A freelancer's life is not without its risks, and there are rewards as well. The only way you can know if freelancing is the right road for you is to carefully examine its benefits and drawbacks. Face the freelance problem.
Freelancers are generally perceived as someone who sits at home in their pajamas in front of a laptop with a hot cup of coffee. That's an enjoyable picture, and it might very well be how you choose to work when you go freelance.
However, working like that involves a freelance problem. It's important to take a hard look at the cons of being a freelancer if you've been considering quitting your job and working on your own. So, what could be the disadvantages of freelancing?
There are too many freelancers who assume that their income is the same as what they earned while they were employed. You must calculate an hourly or per-project rate that gives you an annual income that is not just equal to your previous salary but also includes the costs of the benefits you no longer receive as an employee.
Maybe your former employer provided generous benefits: paid sick leave, health insurance, contributions, paid vacation time, and disability coverage. This is a freelance problem. As a result of running your own business, you must also factor in the expenses you'll incur.
For the value of these employee benefits and other costs, how much extra should you charge? Your benefits will be determined by a number of factors, such as the industry in which you work and the kind of benefits your previous employer-provided.
You may be required to earn two times your previous full-time base salary. This is a freelance problem: you're sacrificing employee benefits along with all the other expenses required to maintain your business. What could be the disadvantages of freelancing? Read on.
Another freelance problem: you'll give your clients a specific service, but you'll also devote time to business activities that you never had to do before as an employee. Aside from being responsible for the work your client has hired you to perform, you will also have to handle all the administration required, such as billing, invoicing, and other accounting procedures.
Additionally, you will have to sell, market, and advertise your services. It is likely that you will spend seven to ten hours per week doing these extra activities, which unfortunately aren't billable. This is a freelance problem.
Every month you have to pay rent or mortgage, you have to buy food, and you have to pay your car payment-unfortunately, none of these costs adjust themselves to fit within your budget.
As an employee, you could look forward to a regular paycheck, but when you had a freelance problem unless you're lucky enough to work for regular, consistent clients, you won't have a consistent flow of money coming in. What could be the disadvantages of freelancing?
Within the next 30 days, you are very likely to get four or five times this month's rent, but that won't mean much to your landlord or the bank on the due date of your rent or mortgage.
Whenever you are employed, you will be given work to do when you arrive at work. Freelancers do not have this luxury. Face the freelance problem.
Sometimes, especially once you've established yourself as a freelancer, a potential client will contact you via email or phone because of word of mouth, but most of the time, you'll have to do the legwork to get those jobs.
There are several freelance job boards online, particularly for creative fields such as web development, web design, and online writing. Or, you can network to find the job you want.
No longer will you be able to delegate client issues or office mishaps to others. Freelancers do have to take responsibility for their actions.
You will have to deal with things such as malfunctioning office equipment and missed payments in addition to negotiating with deadbeat clients. What could be the disadvantages of freelancing?
There won't be an IT person nearby to fix things for you or to give you a new laptop when your laptop falls in love with the blue screen of death. You're the one who'll have to deal with the consequences when a client who's up to now reasonable turns out to be a very demanding one.
An individual's decision to become a freelancer can have a major impact on his or her life, and as such, it shouldn't be taken lightly. The only way to know whether freelancing is right for you is to try it.
Consider objectively the freelance problem if you are thinking of taking the first step. The rewards may outweigh the risks, so perhaps it's time to take the plunge. If the risks are too much, maybe the time is not quite right for you to become a full-time freelancer.
Did you learn what could be the disadvantages of freelancing?