These days, it is not uncommon for tech-minded individuals to go their own way and start their own business as a freelancer. Whether it’s a blog, a writing service, or a tech consultancy, at the end of the day, it’s still a business. We all know that blogging can be lucrative, but it is also a very crowded niche. A better option, for many, is to also offer your services as a tech consultant (and this covers a lot of ground – from social media to security to marketing) to other businesses.
As a freelancer you are not bound by the day-to-day restrictions of office life. It allows you to dictate your own pace and work on as many – or as few – projects as you wish over the course of a financial year. However, any freelancer working for himself still has to answer to clients and is required to deliver a consistent level of service.
This is especially true of freelancers whose decisions, advice, and guidance can impact a business’s strategy – if not the business itself. A freelance tech consultant is, by the very nature of his role, involved in steering the policies and providing advice for a client’s company. If a consultant were to provide advice which resulted in any negative impact on its client’s bottom line – whether a direct financial loss or as the result of damage to their credibility and reputation – then the consultant could feasibly be liable for the shortfall.
Without the proper insurance in place to protect against liability, any freelancer could be ruined – but it’s still surprising to find that a typical freelancer runs the risk of such events by not taking out the proper insurance. In some fields, it’s a legal necessity to carry such insurance, known as professional indemnity insurance. However, it’s common for a freelancer without insurance to carry out regular work. Learning the benefits of taking out professional indemnity insurance is in the best interests of the service you provide and, despite its cost, outweighs the risks of continuing operations without it.
Other considerations for your freelance business should include a form of product and public liability insurance, which would cover you in any typical instance of injury caused to a customer, or damage to their property. Office insurance is also strongly recommended for any freelancer who works out of a permanent base, or even from home. This can be included in a policy too, but with the caveat that it would be taken out separately from home insurance, due to the potential costs needing to be recovered from any instance of damage to business property, as opposed to standard home contents.
The transient nature of a freelancing job means it has needs which are different from those of a standard specialist business; however, ensuring that your reputation and company property are protected should also be at the top of your list.
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