Ideally, starting freelancing, or any form of online business is something that you would put a lot of thought and consideration into, but it doesn’t always happen that way. For me, freelancing was something that I kind of stumbled into and it has been an exciting, and challenging, experience. Overall, freelancing has been a positive experience, and it has been my sole source of income for several years, but if you are considering getting involved in freelancing, you might want to know some of the challenges I have faced.
As a freelancer, I rely on getting orders from clients. This is probably the most challenging part of the process, because I never know how many orders I will get, or when I will get them. This has a lot of disadvantages.
For example, one month I will have next to nothing to do, and have barely enough money to pay my bills. while the next month I may be so bogged down that I barely have any time to myself. A lot of this depends on the type of freelancing you do. Me, I’m a writer and editor. Because of this, the majority of my clients are students, and I end up with dry spells when school isn’t in session.
Other types of freelancing have this problem too. After all, it’s a good bet that people won’t want a new web page made two weeks before Christmas or on a public holiday. This makes it really important to predict as best as you can, and save whenever possible.
I found a good video that has some tips about how to budget. Although the video is aimed at students, it is highly relevant to anyone running an online business, particularly as the lives of students are often very unpredictable also.
Ideally, you don’t want to rely on your online business as your sole source of income until you have some money saved to get you through the hard time. This also means waiting until your online business is actually making a decent, and consistent, profit.
While this is ideal, it isn’t always possible.
In my case, I started freelancing as my sole source of income because I had moved to a new country and had absolutely no luck getting a job. Freelancing was what kept me busy whenever I wasn’t job searching and it was very challenging.
At first, the amount of money I earned per job was little, so I had to work ten hours most days simply to make ends meet. Over time, my freelancing became more successful, and I got better at freelancing and finding clients.
Now I work closer to five hours a day, but I am only just beginning to get past living from week-to-week.
Working out what to do
Any type of business is challenging, particularly if you don’t know what to do. When I started my freelancing, I had absolutely no idea what to expect, or where to go for advice. I figured most of it out as I went along, but I made a lot of mistakes along the way.