Are you thinking about going freelance? Here’s why you should
Are you thinking about becoming self-employed? We’ve spoken to Kirsty Watt, member of the Freelance Hairdresser Association, who has already taken the leap and thinks you should too!
Self-employment sounds scary doesn’t it? But actually it means freedom, freedom to choose how and when you work. It was a step I took 4 years ago and it was hands down the best decision I have ever made! It’s not always easy, you have to work hard to make it work especially at the beginning but I have yet to meet someone that regrets going self-employed.
Salon employed stylists get told their hours, days to work, holiday allowances, brands to work with and set pay. However when you’re self-employed this all changes! You set your hours, days, time off for holiday. You can work with the brands that suit you and you charge what you are worth.
The best thing for me is the freedom to choose my own hours and days to work. I now have the luxury of working 3 full days and 2 half days. A standard day can for me can include perming, colouring, extensions, hair ups and photo shoots. My clientele ranges in age and gender and I enjoy the variety this brings to my job.
There is a myth that self-employed and freelance hairdressers aren’t as skilled as salon stylists but I assure you we are highly skilled, trained and talented, and this is down to organisations like the Freelance Hairdressing Association. The FHA keep us up to date with rules and regulations with in the industry, top training courses and insurance policies. But for me the most helpful part is the Facebook chat room where you talk to other freelance and self-employed stylists about any issues you are having or just advice, it’s like an online staff room. Once a year the FHA hold an annual gathering called Inspire where they have live hair demonstrations from some of the biggest names in the industry, business advice and the FHA awards. This will be my 4th year making the 900mile round trip and every time it is worth it.
My advice to anyone considering going self-employed is to weigh up the pros and cons for them, everyone’s circumstances are different. Do your research for starting up, the likes of business gateway and the FHA will give you honest advice and your bank will do small business loans to help you get up and running which is what I did. Four years ago I made the best career decision I will ever make, I hope you will too.