Becoming a freelancer can be an incredibly fulfilling experience, but that doesn’t mean there are no pitfalls. Stress, long work days and lack of long-term financial security all contribute to the stress the vast majority of freelancers feel. With more and more experienced professionals deciding to become a freelancer, it’s important to understand the potential problems budding freelancers can face. This article explains the most common problems encountered by freelancers and how to deal with them.
Find new customers
Finding clients can be the biggest hurdle a freelancer faces. After all, no matter what your level of skills or expertise, life will be difficult if there is no money coming in at all. It is important to note what professional connections you have made in the past and whether you are suitable for project or contract work with them. Call old colleagues and friends to see if they know of an available job.
In any major city, there is usually a series of “social” events designed to allow people in similar industries to develop working relationships with others. This is fertile ground for any starting freelancer. Seizing the opportunity to meet with organizations in your area and be active in specific industry communities can open doors that previously seemed insurmountable. It’s surprising how often freelancers find work through word of mouth.
For most freelancers, most of the workload comes from one or two clients. So once a big client is found, the freelancer can relax and look elsewhere for the ideal opportunity.
Time management is often an overlooked factor when freelancers are setting up shop. Good project planning and execution is the cornerstone of any good professional, let alone a business. There is software that can help keep track of how many hours are spent on a particular project. If someone works from multiple locations, the cloud-based time project management service allows the user to access any place with an internet connection.
Projects may take longer than initially expected, so customers should be able to see evidence of time spent on projects. This is another example where time management software is an invaluable tool for freelancers. For anyone serious about freelancing, investing in a time management solution is critical.
Contract and legal issues
The sheer amount of paperwork, contracts, and legalities required to work for yourself can seem like a daunting prospect to someone just starting out as a freelancer. Often this aspect of the business is reserved for those with expertise or experience in such matters, and it can be a new experience for aspiring freelancers.
The most important consideration is to ensure that all legal or contractual documents are filed in an orderly manner. If the freelancer in question isn’t comfortable dealing with legal and contract paperwork, it’s best to have a professional do it for you. In addition, any additional terms of the contract should be thoroughly reviewed.
Despite the stress, extra hours, and obvious pitfalls of freelancing, being your own boss can be a liberating experience.