A nine-to-five job may not be the most appealing work setup for most professionals. Getting up early is the biggest enemy for workers who live far from their workplace. Aside from the long ride, you have to deal with long lines and overcrowded public transportation. It only gets worse when your four-walled office starts to feel like a prison cubicle.
Workers who dream of freedom from the monotonous corporate life are slowly turning to freelance. Imagine having the freedom to work anywhere as long as you have Internet. A growing number of creatives have been jumping at this new work setup given the convenience and profitability. Why settle for a boring corporate job if you can earn more while staying home?
From writers, artists, graphic designers, to web developers, those working in the creative industry are probably looking for business opportunities to get started with freelance. Well, you have come to the right place. Here, you will discover the popular business models that will help jump-start your career as a freelancer.
1. Solo Model
Do you consider yourself a self-starter? Then this model will certainly work for you. This model is probably what most people are very familiar with. It works best for self-employed freelancers who can act as a one-man team but aren’t yet ready to invest large money in their business.
Imagine having the expertise in web application development. You could work at any company that requires software designers or engineers or start your own web app development company. But doing the latter means that you have to invest large money in you startup, so you decide to start as a freelance web app developer. But working as a solo freelancer also means that you have to play the role of a CEO, manager, accountant, and salesperson.
This model means that you have to pay for your own computer, software, bills, and other tools required for the job. But the best part is that it offers great returns. You have low overhead costs, high-profit margins, and, most of all, lower risk. If it doesn’t work, you can always try other business models that suit you.
2. Gig Model
Do you have great people skills? Do you think that your services are impressive enough to compete with other talented creatives? This model is for freelancers who have a price advantage over their competitors and have great skills in attracting new customers. It works for freelancers willing to do hourly work or a project-based setup for different clients.
Imagine being a musician working in an infinite loop of attending gigs and hunting for the next one. The drawback of this model is that the quick turnaround rate won’t help you develop efficient workflows. Also, the competition for finding gigs is quite high, forcing you to offer cheaper pricing.
But if you prefer a low-commitment setup, this model works best for a combination of no-frills services and a pricing advantage.
3. Outsource Model
Do you love freelancing but hate doing all the work in running a business? This model works for freelancers who have plenty of customers but don’t have time to manage all the work involved in a business. Outsourcing means unloading some of your tasks and focusing on what you are really good at. You can hire virtual assistants to do other tasks for you while you focus on increasing your project output.
There are plenty of tasks that you can outsource, such as sales, accounting, and social media management. But you also have to look out for high overhead costs and more time managing new vendors.
4. Exporter Model
Are you good at making sales talk and managing several projects? This model involves hiring freelancers abroad to do the work at a low relative cost. In fact, there are people willing to do the services you offer for a cheaper price than you are charging your clients. You just have to find them and work for you.
With this model, you can offer your services at a lower price and sell more projects. Basically, you become the face of the business, but others will do the entire work. But it can get tricky working with other freelancers abroad because of time zone differences.
5. The Ring Leader Model
You’re a well-connected freelancer who wants to start a business, but you’re not ready to manage your own employees. This model shares a few similarities with the exporter model, except that you need to find subcontractors willing to take some of your work. Your subcontractors can work on a project basis, but you don’t need to provide work for them regularly.
What is great about this model is that it can help grow your company without too much paperwork and employee management. But you have lesser control of the quality and timing since you cannot always count on your subcontractors.
The examples above are just a few of the many kinds of business models that most freelance creatives use. These are the most popular models that offer great results to start freelancing. But these business models may vary for each profession. You should not feel bad if the model didn’t work out for you. Keep in mind that stability and success will only come if you are flexible and patient enough.