Every business has a set of challenges that needs overcoming, but the ones freelancers face are different from other businesses. Whether you are a rookie or have enough experience, there is no running away from the challenges you encounter as a freelancer. So, if you want to kickstart your own freelance business, whether it’s freelance writing or freelance designing, brace yourself to handle these eight situations.
8 Common Challenges That Affect Freelance Business Growth
1. Doing away with a lucrative career
It’s no joke starting a freelance business. It would help if you dedicated all of your time to it, not to mention the efforts to make it happen. You may manage your business by juggling a full-time job effectively during the initial stages, but you must quit your full-time role once it picks up steam.
Not having a secure full-time job can be scary, especially when starting a new business. Your conscience will bombard you with several questions, ranging from how to earn your daily bread until your start-up grows to gathering funds to provide your business with the kickstart it needs. It’s not easy to handle a situation like this, and you may need to think it through logically if you want to get out safe and sound.
2. Marketing your efforts
You will need to find the right target audience for your freelance business. Additionally, you should also try and acquire potential customers or clients. You may have several channels like social media, smartphones, or emails that you can use to communicate with your prospects. However, the real challenge lies in using the right channel at the right time. Finding the right target audience and the proper marketing channels is easier said than done.
You already have questions like where are your target prospects and how to reach them? Then, there are other challenges: how to get the best out of your clients for cheaper rates?
You may also have to figure out how your business will compete in different market scenarios. The competition today is intense. So, you must first identify the expectations of your customers. What can you offer to them that is unique and of value? Consumers want nothing less than the best products or services at cost-effective prices. So, ensure that you have something special to offer and promote it to appeal to your customers.
3. Good pay rates
Most freelancers, especially beginners in freelance writing, struggle with getting reasonable pay rates from their clients. Increments in pay rates are also another major challenge. But, if you can give your clients something unique, they may pay you well.
Sometimes, your clients won’t pay the rates you expect them to, as others may be willing to do the job for less. Don’t let that affect you and lower your pay rates. Instead, emphasize that you are better in many ways.
As more people get into the freelance business, clients expect to get the job done at lower costs. But what they also envision is professionalism. Become an expert in your niche to expect better pay rates from your clients.
Freelancers also struggle to stay productive. Since they are working from the comfort of their homes or remotely, they have a lot of free time on their hands. They often get lazy and waste time which further decreases their productivity.
Some people also find it hard to work from home. They need busy working environments with many people to talk with to get that motivation and spirit. Such people are often comfortable working in places like coffee shops or co-working spaces where many other people are working. Being around others helps them focus on their work and boosts their productivity.
You are probably facing this problem if you are already running a freelance business. Starting a freelance business means managing invoices, especially when handling multiple clients. Accounting becomes one of the biggest challenges because of too much paperwork.
But, there are ways in which you can tackle this situation. One approach will be to outsource the paperwork if you have the resources. You could also try using accounting software that does the job for you. Various applications such as QuickBooks and Tally have helped freelancers and several other professionals with their accounting.
Sometimes, freelancers must also deal with clients who constantly look over their shoulders until they complete their assigned tasks. Most freelancers are annoyed by such clients who resort to micromanagement. As a freelancer, you might feel stressed out and exhausted when you complete the projects, especially when your employer demands that you submit the assignment.
To handle such clients, you can come to terms with them by limiting how much work you want to do in a day. However, if you have already been constantly responding to client emails, it would be hard to break that habit and negotiate with your clients.
7. Payment delays
Many clients delay paying their freelancers, which can be upsetting. Some clients don’t pay their freelancers at all. There is a solution here as well. You can start by keeping track of the work that you have done for different clients. If you feel that your clients may delay the payment, ask for it upfront. You can’t predict the behavior of your clients. However, you can still live up to their expectations by acting according to the situation.
8. Communication gaps
If your client has poor communication skills, you will have a bumpy ride. The issue persists, especially for companies that haven’t worked with freelancers. So, they often forget that you are a part of the organization since you work remotely.
To resolve this issue, you can implement the same solution that you did for payment delays. You can ask for an upfront payment and feedback to avoid being out of the loop.
Conclusion: Freelancing Can be Challenging
There is no doubt that setting up any type of freelancing business, be it freelance writing, freelance designing, and more, is much bigger of a task than you would expect. However, being prepared beforehand and taking charge of things actively, over and above the quality work you provide, is paramount to a smooth freelancing journey.
As a professional content writer, Tejas Prasanna’s portfolio of publications reflects his core strengths. By combining his competencies with industry-relevant skills, he has successfully created high-quality content that always meets his clients’ expectations.