Freelancing is often thought of as an easier, more flexible life than the traditional 9 to 5 job. While this is true in some ways, there are many challenges that freelancers face. If you are just getting started as a freelancer, there is a good chance you will face some of these challenges in your first year. You should never think of a challenge in a negative way. Challenges will help you grow as a person and become more resilient in your business. Challenges give you opportunities to learn. Here are five of the most common challenges a freelancer will face and how you can overcome them
We feel restricted by what we have done in the past. We have a comfortable routine and do not feel like we can go outside of it. Freelancing gives you the ability to explore new opportunities to grow your business and improve yourself as a professional. But even when you are exploring new options, it can be hard to switch gears. To overcome this, it is important to stay open to new possibilities. Try to be cognizant of your motivation when making decisions. The more you can be intentional about your decisions, the better you will feel. Non-Creative or Emotional Agility Most freelancers come to the profession because they need flexibility. It is often the first time they are independent and have the power to design their own schedule.
Challenge #1 - Finding Work
If you have a job, you probably already know about this challenge. If you are seeking out freelance opportunities, this challenge is likely one of the first you will face. Often, freelancers do not know how to find new clients or even know what they want to do as a freelance worker. Maybe you are a graphic designer, content creator, or just do a little of everything. Either way, there is something you can do to help you find work. As a freelancer, your priority will be finding work. That is the first step. Go online and search for the jobs that are relevant to you. Remember that if the work sounds good, the client looks good, and you want the work, then you should probably send them an email. Most businesses are on LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media sites.
Challenge #2 - Finding Clients
Clients are the lifeblood of a freelancer's business. These individuals are the people who are willing to hire you, trust you, and who are making the business happen. The second challenge is to get clients. Although there are plenty of websites and community forums to help you find clients, you still need to do the legwork and put yourself out there. If you're a solopreneur, you may not have much to gain by building relationships with the top search engines. Solopreneurs can establish more personal relationships with their clients by joining local networking groups and asking them directly for help. Get to know the right people who know the right people. Networking events and meet-up groups can be extremely valuable to growing your freelance business.
Challenge #3 - Getting Paid
It's really important that freelancers do everything they can to avoid running into payment issues. They don't want to miss payments or get stuck with overdue debt. Freelancers should plan ahead and keep at least a 30 day buffer on their payables. Another strategy that freelancers can use is to allow clients to pay their invoices as they receive them. In this way, invoices get paid faster. Some of my clients even send me invoices on my behalf. This gives me a bit of a head start and helps me avoid having to send out invoices to others. If invoices aren't getting paid on time, check with your clients about paying on time. You can encourage them to pay ahead so you get paid first. Challenge #4 - Money Flow Freelancing has many benefits but it does have its drawbacks.
Challenge #4 - Managing Your Schedule
It's natural to look for a traditional full-time job at some point during your freelancing career. However, don't forget about freelancing. Having a schedule full of projects at varying degrees of completeness is tough. You need to balance work with life. As a freelancer, it's up to you to manage your schedule. This means you have to accept the reality that not all your work will be completed every day. Try to create some sort of plan or schedule to help you manage your schedule. If you plan to be online during a certain time each day, make sure to stick to it. It's also important to set aside time to exercise and socialize outside of your business. This can help you balance your work and personal lives.
Challenge #5 - Keeping Your Business Running
In your first year of business, you will inevitably have to go through periods of plenty and periods of want. You will be busy one week with your customers and going out for coffee or lunch, followed by the next week you are struggling to pay your bills. You may even have to go without lunch or coffee for a few days, if that is all you can afford. This is a normal part of your entrepreneurial journey. You will have many weeks like this throughout your career. You can be proactive by setting aside a certain amount of money from each month to go toward the smallest of emergencies. This way, you are always prepared. Many freelancers also find it beneficial to set aside a percentage of each monthly income to go toward potential future savings.
There are many advantages to working as a freelancer. It can give you the freedom you desire. You don’t have to wait to go on vacation, because you work for yourself. But there are many things that will challenge you. When it comes to overcoming these challenges, you should be determined to succeed and stay optimistic. It is normal to have some worries when starting out. You can work on your website, client roster and look for additional income sources. After you overcome a few challenges, you will be better prepared to make your career a success.