What Are the Pitfalls of Working as a Freelancer?
Many people dream of ditching the 9-5 routine and working for themselves instead. But what about the pitfalls of this type of career move?
Over recent years, a rising number of people have actually managed to achieve the goal of being their own boss. They have broken free from employment to enjoy the many benefits of working for themselves on a freelance basis.
However, it is important to consider the pitfalls of working for yourself. Only then can you make an informed choice about whether this is the right move for you.
For instance, you have to sort out all financial issues. You need to deal with taxes as well as business loans for bad credit. Further, you will need to organize yourself. There will be nobody to pass the buck to if things go awry. In fact, there are many possible pitfalls to consider.
On the other hand, most still agree that the pros outweigh the cons. What’s more, with perseverance and hard work, you can avoid the common pitfalls.
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How to Avoid Some Common Pitfalls
Be mindful about the pitfalls of working for yourself on a freelance basis. When you are, you can better choose the best route forward for your career. Some of the pitfalls that you need to consider include:
Developing a Routine
Many freelancers find it difficult to develop a working routine. They end up working all sorts of strange hours. This is not only bad for your health but can also have an effect on your work-life balance. Try to start at about the same time every workday as well as finish at a certain time. This will take discipline and practice, key skills you’ll need to develop if you want to avoid the pitfalls and be successful at being your own boss.
Many freelancers work from home. The downside to this is that you may find yourself being constantly interrupted by family and friends. It can be easy to lose your train of thought because of people constantly coming in and out of your work space and interrupting you.
To avoid this pitfall, set aside a space in your home where you conduct your business. Lovingly but firmly, inform your family and friends that they are not to come into your work space and interrupt you during your set business hours unless the house is on fire.
Electronic distractions can take time out of your workday as well, so keep them to a minimum. Turn the ringer off on your phone unless you’re expecting calls from clients. Also, sign out of your social media accounts during your workday, unless you need them for your work projects.
Dealing with Everything
If you work alone as a freelancer, you will have to deal with every aspect of your business yourself. This includes the actual work that you do, as well as the running of your business. You’ll need to keep up with and file your own taxes, for example. In order to do this, you’ll need to maintain a running log of your earnings and expenses.
Set aside an hour or two each week to handle your business’s administrative details so that they don’t pile up and become a burden.
When you work for an employer you know the date you will be paid and how much you will get. As a freelancer, this is a bygone luxury. You have to wait until your clients decide to make their payments to you. You won’t have any way of knowing from one month to the next what your earnings will be.
The best remedy for this problem is to develop great relationships with good clients. Choose clients with whom you’re compatible, and do the best work you can possibly do for them. Establish agreements ahead of time about how much and when you will be paid for your work. You deserve to be paid in a timely manner for the work that you do, and good clients know and understand this.
Also, set income targets for yourself. Make them realistic, based on what you know you need every week or month to meet your minimum expenses. You’ll know what those minimum requirements are from the basic record-keeping you do.
Once again, a disciplined approach can save the day. While may not meet your minimum income targets all the time, if you keep aiming toward them consistently, you’ll do just fine over time. That’s because sometimes you’ll make more than you need, and you can begin setting aside some funds for the lean times.
Overcome the Pitfalls and Rise to the Top
These are some of the key disadvantages that come with working for yourself as a freelancer compared to working for an employer. However, with many live news reports detailing the rising number of people going it alone, people can clearly see the upside of freelancing as well. With your own steady discipline and commitment to excellence, you’re bound to be one of the freelancers who rises to the top.