Thinking about getting started in freelancing but wanted to know more about it before you start?
Whether you want to start freelancing as a writer, web designer, or developer, or any other area, here below useful information to help you make your decision.
A freelancer works independently, selling work or services, usually without the intention of entering into a permanent or long-term agreement with a single employer. They usually work from home and use their own tools and are responsible for their maintenance.
But before you start your own freelance business, you should be aware of the pros and cons of your decision.
After all, this type of decision has the potential to be life-changing, both ways: positive or negative.
Advantages of an online freelancing business:
1. You’re your own boss
You no longer have to answer to anyone other than yourself and your customers. No one weighs on you or micromanages you.
You are free to do what you want when you want. Making all the tough decisions has become your responsibility; you have all the control.
2. Time freedom
One of the main advantages of becoming self-employed is that you can work whenever you want. You can choose your own hours.
If you want to sleep until noon, you can do that. If you want to take the weekend to be able to explore the city, go there. As a freelancer, you can actually work your most productive hours, and those hours don’t have to fall during regular office hours.
3. Location freedom
Whether you prefer consistency or getting things done in your work environment, you can choose to work wherever you want, whether you choose to work at a local cafe or while on vacation halfway around the world.
You are no longer stuck in an office or even in your home. Find a place where you work best. You can work in a park, at the library, or in your living room while wearing your pyjamas.
4. Choose your clients
When you work for someone else, you can’t choose who you work with. You may end up with unprofessional or rude clients. But, when you are a freelancer, you can choose who you work with. If you don’t fit a customer’s personality or business or payment philosophies, you can pass on the opportunity and wish them the best. It’s that simple.
5. Earn more
You no longer have to work for a package, no matter how large the projects you complete. Now you can allocate or keep all the profits from your large and small projects and clients.
This gives you the freedom to use that money to improve yourself and grow your business.
6. Fewer meetings and bureaucracy
As a freelancer, meetings will be a thing of the past – along with all the different silly small business rituals and corporate bureaucracy to do the simplest thing.
If you want to do something, you can just do it. No longer will you need to justify it with a 50-page PowerPoint presentation, trying to convince bored colleagues and executives.
Drawbacks of an online freelancing business:
1. You wear all the hats (project manager, bookkeeper, etc.)
You are now in charge of finding all your own clients and projects.
When you worked a traditional job, your projects were probably handed to you. But now, you’re the sole person responsible, so that means a lot of legwork on your part.
And that means you have to wear many hats, including marketing, advertising, and sales.
2. Always chasing clients’ payments
Being a freelancer also means that you run the risk of not getting paid. This is fairly common in the freelance world, and one more hat you’ll have to wear is that of a debt collector.
There are ways to protect yourself from non-paying clients, but sometimes you won’t realize you’re at risk until it’s too l
3. You often work longer hours
Being your own boss and working from your home also means that it can be difficult to distinguish between your work time and personal life.
This means that you can work long hours (60 to 80 hours a week) and never make time for your personal interests.
4. Not Steady or Reliable Workloads
Unfortunately, being a freelancer means that your income and your workload are unstable and inconsistent.
For the most part, you won’t be able to depend on any regular project, client, or profit, whereas you would know the exact pay you’ll receive at a traditional job.
5. No Employer Benefits
Health benefits are expensive. Depending on your current health, switching to a freelance lifestyle might not be in your best interest.
Also, starting your own freelance business means you no longer have paid sick days or vacation time to use. Every day you don’t work is a day you won’t get paid.
6. Less certainty
When every decision directly affects you and your independent business personally, without a large corporation’s cushion to help contain any negative impact, it can get very stressful, very quickly.
Do you think your boss’s requests to “prepare this business plan tomorrow morning” were stressful? It’s nothing if you compare it to the butterflies in your stomach when preparing your own business plans and project proposals to convince big clients to approve the order.
What about planning for the future? Without a CEO and senior management to do it for you, it is now your responsibility too.
Freelancing is equally positive and negative. Freelancing means professional freedom, but also instability and risk of failure.
This fact makes the decision of following a freelancing career or not more a matter of personal preference than anything else. Some people are simply happier doing their own thing. Others prefer the safety net and perks of a corporate job.
But if you risk your stability for something more aligned with your professional goals than a traditional job, you have the opportunity to build your name and reputation and get to make your own mark in this world on your own terms.
And that is what being a freelancer is all about.