One of the most exciting experiences is starting a new career, the idea of becoming a freelancer makes that feeling even better. Being self-employed gives you the freedom to work around your own schedule, take on what workload you can manage and make business decisions to benefit personally from. However, even though these benefits are perfect for some, they can also hinder your freelancing career if you don’t revise them properly, here’s a look at 5 freelancing nightmares and how you can avoid them.
Create a Business Plan
You don’t have to have big goals to create a business plan, the plan should be put in place to give your business structure. The idea is that you can evaluate how much work you need to keep the freelancing business as a realistic source of income, along with the amount of time and cost you invest in your clients. Setting goals should be an option too, having something to strive toward to help your freelancing improve is a healthy way to make a profitable business.
Use Social Media
Using social media platforms is a free, easy way for advertising your business. Using LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are all perfect ways to increase your public awareness, they are all free and easy to maintain, posting articles you have created, your interests and availability will naturally attract people to make enquiries. Creating business use profiles is a good idea too if you don’t want to be constantly conscious of what you are posting on your personal media pages.
One of the most common areas freelancers create problems for themselves, keeping up with your accounting is crucial to success. Even though writers are more creatively inclined, keeping an up-to-date list of all income and out-goings will help avoid any problems with the taxman at the end of the year. Also, keeping tabs on expenses help with keeping costs down, in the beginning. Even the coffee from the local café should be noted, it all adds up and if you find you write best in a coffee shop you might be spending more than viable in the beginning.
Accounting software is available to help organise your finances, it uses a template to layout everything in an easy format and some programmes even have the ability to send out invoices to clients, which makes your business look much more professional.
Another crucial area to consider even from the beginning, making sure you freelancing business is insured can be a make or break situation. Having professional indemnity insurance means that if a client decided to take any legal action against you, you would have the financial backing to battle the claim legally. A client may not be happy with the work produced, find the work plagiarised or think that the work has damaged their business, either way, the insurance will help with all the heavy lifting and spare you from the majority of hours put into the legal proceedings. Not having insurance means that you would have to pay any legal fees and put your own hours into protecting your career, which has the potential to ruin your business.
Sometimes you’ll find yourself going the extra mile for a client, spending additional hours working for them or just putting in extra time to earn a bit extra. It’s important to take time off to reenergise, it’s easy to become stressed and burnout whilst being self-employed, you’re more likely to work slowly and to a poorer standard if you’re working more. Taking a day or two off from work can really help with refreshing your approach to current work, so as important as it is to keep clients happy, make sure you’re also happy with the level of work your offering.
It’s also important to avoid bad clients, it’s likely that you will experience a couple in your career, they’ll keep adding work on for no extra change, set unrealistic deadlines and treat you to a substandard. Whilst completing the contract with them is important for professionalism, it best to redistribute your time elsewhere if they want work in the future.
Just some tips if you’re considering going into freelancing or you’ve already begun. There isn’t a perfect way to begin but it’s always nice to know that you’re not the only one who has run into some of these problems.