Bad Organization (which, also ruins companies too…)
For self-employment, more than in any salaried job, one thing is especially important: stay organized. Unfortunately, you can not rest assured that a team member thinks about important dates and appointments, or you have regular stand-offs for the organization in the team. However, so that you do not lose your head and stay focused, it is important to stay with concrete projects.
That is not too many projects at once, or at least only as many as you can do really well at. When multiple projects run side-by-side, it's very important to set clear deadlines for everyone and plan daily slots for each project. When working in a team, you have to remember to monitor the team to complete projects on time.
A second matter is the organization of your own finances. Badly regulated, this is definitely something that will ruin your mental stability and impact your natural anxiety levels. Part of a good organization is that one project is underway, and that you are already pursuing acquisition for the next if nothing else is yet to come and you can not sit on dry land for too long.
Even if some have already started their freelance activities while still at school or during their studies to earn a little bit of money: freelance as a real activity is something else again. It is a big undertaking and your biggest resource is actually your time - you will forever be the most expensive centrepoint for your business. At the same time, it's not like you have to become a workaholic exactly but a good portion of your time should be calculated for freelance projects. You should also consider that you may underestimate your time calculations most especially in the first year of business.
The Market Is Too Competitive
There are now more and more people who decide to be self-employed. Logically, this also means that there is more and more competition between freelancers in general. For the first-time freelancer, it is not advisable to work in a competitive field. It is best to try to create an individual profile/portfolio, which clearly sets you apart from others.
One should ask oneself what makes your own abilities special. But even if you are very determined and talented - let's be honest - it is still hard to beat the experience of some long-term freelancers. When in doubt, this means starting with hard work to convince customers that they can count on you. A good job usually leads to further commissions and contacts, one has once convinced.
Hard work is the one prerequisite to establish yourself as a freelancer in the beginning. In order to be seen at all, you have to market yourself well. Otherwise one waits for business, like a kid on the Tooth Fairy: forever. Of course, acquisition and marketing can come about through networks, but now it is essential to be digitally well positioned.
Consider posting well-designed profiles and portfolios on all major job portals and professional networks. Create business cards and a good website that are worthy of reminder and clearly state what you offer. Once these basic requirements have been created, you should also think about and write down a long-term marketing strategy. Create a good and reliable brand that consistently shows up where you want to be seen.
Just another reminder you cannot charge too little...
Price and rates are one of the most important elements of success in freelancing. Getting them right can be extremely difficult, especially if you're just starting your own business.
Here are some example factors that can determine the price you can ask for:
- The budget of the customers: you can not always ask the same price when working with small and large companies. If you work for small or non-profit organizations, you should keep the price rate lower than when working with big brands.
- Experience: When you're a freshman, you're expected to demand less, no matter how talented you are. With time and experience, you are able to demand more.
- Customer Expected Profit: When working on a project that leads to a high profit for the customer, you should expect more.
It is important that you negotiate the price with the customer in advance; this will ensure the satisfaction of both parties. Oh, and do not get us started on the importance of a contract…