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Freelancing- The new U.S. necessity

February 24, 2013 12:36:37 AM PST
About one-third of U.S. workers are freelancers going from project to project, and while some workers opt to work this way many are doing it out of necessity.

This is just another work day for Angela McCall like many of us she heads to the office but in Angela's case it's not her office.

This 56-year-old graphic and web designer is meeting with a potential client as she works to build her freelance business.

"I can choose what I like to do whether its logo design, magazines, newspapers and web design. I can choose my client," McCall said.

It may sound like an ideal work situation, but Angela wants you to know it's not that easy and not something she always wanted to do.

"I just got tired of being laid off and I wanted to start my own company, freelancing so I can choose my clients," McCall said.

Angela is not alone, it is estimated that more than 42 million people in this country work as freelancers, independent contractors or part-time.

Rick Mostart of the central valley business incubator said, "The high unemployment rate has almost forced people to say if I have a skill that I can translate into a business this is a good opportunity or mandatory opportunity to see if they can apply that and make it happen."

The CVBI believes there are opportunities for freelancers but says it's more than just having an idea and going for it.

"Ideas are great but you have to have the skill, or the ability or the training to backup that." Mostart said.

Angela has training as a graphic designer and worked in advertising. She also opted to start a business instead of working on a contract basis Mostart supports the business model as well.

"It's always really important to sit down and talk to an accountant first and find out what are the tax liabilities and tax benefits of starting either as an independent contractor or small business," Mostart said.

When starting up your freelance business it's important to develop an identity and build your brand. Mostart says establishing credibility in your field is important and you'll be judged based on the quality of your service.

Angela says there is nothing easy about building your freelance business and you need to be prepared for those lean times.

"It's like a starving artist but it's also rewarding?Very rewarding you say yea I did it, I did it," McCall said.


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