Freelancing may sound like a dream come true to many people. But as it often happens, not everything is what it seems. Indeed, working from home and being your own boss is tempting, as is the fact that one can save a great deal of time when not having to travel daily to reach the workplace. However, nothing is perfect and freelancing is no exception, as there are a couple of disadvantages that need to be considered before switching to such occupation.
Scheduling Can Be Hard
Even though you are your own boss and but you determine when to work, sometimes the lack of mentorship can influence your productivity in a negative way. Scheduling can be hard, especially when you have to deal with clients from different time zones. Freelancers often have to work during unusual parts of the day or have varying schedules and adjusting could be hard. When you decide to be on your own, you should be prepared to spend more hours working than you would at a regular office job, so building an efficient regime could be a great challenge. Also, the isolation from not having contact with any colleagues or management can result in reduced motivation and productivity.
Legal and Tax Implications
As with any field, managing your freelance income taxes is crucial for the smooth progress of your independent career. However, with your independence, your responsibility is greater as well and you would need to manage your taxes and legal matters yourself. This means that you would need the time to get familiar with what exactly you need to pay, and how the process goes. Freelancers also have to estimate the amount of their taxes individually, so a very well kept documentation is a must if you want to avoid legal mistakes. All in all, you have to be very careful as bureaucracy can be tricky at times and every fault could cost you dearly.
You’re Not a Company
One typical challenge of being a freelancer is the fact that there are no benefits at your disposal such as paid vacation or health insurance. Even if you are living in a country with good health coverage, every day not spent working is a day that you receive zero income. You also need to consider what to do with your clients and how to deal with deadlines when there is an emergency, or you need to take some time off. You can also forget about typical corporate perks like bonuses, awards or recognitions. Another thing worth considering is the fact that you will have to pay every business expense yourself, so additional budgeting is required.
Loans and Credit Concerns
Since you are on your own, occasionally you will have to deal with money concern as you will have to cover the cost for every repair or emergency expense yourself. Finding loans can sometimes be tricky, because banks might ask for proof of income – and your income could fluctuate a lot. From the bank’s point of view, most freelancers are unreliable since their salary can vary greatly with every month, so therefore often getting a loan from a banking institution is not an option for you. There are private options available which you should definitely look into.
It Can Be Unstable
When you become an independent contractor, one of the first things you would probably notice is that the work load is distributed quite unevenly. Often there are days which are hectic and you would be very busy, covering more hours than usual, and there are also times when you would hardly have anything to do, so learning to recognize such periods in advance is vital. Additionally, you need to be prepared financially for the times when you don’t have clients, as your income varies with the amount of work you have.
Finding the Right Balance
Not having someone who tells you when and how long to work may seem quite attractive at first but this freedom is not always a positive thing. For many it is hard to draw the line between their professional and personal life and often it is hard to determine how much work is truly enough. As a result you may either often overwork yourself, or not keep up with your schedule, which could lead to a short-lived freelancing career. Another difficulty a lot of freelancers face is finding the right motivation for work, especially when you are working alone and it is hard for you to stay disciplined.
With that being said, one should definitely consider all of the aspects of freelancing before setting on that path, since this is not something for everyone. Choosing this as a career depends strongly on individual situation and qualities, as for example not everyone is suited to work independently and in isolation. In the end, there is nothing wrong with sticking to the corporate world if that feels better for you.
Good advertising has always been a vital part of successful business, and time hasn’t changed much in that aspect. A well-thought ad campaign can improve the health of your personal business greatly and attract a much wider pool of clients as well. So, if you haven’t thought of doing something on that front, the sooner you start, the better it would be for you and your company. With the great technological advances in the latest years, the opportunities for digital marketing have also been on the rise as well, and the old advertisement tricks that you know may be now obsolete.
Understand the Costs
As a start, it is important to determine the size of your budget. Knowing how much money you have to operate with is a must for your further actions and once you have done that, you can safely proceed to make a plan based on your personal means. For example, if it turns out you don’t have enough for your dream marketing campaign, don’t despair – just take the time to think where you can make some reductions or find cheaper alternatives. You can also search for free ways for promoting your company as not everything has to be expensive in order to work.
Have You Done Enough Market Research?
When planning a marketing campaign, it is best if you do a lot of research first. Have you determined your intended audience, or whether you wish to expand only locally? Even if you think you can answer those questions right away without much consideration, do not rush. It is always a plus if you have done some reading in the beginning, so you have a clear perspective of your product and how exactly you are going to distribute your message to the public, since it is very important to know more about your clients first.
The Hidden Challenges
Designing an engaging ad can be very challenging sometimes, and if you don’t put enough thought into it, it can have negative consequences for your business and reputation. After all, if you ever find yourself with a negative image, it will be much harder for you to repair it and a lot more work will be required from your side. Another possible caveat to look out for is if you tend to rely too much on social media when trying to promote your brand. Using social media to attract new potential customers or to increase your followers may be a good strategy, but it is not nearly enough, and it can sometimes even backfire if you rely on it too heavily.
Supplementing Your Funding
When promoting a small personal business, it is often the case that the funding for ad campaigns is limited. You most likely won’t be able to afford flashy and spectacular ads at first, but do not lose faith, as a lot could be achieved even with a lack of substantial funding. Taking out a loan can be a good way to supplement the situation. After all, you don’t want to miss out on a great marketing idea just because you’re limited on funds right now.
This advice may sound strange to you at first, but it is also vital to stay patient and not overdo anything when it comes to advertising your company. Since every ad is a business investment, there is also a risk that you might lose the initial money you poured into you campaign if it turns out that the ad doesn’t attract the attention of the desired number of people. Also, beware of focusing too much on advertising, instead of developing your business, which is your first priority after all. It all comes down to how much you can handle and it all depends on your personal situation.
Track Your Progress
Being able to have a clear picture of where you started and what you have achieved with your efforts is invaluable. If you track your progress carefully, you should be able to analyse your situation with greater precision, making better decisions regarding what can be improved in your business. Tracking the visitors to your website(s) is the most basic example for this, and it can bring a lot to the table when done right. Regular observation prevents you from wasting money and time on unimportant details and it will be easier for you to choose the best strategy for your situation.
A lot of people tend to overlook the importance of good advertising, but nevertheless, a good ad can turn a company’s life around. If you don’t have any experience with ads, it may be confusing for you at first, but with patience and motivation, you can achieve brilliant results, even when the money is tight, so don’t give up and give it a try.