In case you don’t know me personally, I had been a freelance editor/director/producer in the D.C. area for 10+ years. Due to circumstances, some in & some out of my control, I ended up needing to take a staff position.
By most measures, Howard Media Works, Inc. was a successful small business. We kept our doors open for 10 years – 6 more than the average lifespan as calculated by the SBA. There were a number of things we did right. And a number of things we didn’t do so well. In the end, 3 projects simultaneously imploded and we were left holding the bag. We went from 6-digit revenue possibilities to zero.
There have been some posts on the various blogs I track giving advice to those of you are currently freelance or those of you looking to make the leap. I’ve collected some of them into this post, plus I’ve got one link I’ve been wanting to pass on. Read on for more…Here’s my useful advice: Get this book! If you only read one book before you go into business for yourself, The Business Side of Creativity should be that book. It is aimed at graphics design firms primarily, but the business advice definitely works for video & film production companies, motion graphics shops, et al. There are all kinds of useful tidbits in there that I wished I would have had or understood before I set off on my freelance journey.
One of the really helpful things is that several of the forms referenced in the book are available at their website: www.creativebusiness.com/forms . Poke around the site to get some other ideas of what the book has to offer. I highly recommend it.
Some of the posts I’ve seen recently include: Flippant News has a link to a very useful to The Deal Memo. This document can be very helpful to make sure you have put down all the arrangements of expectation, time, & payment in writing. In my opinion you shouldn’t work with anyone who is unwilling to sign this sort of agreement.
And then there was this gem – 17 Things Every Freelancer Should Know.