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Ways to Avoid Losing Traction: Freelance Work and Relocating

moving-truck-clipart-2More and more people are choosing the flexible and rewarding freelance career path. According to a resource by Rutgers University, 53 million people in the US are currently freelancers. That’s 34% of the workforce! People want to be their own boss and they desire work that they are genuinely passionate about. Freelance work creates an atmosphere that reflects these desires.

As a freelance writer who’s about to move across the Northwest, I’ve identified several things that may detract from work from home success.

I refuse to allow a move to let me get behind. After all, working from home is a dream! While moving is stressful, it certainly doesn’t have to be something that gets you behind in your work.

Consider the Clients

First and foremost, ask yourself: “will moving have any type of negative implication on your clients or your business? Will a move deter your success and keep you from flourishing as a freelancer?

Make sure you keep this in mind way before you plan to move.

Maybe what you do allows for remote work that isn’t grounded. Or maybe the freelance job you hold is highly dependant on your local market. The answers to these questions are the first stepping stones to an effective move for a freelancer.

An article by DesignM.ag points out the following helpful tips regarding relocating and how it effects freelance clients:

  • “Reassure them you will be just as responsive to their needs in your new location. You may even want to provide an alternate, inexpensive way for them to contact you such as a toll-free number.
  • Address their quality concerns. Assure them that the high quality of your work will continue and that you will continue to meet their deadlines on time.
  • Let them know how much you value them as a client. We often don’t tell our clients how much we appreciate them, but it’s a good way to strengthen the relationship.
  • Consider traveling. If they are a large client and you do a significant volume of work for them, you may be able to offer to travel to their location once or twice a year.”

Be sure to heavily weigh your options before a move, and be certain to always effectively communicate with your clients every step of the way!

Schedule Your Move and Pack with Care

In general, freelance schedules are fluid and work well with life outside of work. When it comes to moving this kind of schedule can be incredibly helpful or it can channel a wave of procrastination.

Rather than taking time off all at once for a move, schedule bits of time to move gradually. Chip away at packing your belongings during your off time–it will save you a lot of stress in the long run!

Additionally, don’t be afraid to ask for assistance. Odds are that friends and family are happy to help. Oftentimes the hardest part is simply asking. Giving extra advanced notice to those willing to help you is crucial.

Remember, projecting great communication with your friends and family is the best approach!

Be sure to pack your equipment for freelance work carefully and separately. A major moving setback is mixing freelance materials in with other things during a move. This can result in added confusion and more down time from work. Label everything in a clear-cut way so that household items don’t get mixed together with things that are for work.

Also consider using your smartphone’s calendar meticulously while scheduling or use a moving app to help keep you on track.

Add “Setting Up Your Home Office” to Your Priority List

As any freelancer knows, executing self-driven work requires a great deal of planning. It’s important to be comfortable with your surroundings. Relocating after creating a work from home space you’re used to is a challenge. However, re-creating a zen workspace is fairly simple and absolutely key.

Do this with a sense of urgency; make setting up your work zone a priority.

The first thing I plan on doing when I get to my new home hundreds of miles away is to set up my desk and computer. I’ll then make the area appealing to me by surrounding my space with the things that make me thrive: photos and posters, my favorite set of speaker and record player, and a jungle of houseplants!

I plan to do this because houseplants are great for physical and mental health. Cleaner air makes me think more clearly and keeps my room from feeling like a cave. Beyond that, I feel more comfortable when I’m surrounded by familiar things.

In some ways I’ve already visualized my new work from home space. This will ultimately make the task of uprooting and recreating much easier.

Consider the Legalities

When relocating to a new area, learning localized laws regarding a home business is extremely important. Check before you move, because there could be extra (hopefully not unexpected) costs related to business licenses for the area. Obtaining a Home Occupancy Permit could also be necessary.

Another important thing to keep in mind is how moving may affect your taxes. For example the state I’m moving to does not have a local sales tax, so this will likely change rates of property taxes I experience, and it could alter the way my taxes look this upcoming tax season.

Figure these legalities out way before moving, rather than waiting until taxes are due to figure out legalities.

Give Yourself Enough Time

Time management is one thing but it’s also important to set up a schedule that is truly realistic. Simply put, give yourself enough time!

Don’t fool yourself, if you need to take a few days off to set everything up and get comfortable it’s okay. Be deliberate with your plan to move, and keep yourself accountable. Moving channels a large amount of stress and anxiety for many people, so taking a preventative stance against these emotions can be greatly beneficial.

That all being said, this is by no means a definitive guide to moving. Rather, some key concepts to digest that I’ve identified as someone who is relocating.

So what did I miss? This is a call to freelancers: have you experienced any specific levels of struggle or success while moving? Please post about your experiences in the comments section.

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Robert Parmer
ROBERT Parmer is a student of Boise State University, ex-chef and barista, and adamant writer. He stepped away from the kitchen life three years ago to pursue freelance writing endeavors, and enjoys writing about business, health/wellness, and cats.
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