Freelancing Fundamentals
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Funding your startup


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Freelancing Fundamentals

with Tom Geller

Video: Funding your startup

Once you've figured out how much money you'll need to get your business going, it's time to look at how to get it. If you have savings to cover the gap, you're all set. Put it in a separate account right away, so it's clear that the money is for the business. If you don't have savings, there are basically two ways to get the money. Either sell stuff in the usual way, or take out loans. You could also get the money in forms that you don't have to repay, such as, gift sponsorships or grants, but by and large, loans are the biggest source of startup funds for freelancers.
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  1. 10m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 53s
    2. What is freelancing?
      2m 53s
    3. How freelancing and employment differ
      2m 33s
    4. Preparing your mindset
      3m 31s
  2. 9m 24s
    1. Defining career goals
      2m 48s
    2. Sharpening your market focus
      3m 18s
    3. Transitioning to freelancing
      3m 18s
  3. 16m 11s
    1. Preparing your portfolio
      3m 11s
    2. Estimating costs
      3m 10s
    3. Funding your startup
      2m 42s
    4. Establishing your workspace
      3m 35s
    5. Building your professional network
      3m 33s
  4. 8m 51s
    1. Getting licenses, permits, and insurance
      2m 15s
    2. Creating contracts
      4m 23s
    3. Finding professional service vendors
      2m 13s
  5. 12m 54s
    1. Setting prices
      3m 13s
    2. Establishing payment systems
      1m 36s
    3. Invoicing and getting paid
      3m 50s
    4. Keeping the books
      2m 32s
    5. Managing taxes
      1m 43s
  6. 14m 41s
    1. Announcing your availability
      3m 16s
    2. Finding work through agencies
      2m 2s
    3. Onboarding clients
      2m 59s
    4. Avoiding scams
      3m 25s
    5. Choosing assignments
      2m 59s
  7. 11m 27s
    1. Interacting with clients
      2m 11s
    2. Delivering quality work
      2m 28s
    3. Getting referrals and recommendations
      2m 34s
    4. Losing and firing clients
      4m 14s
  8. 10m 48s
    1. Deconstructing big jobs
      3m 34s
    2. Adopting time-management tools
      2m 35s
    3. Creating schedules
      2m 30s
    4. Turning off the clock for "me time"
      2m 9s
  9. 20m 6s
    1. Staying motivated
      3m 3s
    2. Increasing your rates
      2m 52s
    3. Marketing beyond your professional network
      2m 56s
    4. Growing through hires and partnerships
      3m 30s
    5. Building passive income
      3m 48s
    6. Changing focus
      3m 57s
  10. 4m 52s
    1. Case study: Publishing a book
      2m 47s
    2. Next steps
      2m 5s
  11. 12m 42s
    1. Freelancing Q&A
      12m 42s

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Watch the Online Video Course Freelancing Fundamentals
2h 12m Appropriate for all Jan 30, 2013 Updated Mar 20, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, author and seasoned freelancer Tom Geller shows you how to prepare for a transition to freelancing. Begin by taking a look at your career goals, the systems that will support you, and proper ways to plan for success. Find out how to marshal your resources, refine your portfolio for presentation to clients, and estimate your costs to avoid any surprises on the financial front. Plus, discover how to create invoices, manage your books and taxes, expand your client base with marketing, and grow your business.

A bonus chapter covers common questions freelancers have when entering the field.

Topics include:
  • What is freelancing?
  • Defining your career goals
  • Funding your startup
  • Getting licenses, permits, and insurance
  • Setting prices
  • Finding work through agencies
  • Getting referrals
  • Working with time and project management tools
  • Increasing your rates
Subject:
Business
Author:
Tom Geller

Funding your startup

Once you've figured out how much money you'll need to get your business going, it's time to look at how to get it. If you have savings to cover the gap, you're all set. Put it in a separate account right away, so it's clear that the money is for the business. If you don't have savings, there are basically two ways to get the money. Either sell stuff in the usual way, or take out loans. You could also get the money in forms that you don't have to repay, such as, gift sponsorships or grants, but by and large, loans are the biggest source of startup funds for freelancers.

Institutional loans are straightforward, but they can be hard to get. Loans are likely to either be from friends and family or from credit cards. Each source has its advantages and disadvantages. In either case, work the figures into the funding spreadsheet, to figure out your monthly payment. Friends and family is a group that includes any individual that makes a private loan or investment in your business. The advantages are that the loan is specifically for your business; it's sized to your needs and such loans usually have simple terms.

On the other hand, the money comes from an inexperienced lender, so you'll lack such nice at ease as a monthly statement. The lender might also want things besides money, such as free work or a piece of the business or a control over how it's run. If such a loan goes wrong it can ruin the relationship you have with that friend or family member. Credit cards, on the other hand, have their own pluses and minuses, as do credit card like loans, such as equity lines of credit. On the plus side, you can borrow as little or as much as you like, the lender is well regulated and professional, and monthly statements make repayment clear, while automatic deductions make it easy.

On the minus side, there's no chance the credit card company is going to give you a break for long, unlike say, your Uncle Arthur. Credit card loans can be expensive with both high interest rates and big penalties if you miss payments. Finally, having ready access to a variable amount of cash can ruin you if you're not disciplined. If you do decide to borrow from credit cards, I recommend you use one specific card and only take out one loan on it. It's possible that you will get an institutional loan or make some other arrangement. But whatever route you take, figure out what the repayment plan will be and budget for it, including interest.

This is part of the calculation on the funding exercise file. So, now you know how much you need to borrow, and how much you have to pay back each month. It might seem intimidating, but making such arrangements is necessary to pull together enough money to stay in the game until business picks up.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Freelancing Fundamentals .


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Q: This course was updated on 3/20/2013. What changed?
A: We added a bonus chapter that covers common questions freelancers have when entering the field, such as "How do I use Craigslist or other job boards to grow my freelance business?" and "How do I find clients?"
 
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