How to go from freelancer to agency owner

Ready to scale up and move beyond self-employment? Here’s how to go from freelancer to agency owner.

There are many similarities between the objectives of freelancers and those of entrepreneurs. These include wanting to have more autonomy and flexibility in your working life, and sharing the drive to create a name for yourself in your own business sector.

The main difference between a self-employed freelancer and a fully-fledged agency owner is the ability to grow your client base and expand the profitability of your business, as there is only so much work a freelancer can take on.

If you are self-employed and looking to expand your business and grow within your industry, then here are some of the things you need to know about expanding your business prospects. 

Conduct thorough research

While making the transition from freelancer to business owner is entirely possible, it is essential to understand that being a business owner does not just mean being self-employed on a larger scale.

Owning a business comes with a range of new challenges and responsibilities, so it is crucial that you do plenty of research before you get started.

Not only do you need to understand who your competitors are and what your customers expect from you, but you’ll also need to understand the legal requirements of running your own agency, how to effectively market and advertise your business, and have a strong client portfolio to help you boost your brand recognition. 

Understand your responsibilities

There is far more to being an agency owner than you would ever have to deal with when being solely self-employed. For instance, you need to understand that as an agency owner, you would not only be responsible for your own career, but also for those of the people who work for you.

In many ways, you are liable for the health, wellbeing and financial security of all your employees, so you may want to consider whether you can meet these obligations before hiring anyone.

As an alternative to taking on employees, you could consider working with other freelancers on a no-obligation contract, as this would remove some of the pressure that you face.  

Invest in your future

In order to take the step from freelancer to business owner, you should be prepared to start making committed investments in your professional future.

Whether for you that means putting more money into the marketing of your business to attract more customers, taking on employees or interns to increase your scope for greater workloads, or finding a London office space to rent so that you have a professional environment to work from.

Get the financial support you need

In order to grow your business, you need to have enough start-up capital to be able to afford all of the initial and ongoing costs that a new business can incur.

From the fees surrounding getting business licences, to being able to afford a premise and paying your employees, there are a lot of different costs that you must take into consideration.

Writing a comprehensive business plan will not only be beneficial in the pursuit of new investors, but you may also find it helpful for better understanding your projected costs and profits.