It can be daunting to start your own business: Where do I find clients? How do the finances work? What if I mess up with the taxes? All these questions rushed through in Robin Pettersson’s mind when he decided to take the leap of faith during the peculiar year of 2020.
“I had worked as a UX designer for digital agencies for over 10 years, ever since I moved to Helsinki from Stockholm in 2010. I moved around during those ten years, yet I kept on working for different agencies. When Covid-19 hit and my current contract ended I was wondering what to do next”, Robin tells his story.
The agency life was getting a bit repetitive and Robin wanted to try something new. “I was offered a project via Talented that required freelancing so I decided to found my own TMI. In the beginning there was a lot of uncertainty – especially since I have ADHD and know nothing about running a biz – but at the end of the day founding your own company and setting everything up is not as hard and horrible as I first thought”, he says reassuringly.
The freelancing project contract is important
Long experience from the creative field has made Robin a bit cautious. “The vast majority of clients play nice and are a pleasure to work with. But every now and then you encounter people who play the political game extremely well and who either try to make you do more work than what is agreed, or are looking for someone to take the blame for the poor decision they themselves have made. When these things happen to you a few times, you become more cautious”, Robin explains.
That is why he was very mindful about his first freelancing project contract. “I just wanted to make sure everything was very clear and in writing so that there would be no surprises for me or for the client. For example when it comes to overtime and tight deadlines, sometimes you need to take one for the team – that’s fair game and all. But if it becomes a repeating pattern, all players have to know beforehand, how much extra it will cost. So the slowest part was to make the contracts but after that everything went by super quickly.”
Luckily everything has gone well since and there has been no need to revert to the small print in the contract. “Everything has gone really well with the customer in the new project. They have been very nice, helpful and open”, Robin says happily.
Talented provides projects also for freelance designers
Robin found Talented through some friends and joined the network in May 2020. “Most projects Talented provides are for developers so it took some time. But then they called me that hey, we have this project, would you be interested? – and it did sound very interesting. I enjoy these longer projects where you have enough time to focus, iterate and develop instead of just quickly designing something, to then move on to the next project and client”, Robin explains.
“All in all, I have a very positive feeling about Talented. It feels like they really want to know you as a person and find you the perfect project. It also feels really good as a sole trader to have one shield between you and the client, to have Talented to secure you. And they’re very transparent with the process, how much they’re charging the customer on top of your work and all that”, he continues.
Robin doesn’t yet know what the future entails, but one thing is for sure: he will not worry about it. “Whether freelancing works out well or not, I‘ll learn a lot from the experience and that in the end is always a good thing.”
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