Freelancers are becoming a large part of the workforce in America. A report in 2020 indicated that 59 million Americans freelance, and that number is only expected to grow---up to 90 million by 2028. Whether you freelance full-time, or you have just picked up some additional work, freelancing offers many benefits that make it an attractive way to earn money.
Freelancers such as programmers, designers, accountants, writers, content creators or any other independent professional offering services in the gig economy have different needs than traditional employees because they are self-employed. In order to be successful, there are five things that every freelancer must have.
Insurance. Because freelancers don’t work under the umbrella of an employer, they must protect themselves with the right insurance program. That means there is no insurance for property and real estate caused by fires, theft, and other events. Personal insurance policies do not cover business-related claims so while a personal insurance policy may offer some coverage based on the claim, it will not protect you from business-related liability claims.
Types of insurances that freelancers should have include:
Professional Liability Insurance. This is the most important type of insurance policy for freelancers because it protects against mistakes that harm the clients’ bottom line. For example, if you are a freelance web developer and committed in writing that your client’s website would be ready by Black Friday, the client could sue you if you do not meet the deadline. Professional liability insurance would cover legal fees.
General Liability Insurance. Many freelancers purchase this type of policy because it protects against customer injuries or third-party damages.
Commercial Property Insurance. Even if you work from home, you may still need commercial property insurance to cover damages to your business property. If your computer is stolen from your house, your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance may not cover it.
Cyber Liability Insurance. Because many freelancers that work in IT are privy to customer data, they are at risk to cyber-attacks. Cyber liability insurance covers the expenses when a data breach occurs including legal fees and civil damages.
As a freelancer, it is best to work with a trusted insurance provider that focuses on small business insurance.
Contracts. Having contracts with clients is necessary for operating a reliable and secure freelancing business. A freelancer contract is a legal agreement between a freelancer and their client that outlines the work that needs to be delivered. The contract exists to protect the freelancer and the client. The contract is needed so the freelancer will receive payment for the work delivered. At the same time, the company is getting written confirmation of the deliverables they can expect.
Contracts should include the following information:
Contact details of the freelancer and client
Pricing and rates
Payment options and due dates
A thorough and comprehensive contract is needed before any work is done as a freelancer.
Professional-Looking Website. An informative website is the key to getting new business as a freelancer. That way, you are able to let potential clients know exactly what services you offer. Website design can be difficult and this is probably an area where you don’t want to DIY, unless you have previous experience. If you have not designed a website before, there are plenty of services that can help you. A website design service allows you to design your website and desired functionality and will set up and run the website. The money spent is well worth it to have a professional-looking website that will help grow your business.
Project Management Tools. As your freelancing business grows, you will be managing several clients. An app that manages your progress for each client as well as your daily to-do list can help keep you organized. The project management tool that will work best for you depends on your workflow, and there are many options to try. Many project management apps are free or have trial periods to allow you to test them out. Asana and Taskboard are two of the most popular. If you have a very small business with a straightforward workflow, Todoist or TickTick are good options.
Invoicing Software. As a freelancer, you will be responsible for keeping track of your hours and sending out invoices, so you get paid. Many clients will require an official invoice in order to be able to pay you. Some freelancing job boards already have an invoicing feature built in, but for other clients, you will need to bill them. Tracking invoices and payments not only means you will get paid on time but will make things easier come tax season. Some apps also include time trackers to keep track of your hours or other key features that will be crucial to your daily workflow such as inventory monitoring, currency conversion, taxation, and recurring billing. Invoices can be customized to fit your business needs.
Your Freelancer Insurance Needs
Being a freelancer comes with many benefits, but also introduces some new areas to consider now that you are not working for a company. Coverdash is able to provide you with all of your insurance needs as a freelancer. In fact, insurance for small businesses is our specialty. Contact us today to find out exactly how we can get your freelance insurance set up for you.