Freelancing is an ideal way to work whenever you want and on whatever you want. You don’t have a real boss, you can work however you see fit, and there’s no limit to how much you can earn. But wait a minute! It’s not as easy as that.
The world of the freelancer is one fraught with danger. You don’t just get to walk in and pick up a mega pay check. There are so many challenges you’ll have to face before you can even think about relaxing. Here are some of the biggest challenges faced by freelancers in all industries today.
The vast majority of freelancers will be working for far less than what they’re worth. It’s unfair, but this is how the market works. You have to go above and beyond what’s expected of you to advance to the higher pay levels.
To solve this problem, avoid getting bogged down and step up your marketing game. As a small business, you have to go out and find the higher paying clients. They’re not going to come to you…at least not yet.
That one-hour job you’ve just been assigned will never actually take you just an hour. What many new freelancers underestimate is the added time spent preparing invoices, learning new things, and doing all that extra work your client didn’t tell you about.
Yes, you’ll always have to spend time doing admin, but you can reduce the amount of time spent doing this through structuring your time better. Schedule your day meticulously. Get into the habit of only checking emails at designated times, doing the admin, and keeping good records.
The Tax Situation
As a freelancer, you’re self-employed and you’re responsible for doing your own taxes. Getting audited is an ever present threat, and you don’t want to receive that ominous knock at the door.
To reduce your chances of getting into trouble with the tax people, keep great records and avoid making any mistakes on your tax returns. Make sure you always hire the services of an accountant to check your calculations. It might cost more, but it’s better than arguing with the taxman.
Feast and Famine
The fact is freelancing is an industry that exists on feast and famine. Within a matter of weeks you can go from being overloaded to having absolutely nothing on your plate. There’s nothing you can do about this. Every contractor runs into this problem sooner or later.
What you can do is prepare for when it does happen. Always store some of your income separately. This way you won’t find yourself defaulting on your rent when work does slow down.
Moving Up the Ladder
You’ve been working for the same rates all year. You’re not moving up the career ladder and getting a bigger income. Stagnation is what tends to happen to freelancers at the intermediate level.
This is why you have to consider upping your rates and offloading some of your cheaper clients. It’s a bold move to make, but it’s a necessary one if you’re going to keep on growing bigger and earning more. It might not work initially, but you’ll be better off in the long-term.
All these challenges are things you’ll face at some point. The only way you can overcome them is through preparing for them before they hit you. One of the biggest reasons why they cause so much damage is they come out of nowhere. Unsuspecting freelancers will get knocked back because of this. Use the advice here to prepare for these challenges, and when they do come you’ll have no problems overcoming them.