Start with solid systems
"During the first few years of working for myself, I realized there’s a lot more to being a successful freelancer than just doing good design work.
Managing my time effectively, being compensated fairly for my work, organizing complex projects, and avoiding clients taking advantage of me were just a few of the pitfalls I experienced.
My main advice to anyone deciding to freelance or start their own design studio is to first get your processes, guidelines, contracts, and billing system rock solid. Trying to define these items as you go can lead to major problems financially and possibly legally.
Have everything you do defined in your processes, create a solid time tracking system, cover all possible issues in your project proposal terms, and set boundaries for your clients from the beginning."
Mike Oliver is an independent designer who has been working for himself for over 10 years.