While freelancing is a great opportunity for supplemental income. Freelancing is hard. This article provides 8 Things to Consider Before Becoming a Freelancer. I been contracting for nearly 15 years, how hard could it be?
What I learned: Freelancing is hard.
Freelancing isn’t just full time contracting. The move to freelancing turned contracting business. Contracting nights and weekends for extra money had its very own set of constraints that clients understood. Once contracting became our “day job,” clients expected us to act a lot more like a business. Income will no longer supplemental, however vital, and every project was potentially the last. Taxes went up. Responsibilities shifted and communication requirements changed.
We learned through trial and error that the freedom of freelancing includes its very own challenges. It is a job, will no longer a hobby. To succeed, there has to be dedicated, intentional effort.
Freelancing might give you a lot more choices in what you are doing and how you are doing it, however it is also a move from having one boss to having many. Every client becomes your boss. When something breaks, you fix it, and when deadlines are looming, you’re alone in the office finishing up.
Before you decide to move to freelancing, take a significant look at your core self, your situation in life, and your life goals. It might be time for a change, however consider these questions before you take on freelancing.
1. Do you want a consistent income flow?
There are going to be times in life when a constant income flow is a must. Paying child support? Have the kids in private school? College? How about some extra debt you were hoping to pay off? In case you have inflexible demands on your own income, it might be required to stick with your current job a little longer. It’s possible to make much more money freelancing, however it can easily come in at unpredictable times. The stress that may erupt from waiting on a check can easily ruin the freelance experience and put serious pressure on the relationships around you.
2. Do you have insurance needs?
In case you have not discovered this yet, insurance is expensive. For 10 years our previous employer paid our insurance. We knew when we decided to head out on our own that this would be an expense we’d require to compensate for. What we didn’t expect was the high deductible we would require to be able to have a manageable monthly payment. In case you have health issues or possibly a young growing family, it might be better to stay with your current job. The added stress of trying to pay medical expenses can easily overburden a new freelancing career.
3. Are you too soft-hearted to be firm with clients?
My friend hated contracting. She liked the work, however she couldn’t stand up to her clients. She struggled to set limits and be firm about payment. She found herself continuing to make changes beyond the original scope and was unable to take back control of the project. Eventually, she quit contracting all together and found a job where she could create without having to deal directly with clients.
4. Do you constantly struggle to be organized?
Being poorly organized will ruin freelancing fast. Everyone simply ends up angry and frustrated. Clients feel cheated because projects aren’t delivered when promised. Payments do not come in because invoices never went out. Without having organization, you end up working all the time to make up for the distractions that may have crowded into your day. If you are someone who doesn’t wish to deal with the details of a project, then find a job that fits that, however do not try out freelancing.
5. Do you dislike dealing with clients?
This isn’t just being soft-hearted; this is all the way.
Truth is, clients are a hassle. They require hand holding and speak a language all their very own. They have wants. They have needs. If all you wish to do is create, then freelancing isn’t for you.
A business can not survive without having customers – and if you are a business of one, no one else is there to manage them.
6. Would you actually want to run a business?
Running a business has its very own challenges. There’s a lot to remember, a lot to organize, and a lot of responsibilities beyond creating the product. You can actually find help (accountants, billing software, etc.), however you will still have work on your end.
Nothing can easily ruin a future faster than running a business poorly.
Legal issues can certainly occur. Poorly handled taxes will lead to audits and large bills. If you are not willing to take it seriously, walk away and find a job working for someone else.
7. Do you struggle to save money or manage finances?
Certainly one of the biggest struggles in the move to freelancing is definitely the income flow. Work comes and goes. There are times when clients are beating down your door as well as other times when everyone is off on vacation. You’ll have months where you might pull in substantial revenue as you’ve closed out a big project as well as other months where all your time went into business development and project management.
In case you are someone who just can not save for the lean times, freelancing is going to be a consistent strain. Sure, some months you’ll have money to burn, however the next month you are shaking out the couch cushions. Seriously, this happens.
8. Is your community supportive?
Freelancing is stressful. There’s constant pressure to finish the current project while at exactly the same time establishing the next. Some days you work all the hours you may keep your eyes open knowing tomorrow will be exactly the very same. It is a lot to take on with a solid support system. If stress is also coming from the people around you, it can easily feel like drowning. Balancing work, clients, and family is going to be hard enough. In case your community isn’t willing to be flexible, willing to be understanding, and willing to work with you, you could lose both them and your business.
Freelancing is hard – make sure it is best for you
In the end, no path is right for everyone. Yes, freelancing offers a lot more choices, however it also includes much more responsibilities. There are any number of tasks and demands that get overlooked when working for someone else. Consider who you are, what your current needs and goals are, and decide should you want to take on the challenges of freelancing.
Remember, having a skill isn’t enough to build a successful business, however if you are willing and able to take on these new responsibilities, you can actually have the opportunity to shape your own future.
We hope this blog post helped you quickly learn 8 Things to Consider Before Becoming a Freelancer. You can visit our blog to read more blog posts.