Freelancing has many advantages such as the ability to work from home or somewhat called the “perfect work-life balance”, but it is far away from being problem-free! From managing a complete business without manpower to dealing with unsatisfied clients, there are many problems freelancers usually complaint about. The IT-project board www.freelancermap.com recently has investigated in the disadvantages of the life as a freelancer and therefore conducted a survey among its freelancing users. More than 400 users worldwide participated in this survey.
1. Finding clients
More than half of the participating freelancers (51,5 %) reported that finding clients is the biggest challenge of a freelancer. You constantly must promote yourself to develop your business and to find clients. This can include cold calls, cold mails and placing ads, talking and meeting with business owners, speaking on fairs, filling your personal website with life and taking part in business networks and social media – the list of necessary marketing activities is long. And as if that were not enough, as a freelance you must acquire new clients and develop your business BESIDES your “real mission” of serving recent clients.
2. No income when sick or on vacation
Another problem many freelancers (14,5 %) face is the lack of payments when being sick or on vacation. In fact taking a holiday as a freelancer goes along with having no income. As a freelancer, you can’t count on general benefits most full-time employees receive e.g. paid vacation, paid sick days, retirement savings or medical, dental and life insurance. Being a freelancer always means having a back-up plan when you are not available to serve your clients as contracted.
3. Round the clock coverage
Amazon, ebay and all these other famous web shops has made people think that online services are always available 24/7. And as a freelancer who is working remotely it seems that the rules are equal. Therefore, 11,9 % of the interviewed freelancers complain about the expected “Round the Clock” coverage. As an independent worker, you may receive phone calls and mails during the night, on weekends or even during your vacation, especially when your clients are located in a different time zone.
4. Unstable income
When it comes to income, a lot of freelancers (11,1 %) face problems. As a freelancer, you will encounter lean times and busy times. If your workload is varying from month to month, same will happen to your freelance income. This makes is quite difficult to predict your degree of liquidity next month. But you can rely that your bills will always come in on time, no matter if you had a beneficial month or not. Therefore, it is always advisable to have an emergency fund or a back-up plan for bad times.
6. No acceptance of family and friends
Pic: © freelancermap.com