DE­SIGN MAT­TERS

Computer Arts - - Contents -

What’s your big­gest free­lance money worry, and how do you deal with it?

GRANT BURKE Free­lance de­signer and il­lus­tra­tor www.grant­burke.com

“As a freelancer, your next pay cheque is never guar­an­teed, and main­tain­ing a full sched­ule can be chal­leng­ing for even the most sea­soned de­sign­ers. It only takes a few slow weeks to cause panic, and mul­ti­ple slow months could mean fi­nan­cial ruin. To avoid this, I fo­cus on se­cur­ing my next project be­fore the last one has ended. Even when up against a dead­line, I make time to track down leads and pitch to po­ten­tial clients. Dur­ing hec­tic weeks, this strat­egy can feel like self-inflicted pain, but it en­sures that I rarely find my­self at my com­puter ask­ing: ‘What’s next?’”

HEATHER SHAW WILLIS Free­lance graphic de­signer www.heather­shaw.com

“Stay­ing or­gan­ised! I’m the worst at keep­ing track of in­come, ex­penses and re­ceipts, and it leads to a lot of headaches and wasted time (even a penalty, once) at tax time. This past year, I cre­ated a sim­ple Google Sheet with a tab for prof­its and a tab for ex­penses. Then I used OCR to cap­ture, up­load and la­bel my re­ceipts, tax forms and doc­u­ments with the year and a log­i­cal ti­tle. That made it easy to quickly search and share with my tax guy. This year I’m us­ing Quick­Books for the first time.”

COLM MCCARTHY Free­lance graphic and web de­signer www.colm-mccarthy.com

“Get­ting paid on time. I al­ways agree pay­ment de­tails be­fore pro­ceed­ing with a project – that way there are no grey ar­eas. For all new clients, I take a 50 per cent de­posit up­front. This usu­ally elim­i­nates the shady ones. When work­ing with large clients, I ask them how their pay­roll sys­tem works; oth­er­wise I could be left wait­ing for up to two months. And the most ob­vi­ous but all-too-of­ten over­looked thing I do is try to send my in­voice out im­me­di­ately af­ter a project is signed off. Any de­lay here wel­comes a non­cha­lant re­sponse.”

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