Starting your own business?
Freelancing is becoming a very popular
The idea of starting your own business can be scary. Maybe you don’t see yourself as a company director or a CEO. But inside you just want to earn income on your own terms, work the hours you choose for yourself, no more saluting or taking unwanted criticism from other team members or management. The answer to these problems is freelancing
Starting your own business?
By: Ajlal Bukhari
Have you ever dreamt about a working environment with no bosses or supervisors to worry about, working the hours that are decided by someone else, not you? Have you ever thought about starting your own business?
The idea of starting your own business can be scary. Maybe you don’t see yourself as a company director or a CEO. But inside you just want to earn income on your own terms, work the hours you choose for yourself, no more saluting or taking unwanted criticism from other team members or management.
The answer to these problems is freelancing. In this short article, we will go through the pros and cons of freelancing and highlight what freelancing actually is.
Freelancing is becoming a very popular mode of earning worldwide. People like to work on their own terms at their own pace and space. Just like the rest of the world freelancing is also trending in Pakistan.
We are actually quite good at being inspired and following the styles and trends of the west. So instead of becoming trendsetters, we become followers. Which can be good and beneficial for some but may affect others at the same time.
What Is Freelancing?
By Definition: A freelancer is a professional who offers his or her services to one or several clients or businesses at one time without being exclusively obligated or employed by any one of them. Freelancers offer varied services and their work can take different forms.
A freelancer is a self-employed person who offers services to clients, sometimes more than one client at one time. A freelancer offers his/her services to businesses and often directly to consumers.
Nearly every type of services can be provided by a freelancer to most businesses including marketing, publicity, advertising, technological support, creative works, graphic design, and financial support such as accounting services and bookkeeping.
If one is thinking of freelancing, they need to ask themselves what they’re good at. What is it that they do better than just about anyone else? In what areas do they specialize or excel? Can any businesses or individuals benefit from their skills, abilities, and services?
Freelancing can be contractual or the project based. Most freelancers depending on their abilities and personal will, manage multiple projects at the same time. This way they control their finances and earn whatever they can or want in a certain timeframe.
At one point freelancers were hired on personal references or level of their previous work. Since the world has become a global village after the introduction of the internet in the late 90’s, finding a freelancer for your desired work is just a click away.
Fiverr, Freelancer, Upwork, Design99, Peopleperhour, and Guru.com are some popular sites in Pakistan where beginner to expert freelancers can be found.
Getting started as a freelancer can be as easy as visiting one of the above-mentioned freelance sites to find work and networking within your current sphere of influence to find a client and getting started.
These sites may not pay as much as you desire, but this can be a great start to your career, build clientage and will help you make your way to get your name out there and to get testimonials and referrals.
Determine your target market. Who needs what you have to offer? This is the time to decide on your brand and your unique selling proposition. Create an online portfolio.
Build a profile that promotes what you have to offer. Eventually, you’ll want to invest in business-building tools, such as a website that can offer you more customization and flexibility, but LinkedIn is free and it’s a great online resume that can help you promote your service. You might also consider the Portfolio box, Square Space, and Journo Portfolio.
The Pros of Freelancing
Freelancing comes with lots of pros and perks. Be it choosing your own working schedule and hours, to deciding on establishing a practice, which is full-time or part-time, there are plenty of choices. Furthermore:
Freelancing can be a quick and most affordable way to get started working for yourself as your own boss, most likely from home. Set hours you want to work.
Date and time that suits your lifestyle which makes freelancing quite flexible. You can choose to work full or the part-time and on projects of your choice.
Ultimately everyone works for money, in freelancing one gets paid according to their worth. Freelancing allows you to set your own price for your services, which is often higher than what you’d make as an employee doing the same work.
Although the freelance marketplace is competitive, at the same time need for quality, reliable freelancers are growing. Many businesses have cut down on their employees and relying upon a team of freelancers instead.
You can pick and choose your clients. As your business grows you, can even fire your clients as well.
The Cons or Disadvantages of Freelancing
As mentioned earlier freelancing may not be perfect for everyone, and not everyone is suited to it. A few of the downsides of freelancing are:
Your clients have schedules, too. So in order to meet those deadlines, you may need to work odd hours.
The work isn’t always consistent. After a finished product, the same client may not require your services again or they are not planning to work further on the product or project you specialize in. In that case, you have to find a new client who wants your product so you can create another one and be paid for it.
The disadvantages of freelancing can be seen in the early stages of setting up the business. The uncertainty of building a client list and of irregular assignments and pay cheques can be agonizing.
Success does not come overnight; there is a struggling phase before that which is often overlooked by new starters. Getting enough clients to support yourself and your family through freelancing can take a while, and many freelancers experience an ebb and flow in their work. So adequate financial planning and management for lean times are really important.