Blog originally posted: 22/7/2015 I was originally going to title this blog” So you wanna be a freelancer” which made me think of the “So you wanna be a boxer “ song from Bugsy Malone….and then I watched the film for the zillionth time ….oops rambling ,back on track.
In the fashion industry lots of us choose to freelance rather than have one permanent job. The reasons are vast including:
Flexibility; being able to work the days and times you choose.
Varity; having the opportunity to work with a wide range of companies and products.
A second income; to fund a business or boost your income from a main job.
There are some disadvantages though
No financial security, you can sometimes go weeks, or in my case during the height of the recession, months without work. You need to ensure you put money aside for the quiet times.
No holiday or sick pay, again you need to set money aside.
The biggest issue you will come across as a freelancer? BAD PAYERS…( Booooo hisssss…grrrrrrrr)…..yep I have had to deal with a few of those. Sadly this is one of the most common problems freelancing within the fashion Industry. Here are some tips to try and avoid this happening
BEFORE doing any work for a new company, get them to sign a terms and agreements document stating penalties if payments are not made on time. Make sure you keep digital AND hard copies
Invoice weekly; companies are more likely to pay small invoices quicker than bigger ones.
Ensure all invoices are emailed to ensure you have documented proof that cannot be lost.
If an invoice has not been paid on time contact the client immediately to chase the payment.
Have a cut off amount; if they reach the figure and have not paid, don’t do anymore work for them until they have and STICK TO IT!
In my twelve years of freelancing I have only had to take one company to court that had no intention of paying me for my work. I won the case but they still didn’t pay up, so I set High Court Enforcement Officers on them using the Sheriffs Office. Check them out!
I have had the pleasure of working with some really talented…and sometimes a bit loopy (but hey I guess all creatives are a bit strange) people and companies. Freelance is also a good way to test drive companies you may possibly want to work for as an employee.
Freelancing is not for everyone, but if you are looking for a flexible way to earn a living and like the idea of working on new projects, products and with different teams on a regular bases then perhaps you should give it a try.