The freelancing sector continues to take shape. Keep in mind that before 2008, independent contractors already existed. The work took place offline whereas it increasingly takes place online this year.

It’s possible to build a successful one-person shop in the field of your choice. The endeavor simply requires commitment, organization, and perseverance.

We outline nine steps on how to build a thriving freelance business from scratch.

1. Commit to Freelancing

First and foremost, commit to freelancing. If you want to build a thriving freelance business, it’s important to go all-in on the endeavor.

Entrepreneurs who feel anxious about taking the plunge have plenty of resources and support at their disposal. For example, check out Gigly. You’ll find discounts, information, and freelancer-focused benefits.

2. Know Thyself

Building a freelance business from scratch requires direction. Keep in mind that you can always pivot after trying a road that doesn’t deliver optimal results.

Pivoting in the startup and freelance world is not uncommon.

In addition, understand yourself on a personal level. Your business lives and breathes with you. Understand how you handle rejection, strict deadlines, and seasonality.

When you don’t feel or perform at 100%, your deliverables will reflect it. Therefore, you should know how to handle the lows and the highs of running your company.

3. Establish Your Budget

Starting from scratch often means little to no budget. The good news is that most individuals already own the equipment they need for freelancing. This includes a smartphone, laptop, and productivity apps.

To help your shop thrive, develop good financial habits – establish a budget. If it’s $0 in the beginning, that’s OK. With time, you’ll build your earnings and profit.

When the profits roll in, get in the habit of portioning it. Financial experts suggest setting aside 30% for taxes. Then, pay your bills. It makes sense to invest what’s left in your company.

4. Find Clients

A company requires clients. Now it’s time to find them. Consider joining freelance platforms.

Even freelance veterans benefit from joining freelancing platforms such as Fiverr, Upwork, and Guru.

These marketplaces help match freelancers and project opportunities. Plus, it increases your online presence. It’s also a great place to conduct research. You can find out the:

  • Type of available work
  • How much it pays
  • Current trends

Moreover, most platforms don’t charge freelancers upfront fees.

5. Complete the First Task

Freelancers must establish credibility. Maybe you worked as an employee in your respective field. Can you succeed as a freelancer too?

When you make your schedule, self-edit, and use your tools, can you deliver quality work?

Companies who hire you don’t know the answers to these questions. That’s why completing the first task as a freelancer is important. You establish that you can operate independently and deliver.

6. Market Your Services

With a few completed projects under your belt, it’s time to market your services.

In 2014, 53 million declared themselves as freelancers. By 2028, that number can reach 90 million. This means that some market saturation may occur. The figures also indicate that the barrier of entry is low.

Thus, ensure that you market your services. Establish a professional social media presence, join a freelancer platform, and build your portfolio.

7. Establish Your Workspace

As you gain more clients, new work, and complete projects, establish your workspace. For added motivation, remember that you can deduct the costs of this space in your taxes.

Every freelancer workspace requires a:

  • Comfortable chair
  • Ergo-friendly desk
  • Access to electrical outlets
  • Good lighting
  • Storage and organization furnishings

Adjust these requirements to your preferences. Then, add items that keep you comfortable and productive.

8. Repeat the Cycle

Few employees know the work that goes behind obtaining new clients. Salespeople remain the exception.

In freelancing, the freelancer is continually hunting for new clients and projects. You’ll come across a client who provides the bulk of your work. However, you also need a safety net.

What happens when management changes at your main client’s place of work?

New management often equals a new way of doing things. Thus, it puts your income in danger.

Thriving freelancers always look and consider the future.

9. Invest in Your Business

In addition to an established workspace, every thriving freelance business requires investment. Those who sell products must invest in their inventory. Freelancers who sell services must invest in equipment that keeps them productive.

It’s as simple as obtaining software, top hardware, and productivity gadgets.


A thriving freelance business stands the test of time. Plus, it becomes your source of income. Successful solo entrepreneurs learn how to weather slow periods and maximize the plentiful times. Moreover, your business thrives because you have a passion for it.