These days, more and more people are freelancing. Some might have gotten into it by accident while between regular jobs while others made a conscious decision to start their own freelancing business. This is definitely challenging but can be very rewarding at the end of the day.
If you are considering freelancing, it’s important to know a few things first.
Success Takes Time.
Freelancing is not an overnight success. You will not see the money pouring in immediately after you have established yourself as a freelancer. Just like with any other type of work, it takes time to build up your success and see the money pouring in. There are many details that go into being a freelancer that determine how long it might take to reach that point, even if you already have impressive skills in your chosen field. The bottom line is that you should always give yourself at least a good three months before you expect to see truly positive results from your work.
Being Your Own Boss is Hard.
While you might think it’s easy, being your own boss is anything but that. Most people are fairly lousy bosses when they are freelancers who work for themselves. It’s difficult and you might not be as disciplined as you think. Additionally, there are certain things you might have issues with as your own boss. For instance, you might not stop to take a lunch break, take time off, take a much-needed vacation or even know when to stop working. You may also have an issue with not knowing how much money you may earn or how much you can afford to spend as a freelancer.
Expensive Office Space is Unnecessary.
Overall, when you start your freelancing or have already established yourself as a freelancer, you don’t have to go all out and spend a lot of money on office space or even equipment unless you really need the latter. Clients only care that you provide quality services. You can simply work from your own home office or even a specific space like your living room or bedroom.
You Should Expect Droughts.
It’s important to be aware that freelancing does not guarantee a regular, steady salary. There will be moments when work will be scarce and you won’t have work to do and income to earn. Unfortunately, this is normal in the life of a freelancer. You should always be prepared for times like that and look toward your savings account to cover your expenses. As a general rule, you should have at least three months’ worth of money on which to rely in case of an unexpected emergency. If you don’t have ample savings, you will want to do your research on alternative funding sources, such as credit cards or direct lenders online, which may help you weather the storm following an unexpected emergency.
Clients Won’t Always Pay on Time.
Unfortunately, another normal part of freelancing is that many clients won’t pay on time. In the daily life of an average freelancer, you might wait several days before a client pays you for your work. As a result, it’s important to have a contingency plan in place for just such a situation.
When you create your invoices for your clients, you should add in clear and concise payment terms. Generally speaking, the standard for this should be 30 days. You may also begin charging interest from your clients once they have passed the 30 day limit for paying you for your work. You should know that the law is on your side as a professional freelancer. These are in place to protect you.
If you have larger projects that you are having difficulty getting paid for, you might want to consider charging deposits upfront. From there, you can set up a payment schedule to recover the remainder of what your client owes. This can lower the risk that you don’t get paid at all.
These are all important things to know before committing to freelancing. Once you know what to expect, being a professional freelancer is easier.