Going freelance can be an incredibly satisfying experience, but that’s not to say that there aren’t any pitfalls. Stress, long hours and the lack of long term financial security can all add to a mounting sense of pressure that the vast majority of freelancers will feel. With more and more skilled professionals deciding to go freelance, it is important to know the potential problems a start-up freelancer may face. This article will explain the most common issues freelancers face and how to deal with them.
Finding New Clients
Finding clients is possibly the biggest hurdle freelancers face. After all, no matter what your level of skill or expertise, if the money simply isn’t coming in, life is hard. It’s important to take note of all professional contacts you’ve made in the past and whether it would be appropriate to approach them for project or contractual work. Call up old colleagues and friends to see if they are aware of any work available.
In any big town or city, there are usually an array of ‘networking’ events that have been designed to allow people in similar industries to build working relationships with others. This is fertile ground for any start-up freelancer. Taking the opportunity to meet the organisations in your area and being active in a specific industries community could open doors that previously seemed impassable. It’s surprising how often freelancers find work through word-of-mouth recommendations.
With most freelancers, the bulk of the workload tends to come from one or two clients. So once that mainstay client is found, freelancers can relax a little and start looking for desirable opportunities in other places.
Time management is often an overlooked factor when freelancers set up shop. Good project planning and execution is a cornerstone of any good professional, let alone business. There is software that can help track how many hours have been spent on a particular project. Also, if someone is working across a number of locations, a cloud-based time project management service would allow the user access anywhere that has an internet connection.
It can be the case that a project may take longer than the time initially anticipated, so a client needs to see evidence of the time spent on the project. This is another instance where time management software is an invaluable tool to a freelancer. Investing in a time management solution is essential for anyone that is serious about their freelance career.
Contracts and Legal Issues
The sheer amount of paperwork, contracts and legalities involved with working for yourself can seem like a daunting prospect to someone starting out as a freelance worker. Often, this side of a business is left to those with expertise or experience in such matters and can be a new experience for an aspiring freelancer.
The most important consideration is to ensure any legal or contractual paperwork is filed away in an orderly fashion. If the freelancer in question does not feel comfortable handling legal and contractual paperwork, it is best to leave it the professionals. Also, any terms and conditions that are supplementary to a contract should be given a thorough examination.
Despite the stress, extra hours and obvious pitfalls that can be associated with freelance working, being your own boss can be a liberating experience.