flow as soon as possible, either through some or all of the following:
- Planning your career, setting both short-term and long-term goals, and then breaking them down into daily routines. This may include deciding how many queries you'll send within a week, how many cold calls you'll make in a month, looking for conventions that would be good for networking, or saving up for that seminar or class that would beef up your credentials.
- Teaming up with a fellow freelancer, or forming a network where several other freelancers are involved, and then setting up an earning-through-referral system. Whenever you get swamped with work and a potential client inquires about your services, you can simply refer him to another freelancer in your network and collect a commission once the project is done.
- Deciding how and when you'll pay your bills, so that you can aim for a comfortable amount that you need to earn monthly to cover all your expenses.
- Formulating strategies so that no client will have any amount left unpaid.
- Having several repeat clients, like entrepreneurs owning small businesses that need an extra hand during tax season, or any company that outsource jobs each time the holidays roll around in order to cut costs and keep their workforce small.