As a freelancer, you are no longer required to report to a boss or reach office at a specific time. You can plan your day as per the work available and utilize the rest to spend with the family. Choosing your own hours and not having to commute for long hours are massive advantages of choosing the freelance route. However, freelancing isn’t as easy as it seems as there are many unique challenges along the way.
You may be an expert at e-commerce website development or any other niche area but you could still be at the mercy of unpredictable clients. Your payments could be delayed or your projects may be rejected or sent for rework. However, if you are prepared for the pitfalls that you may encounter on your way, you can be prepared for the same. So let us understand them and know the ways to avoid them
Watch out for these pitfalls
As a freelancer, be prepared to cancel plans for the weekend at the last minute. One of your clients may need some urgent revisions to be done or a high-value project may come your way with a close deadline. Work will come first and you may have to bid goodbye to a night out with friends or an overnight trip.
There could be clients who do not reveal their exact requirements at the start of the project. Other clients are themselves unsure of their goals and are hoping you will guide them along the way. This can lead to unproductive work at times and rework will be entirely at your expense.
It is best to ask for clarifications and a detailed brief before the work begins. Inform the client about the number of revisions you will carry out and the scope of work, if possible on paper. This is especially necessary when the project is time-consuming and payment is at the end of it all.
Micromanaging clients can be quite a pain, especially if they insist on reviewing the work done at every stage. This can prevent you from doing your best work and leave you with a feeling of frustration and stress. Draw the line when it comes to answering midnight calls or responding to emails as it may become difficult to alter such behaviour later.
Make sure you have detailed records of payment received from clients. If you have stopped working with a client due to their inability or delay in making payments, highlight him and ask in advance to ensure you do not enter a loss-making agreement. It may be difficult to bring this up at the time of negotiating the rates, but it is always advisable to be open about your terms than rueing later on.
Being offered a lower rate for your search engine marketing or blogging work may be a mindful choice and you will be ready to compromise. What you won’t be ready for is inordinate delays in receiving payments or not receiving payments at all. Make sure payment terms are discussed and agreed upon before you begin your work. If you are unsure of the client’s intention to pay, ask for an advance so that your needs are taken care of.
Through this article, you may be able to pre-empt certain pitfalls of being a freelancer and it will help you to manage the situation before it arrives at the doorstep. You could also moonlight for a while to get a taste of things to come and it will also help you to take a conscious decision of entering the world of freelancing!