We get asked about how one should make the transition from part time freelancing to full time freelancing and from full time work to part time freelancing a lot. And those we speak to are worried about, well, everything! Will I have enough money to pay the rent? Can I run a freelance businesses on my own? Did I put a red sock in with the white wash? Ok, maybe not the last one so much but the fear of going freelance is common and something all freelancers must deal with at some point. Before you make the leap, here's a few pointers to consider.


1. Can you afford to do this? Take out a pen and paper or open up Notes. Write down your big life expenses such as rent, food, bills, car costs etc.. and figure out roughly how much you need to earn to survive each month. Make a note of this number. Now on a separate column, we're going to do a simplified Profit and Loss projection. Don't freak out, this is just a rough estimate. 

On a very basic level, this will include initial expenses you're going to incur when starting up your freelance business (for example, camera equipment, website etc...) and on-going expenses (online tools, insurance, marketing costs) to run the business. 

Now on another column, write out how much you think you are going to earn in the first year. Remember you're not going to have that regular pay cheque anymore so it's important that you're completely honest with yourself at this stage. Don't worry if you think you'll be making a loss for a few months so long as you believe you'll move into profit within 6 months to a year. Typically year 1 for freelancers is all about survival and learning. 

2. Save up before setting up. Most new businesses require capital (seed money used to get started) and freelancing is no different. You're going to need the basics: equipment, a website, business cards and a portfolio of your work.

The portfolio is often the one thing that will get you work and the area that most freelancers overlook. Make sure you've got a strong portfolio that will populate your website and portfolio book (or tablet) before you go full time as it's time consuming to build it up (particularly in fashion).

It's a good idea to have around 3 months of savings (see living expenses above) in the bank and around £2000 capital for a basic freelance business starting from scratch.

  • We break this down as:
  • Equipment costs depend entirely on your business and what you feel you need to start working (computer, tablet, cameras, lens, makeup, hair products, software etc...). A writer could feaibly start working with a laptop whilst a videographer would require camera kit, editing software, lights etc... Costs range from £300 into the thousands.
  • Website £300 - £800
  • Marketing material: business cards £50 - £100
  • Online subscriptions and tools (including invoicing software, membership fees etc...) £300 (per year) 
  • Miscellaneous (registering your business, insurance, advertising etc...) £350 + 

The key here is to only spend on what you need right now. Avoid luxury purchases that you can do without. Unless you have the money to spend, spend wisely. 

Full time Freelancing

3. Reduce the risk. Before jumping in to full time freelancing, make sure you're comfortable with your decision. Most full time freelancers started with a full time job and freelanced on the weekends or evenings or ran a freelance side hustle alongside a part time job. This approach allows you to see if you like it, if you're good at it, and whether or not there is a market for it. Regular clients are like gold dust to freelancers. Try to secure 2 or 3 regular clients who will provide you with a bit of stability and peace of mind before taking the full time switch. 

4. Just do it. We speak to so many aspiring freelancers who have been talking about going freelance for years but "it's not the right time." Something we've realised - it's NEVER the perfect time! Sometimes you just have to take that leap. It's going to be scary and you're going to miss that regular pay cheque for a while but freelancing is a liberating experience that you won't regret trying so when you feel that you've reduced the risk, set up your brand and squirrelled away a few quid in the bank, go for it.

Be warned. There will be a period of time when you're working 5 days a week on your full time job and freelancing in the evenings and weekends. If your freelancing is bringing in enough, this is the time to pounce. Either move to a part time role (if possible) or if you feel you're financially secure for a few months, go full time.