BUSINESS CHALLENGES FOR FREELANCERS

Think of ‘freelancing’ and you may think of the freedom that it brings. No boss, no agenda, no problems. Should you approach your freelance career with this naivety expect to add no structure, no clients and no money to the list. Freelancing is also known by other names such as 'contracting' or 'being self employed'. Both of these titles conjure up a slightly different picture.

The worrying statistic is that 80% of freelancers are failing within the first 18 months of business. Why? They simply run out of money. A typical journey of a successful freelancer, entrepreneur, contractor, startup or small business is to survive the first year, develop regular work to grow the business and eventually become an established and highly profitable entity. The journey of the other 80% is often less progressive. Set up a freelance business with no plan, promote work to friends, family and on social media, struggle to find enough clients to support the business, dip into the personal savings, run out of money.

You may be self taught or may have taken a course in your chosen field. Now you’ve got the skills - great. Next you’ve got to convince enough people to pay you for your time to earn a living and it’s here where most freelancers fall down. Without the right mindset or plan, developing a business from nothing to survival stage is an uphill battle. 

If you’re not making enough money from freelancing and don’t know why, it’s almost always a business problem that can be fixed. From time to time, a freelancer’s service isn’t good enough to command a price but this is rarely the case. The good news is that it’s not too late. You can still very easily and very quickly learn the necessary business skills to strive in the freelance industry. 

You don’t need a masters degree in every business area that you’re going to require but you do need to be a jack of all trades when it comes to running a freelance business. A little about branding, marketing, finance, legal, sales and customer service is a good start. 


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