If you are considering becoming a freelancer, you should acknowledge the disadvantages of working on your own, not just the benefits. We have some hard truths that might make you reconsider your plans. Read on.
Thinking about becoming a freelancer and enjoying the perks of working for yourself? Freelancing will give you the freedom to create your own schedule and take on projects you are really interested in. No more meetings! You wont have a boss constantly looking over your shoulder and you will be able to work from home. Consequently, you will be able to spend more time with your loved ones.
However, before making the big step and embracing life as a freelancer, take a moment and carefully consider the responsibilities you will have to take on. Being a freelancer does come with lots of benefits, but there are some hard truths you should know before starting your adventure.
Long hours and low income
Initially, until you build a reputation as a trusted and hardworking professional, you will have to put in a lot of hours and accept low paid projects. You will have to earn your clients trust and deliver results in a timely manner. This way you will receive good recommendations that can land you jobs afterward. Building a strong reputation as a freelancer takes time and discipline, so it wont be easy in the beginning.
You need self-discipline
Sleeping in might seem appealing – after all, you are working for yourself. The truth is that you will have to stick to office-going work hours in order to make it in the freelancing world. Clients wont be available at 2 a.m. to respond to your e-mails or give you guidance via Skype. They also keep office hours and thats when its most likely they will contact you with the latest updates.
You have to deal with clients
The way you deal with your clients will directly affect your income as a freelancer. You have to be helpful, direct, polite and respectful. Your clients are more likely to stick with you if you are easy-going and focused on delivering 100 percent.
If you want to impress them, you also have to be able to assist any time they are in need. Consider investing in remote computer software to make sure you can access your files and projects, even if you are away from your computer.
You have to negotiate
As a freelancer, your earnings are directly dependent on your rates. You have to learn how to negotiate these rates in order to succeed. Its perfectly normal to have low rates in the beginning. Steadily raise them as your skills improve and you gain a reputation for yourself.
You need extra savings
Freelancing wont provide you with a fixed income. There might even be times when you wont find any work available. Thats why extra savings are a must for freelancers.
Convincing banks to trust your money is harder
Getting a mortgage when you are only making money from freelancing will be tough. Your income will be derived from temporary contracts with various employers can potentially end without warning. Earning the trust of financial institutions will be difficult. Its true that some banks offer special considerations for freelancers, but those deals come at a price.
Working for yourself can get lonely. Isolation can affect your mood and productivity. If you enjoy working in a crowded office and bounce ideas with your co-workers, maybe you should think twice before going on your own.
Freelancing isnt for everyone. But if you are disciplined, hardworking and you treat freelancing as a business you will definitely have what it takes to succeed. Be respectful to your clients and learn how to sell your skills. After that, youre good to go.