Making the switch to a freelance career can be both exciting and daunting. There are loads of benefits to working freelance, such as a flexible schedule, or the ability to travel while working remotely — but there are a couple of challenges too. 

This article will go over the biggest challenges you could face as a freelancer, and give you the best ways to overcome them. Some of those challenges are:

  • Finding a good work-life balance
  • Getting work
  • Dealing with irregular income

Finding a good work-life balance

As a freelancer, it can be easy to get drawn into working all the time. Since you may not have regular work, you may want to make the most of it when you can. Beware of working too much though, as it can lead to neglecting your health and relationships. Below are some ways to ensure you have a good work-life balance

Keep regular working hours

It’s important to remember that being a freelancer is still a job, so you should treat it like one. You don’t have to stick to the typical 9-5, working from 10-2 and then 6-10 is a valid option, but you should keep a regular schedule. Sticking to a routine will help you stay focused on working when you need to, and give you time to unwind when you finish. 

When you decide your regular working hours, communicate your schedule with your clients. If your client knows your schedule, they’ll also know when they can expect to reach you.

Give yourself time off

When you work for yourself, especially as a freelancer, it can be tempting to try and work all the time to make as much money as possible, but it’s important to take breaks. Working too much can leave you burnt out and unable to produce your best work.

Taking breaks applies to both your typical workday, and your workweek. If you were an employee, you would expect two days off per week. When you work for yourself, it’s important to stick to this too. Giving yourself enough rest throughout the week can help keep you performing at your best. 

Meet up with people

Any type of remote working can leave you feeling quite isolated if you don’t have regular contact with other people. To avoid feeling alone, make the most of your time away from work and meet up with friends and family. 

As a freelancer, your schedule is flexible. If your friends are available to hang out on a Monday evening, then adjust your timetable if you can to match up with theirs. Spending time and having fun with others can help you feel refreshed and mentally healthy.  

Getting work

As a freelancer, you can’t rely on having a manager give you work — you have to get it yourself. You have to put yourself out there, contact potential clients, deliver the work, and get paid for it. This can be a challenging process for any freelancer, whether new or experienced. 

Talk to clients

People won’t usually just approach you and ask you to work for them, so you need to be proactive. This can be emailing existing clients, or contacting businesses to see if they need your services. You can even check various freelancing sites to offer your services, or bid on a job.

Once you get a client, stay in contact with them. Regular contact can build a rapport and lead to additional work, or referrals to other businesses. Either of these outcomes can help your business grow. 

Work for multiple clients

If you only work for one or two clients, your workload is liable to disappear without much notice. On the other hand, if you have a group of different clients, you can rotate through them. Even if you end up losing repeat business from one client, you’ll still have some money coming in. If you’re struggling to find clients and jobs, try using sites like Fiverr or PeoplePerHour.

Market yourself

Would you buy something from a company you’ve never heard of before? Most people would be a little wary, and it’s the same when it comes to freelancing. In order to put potential clients at ease, you need to market yourself. The more people know about you, the easier it is to get work. A way to do this is by using social media.

Dealing with irregular income

Another big challenge of being a freelancer is getting a different income each month. Depending on the jobs you get, you could earn £25 one day and £250 the next. Since your bills typically stay the same, you might find it more stressful to make sure you have enough funds in time to pay your bills. 

Budget

One way to limit the stress and help your money go further is to come up with a budget, and stick to it. Your budget should include everything that must be paid, including any bills or rent, as well as your food, and necessary travel expenses. 

Having a clear idea of your financials makes it easier to keep track of exactly what your monthly outgoings are. Anything outside of your budget is extra, and you should think twice before going over budget. 

Save

This goes hand in hand with budgeting, as a portion of your monthly earnings should ideally go into savings. Saving a small amount of money every month will slowly build up a nest egg, which can be used if an accident happens, or you suddenly lose one or more clients. Savings allow you to be prepared for the unexpected, and can help reduce any future stress.

Use the Countingup app

Keeping track of your finances can be really tricky if they’re not clearly laid out and organised. That’s why thousands of freelancers like you use the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier. 

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Start your three-month free trial today.

Find out more here.

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