On May 16th, each year, UK Freelancers get together online for #FreelanceHeroesDay.  A time when like-minded people can pay tribute to UK Freelance Heroes, they can grow their networks and expand their knowledge of the freelance industry.

The initiative was started in 2016 by Ed Goodman, who set up a Facebook group for UK Freelancers to chat and swap tips. The group has grown into a supportive, encouraging community of peer support, and a platform for personal development.

Being self-employed means being freelance, but there is a difference between being a ‘freelancer’ and running a business.

There is a lot of discussion about what the difference is between a freelancer, a business owner and an entrepreneur.

What is a freelancer?

Defined as:

Self-employed and hired to work for different companies

on particular assignments.

Typically, freelancers have a skill that they exchange for money. A trade of their time in exchange for money, which isn’t particularly scalable.

Freelancers can lend their skills and talents to a number of clients on a flexible basis. They have the freedom to choose the projects they want to work on, and the clients they work for.

They can work on big or small projects, both short-term and long-term, depending on what suits their skills, availability and the employer’s needs.

A successful freelancer might work with one organisation and not work anywhere else (though this can be problematic in law as to when someone actually becomes an employee) or can take similar contracts within a sector and not work anywhere else.

Pay may vary from job to job, and will often be negotiated with the client, and you get paid for the hours you work.

Freelancers can spend a lot of their time looking for and chasing work.

Freelancers are not always entrepreneurs, yet they do own their own business, and have many of the advantages of being your own boss. Although they can still choose when they work, they do become tied by the demands of particular clients.

A Business Owner

Defined as:

One person who is control of the operational and monetary aspects of a business.

When you’re a business owner, you may well be thinking about scaling up in the future, looking to build your business, grow profits, and even take on employees.

The importance of branding, knowing how to market your business, having systems in place for sales and even thinking about outsourcing. Concentrating on these aspects of your business move you from being a freelancer to a business owner who has a team, either of employees, or associates.

They will work with a range of clients that could be across a variety of business sectors.

Most business owners have set fees and price packages that they offer, and their clients choose from their menu when they work with them.

As a business owner, you are no longer just hired for your skill, but for your knowledge and expertise.

You also, have control of your time and you can have a range of jobs to do to make your business successful which are not based entirely around your product or service. The role is much wider.

An Entrepreneur:

Defined as:

Someone who operates a business and takes on higher financial risk.

Many people think of entrepreneurs as venture capitalists, and people who sell off their companies for millions.  However, not every entrepreneur wants to create the next big thing.

An entrepreneur can also be someone who takes on financial risk for their own business. Someone who considers a larger range of products or services, including online packages, and products, where they don’t have to trade so much time for money.

They make choices about which jobs and speaking opportunities they’ll take, becoming known as an expert, and seen as a leader in their field.

They may naturally see ways to make money within their own business or within the businesses of others – and if they’ve got the capital they may invest in that. They may become addicted to a newly discovered entrepreneurial spirit and will be open-minded about which direction they want to go.

Some will be very relaxed, others will be very driven but they will tend to share that same ‘big picture’ view. They will often want to inspire others and they will often want to be seen to do so.

You think about your business on a larger scale, as an owner, not just a worker!

Which category do you fall under? And why?

*Next week’s blog  is all about the power of video!