Becoming a freelancer will create a lot of emotions in the first few weeks. We’ve all heard about the fantastic upsides to leaving the office and setting up your own business, but there are some parts of the job that aren’t explained quite as much.
Last month we discussed some of the things that wouldn’t happen to a freelancer. These included; lacking inspiration, choosing the right price immediately and getting on with every client they meet. Today, we’ve decided it’s time to delve into what will happen when you go freelance.
Before you enter into the unknown, make sure you’re aware of the ins and outs of going freelance. But don’t let us put you off; you’ll only know if it’s really for you once you make the leap!
The Angry Client
Unfortunately, becoming a freelancer doesn’t mean all your clients will be happy for you and cheering you on at the side-lines. Finding the initial few clients will mean working with people in a way that you might not be used to, which is pretty a daunting task.
Although most people will appreciate your work and allow you a few initial mistakes, there will be at least one client who is always angry about something. Whether it’s a piece of work they don’t feel is up to scratch, or that you’ve taken too long to get back to them, there’s sometimes nothing you can do but step away.
Don’t refuse to complete work (unless they refuse to pay) and don’t get irate. Calmly work out the rest of the project and don’t allow yourself to work with them again – no matter how much you’re struggling to make rent!
Tinned Beans Month
The security of a job will sometimes feel like a distant memory you would give anything to relive. When you’re sewing up your jeans and wearing extra layers to save on heating, freelancing might seem like the worst decision you’ve made.
You might be surviving solely on tinned beans, but things will get better. We promise. This period of financial uncertainty may next month turn into one of extravagance. The trouble with being freelance is that finance is never steady.
To overcome this turbulence you’ll need a thrifty mind set and a good accountant. This unbeatable duo will allow you to balance your finances evenly throughout the year, meaning you’ll always have some money stashed away to keep those beans at bay.
It’s a typical freelancing stereotype but sometimes, it happens. Working from home can mean you’re isolated throughout the day. With your initial tight budget you’ll want to do as much work as possible, meaning for the first few weeks at least you’ll become something of a recluse.
Don’t let this get you down. Although you need a lot of time for work, it won’t always be like this. You’ll be able to go out and socialise once you have a steady set of clients who you know will be happy with your work.
Once you’ve gotten over the rough transition period, join some classes, go to the gym and meet up with friends and family to get you back to your sociable old self again. Often freelancers have more time for social activities due to a flexible working schedule, so don’t worry for too long.
When you worked behind a desk there was probably plenty of departments dealing with different areas of business. Your job would be pretty straight forward in this sense, and meant you could organise yourself easily with a post-it pad.
Now, it’s a whole other story. You’ve become all of those departments rolled into one, meaning you need an awful lot of post-its. Lists at this point are taking over. So much so that you need a master list that tells you what other lists you have.
It might seem like a stationary struggle but there’s a few ways you can keep your workspace tidy and keep the important stuff at hand. Apps like Trello, Dropbox and Evernote are great ways to make your lists digital. Check out how each of them can help you here.
Attempting to Work in a Messy, Cramped Space
When you go freelance the importance of where you work seems huge. It must be somewhere light, away from the TV and it has to have enough space for you to work. Buying the equipment and decorating your workspace in the beginning is all very exciting. But, after a few months you won’t be quite so meticulous.
When this time comes, you have to make an effort to tidy. All freelancers are different, so some of us might be more productive in a messy environment than others. Sometimes it’s seems easier to knuckle down and ignore it rather than waste time tidying.
Falling into this mind set could be disastrous for your company. It’s important to create a good impression when clients come over, as they won’t be impressed by yesterday’s lunch and tatty paper work. Don’t procrastinate – grab your rubber gloves and feather duster to avoid embarrassment!
A Sense of Accomplishment
In your old office job you probably had an annual review of your work. Apart from that the only time anyone would concern themselves with your work it would have been when something went wrong.
Now, you can monitor your own work and clients will give you testimonials of how well you completed the work. This will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. You set up your own business, found clients and delivered high quality work that they’re pleased with.
Never again will you have to feel like you’re an underappreciated an overlooked member of the team. Without you, none of this would have happened!
Are you waiting to go freelance? Or have you already experienced some of the above? Leave a comment in the section below and let us know!