What this covers:
- What should I consider?
- Do I have the skills / experience?
- How much could I make?
- How would I go about it?
What to consider when launching your freelance business
The main thing to think through is what you’re optimizing for. Are you optimizing for income? Free time? Impact to one business? Impact to many businesses? Flexibility? As with anything, freelance consulting has its tradeoffs. You’re your own boss, you choose who you work with, you choose your projects, you set your rates, and you have the flexibility many dream of.
But, it can be a bit of a roller coaster at times. You won’t have the stability that a “normal” job often comes with. You’ll lose clients. You’ll win clients. You’ll have to put yourself out there consistently to get new clients. You’ll also have multiple sources of income so if a client does drop you, you’ll still be making money. Remember if you get fired or laid off at your job, that was your only source of income.
Freelancing means starting your own business, which comes with bookkeeping, taxes, and finding your own health insurance, and working through your personal finances in a more robust way. It’s a trade-off: you’re getting flexibility and freedom that requires a bit more work and has less stability.
Do I have the skills / experience to freelance consult?
Of course we cannot answer this for you, but here’s what to consider. You need a skillset that someone is willing to pay for. Essentially, if you can get paid by an employer for your experience, you can freelance consult. There’s one major difference: for certain roles, employers will hire talent and plan to train them. As an example, most consulting companies do this with college graduates: take capable people and train them up with no previous experience.
As a consultant, you shouldn’t expect this. Expect to have skills and experiences that you can bring to a company and immediately make an impact.
Is this limited to certain job functions? In our minds, this is a clear “no.” You will hear otherwise, but there is no limit to the job functions that can perform part-time, contract work. You can be in Operations, Product, Marketing, Business Development, Sales, Engineering, Design, Finance, HR, etc. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise - they’re wrong. If you have experience or talent to bring to the table, you can go out on your own and do well.
How much can I make freelance consulting?
How much do you make at your current job? You can make roughly the same, and almost definitely more as a consultant by working across a number of companies at one time. Not only have we experienced this time and time again with our customers, and we also have data to show for it.
According to a 2020 study done by the Freelancer’s Union in conjunction with Upwork, of freelancers that left their full-time jobs to consult, 65% of them earned more as a freelancer than a full-time employee. Further, when asked how long it took them to earn more, 34% made more immediately, 57% made more in less than 6 months, and 75% made more within 1 year.
If you put the work in to hone your niche and put yourself out there to find clients, you’ll set yourself up for success and are likely to make more than you did at your full-time job.
How do I go about launching a freelance consulting business?
Some people have strong conviction in themselves - they believe they’ll be able to figure it out one way or another and take the leap by quitting their job and jumping into the consulting world. That’s relatively rare - most don’t have that conviction, and are pushed into trying consulting by getting laid off or seeing the success of a close friend. Others want to see they can have success consulting by starting to freelance on the side of the full-time job.
How you go about it is entirely up to you. Mylance is here to support you and enable a sustainable freelance business. We’re not in the business of convincing you to go out on your own, but if you do decide to do it, we’re here to help you get your high-powered freelance business in gear!
Want more details on starting your consulting business? Here are the 9 important items to consider.
Every Mylance team member has done consulting. We're experts, and we've seen what consulting enables: more time with our families, traveling the world, more time on passion projects, or to start that business we've been dreaming about.