One of the biggest thrills in a programming career path is when you go freelance. This is when you get full control of your projects. You can pick and choose who and what you work on.
Freelance programming is a business and that means a need for startup capital.
How do you fund those early days of your new freelance trajectory? What barriers will you need to overcome so you’re not working for someone else? Keep reading and find out!
Start With Your Personal Funds
The hope is that you’ve been saving a bit of every check since beginning your career. It doesn’t need to be a lot but it should cover a few months of expenses. Those expenses include your usual bills but also business development and its marketing.
What other ways can you self-fund the freelance programming business? Try:
• Selling things you no longer want/need
• Tapping into an inheritance (if you have one)
• Being thrifty and controlling your budget
Use a startup calculator to understand what’s needed to launch. Then, trim expenses wherever you see fit. Now you have a baseline for how much comes out of your pocket.
Crowdsource the Startup
Smart computer programming freelancers don’t use their own money to start. Instead, they use other people’s money. This means less risk because failure doesn’t mean you’re now broke, too.
There are a few financial opportunities here:
• Government grants
• Public offerings
Accepting other people’s money tends to make you beholden to their demands. So, find that balance in how much you’re willing to give up for startup funding. When you’ve got that number, reach out to those with money or the community for funds.
Take on a Loan
There are several options for business loans — like:
• Lines of credit
• Term loan
• Cash advance
• SBA loan
• Short-term loan
• Interim loans
The toughest part of getting a loan is conveying your trustworthiness. You’ve don’t have a lot of income proof to provide. So, try a no credit check option along with local loans to start. Later on, you can take on larger loans after establishing the business.
Use a Credit Card
Funding the startup with a personal credit card isn’t the smartest option — but it’s still an option.
This funding path is only recommended for those who have strong budgeting skills. Otherwise, you could find yourself swimming in debt.
The ideal credit card would offer:
• No annual fee
• Low-interest rates
Basic necessities and business expenses can go onto this card. You may be able to juggle everything if you’ve locked in a contract. But, never 100% trust you’ll get paid on time since it’s all-too-common to have clients that make a fuss.
Building a Successful Freelance Programming Business
Those early days of launching your freelance programming business are exciting. There’s so much opportunity to be had! Your drive is stronger than ever because you’re now the boss.
Actualize your entrepreneurial dreams with the right financial moves and smart thinking.
Try the funding options outlined in this guide. Then, explore the many other resources on this site to excel as a programmer. You can do this!