Who is a freelancer?
The term freelancer, or independent contractor, refers a self-employed individual who doesn’t have to commit to a single, long-term employer. Instead, they work independently for several companies or clients.
Most if not all freelancers typically charge by the hour or day and are not required to register as a business if they operate under their own name. The initial meaning of freelancer has changed and it encompasses writers, photographers, editors, programmers, website designers, and professional consultants, as well as many other professional services.
According to Forbes, the freelancing industry has been the backbone of many of many business that are thriving all over the world due to the flexibility and uniqueness of the industry. The best freelancing gigs are:
Some people choose to hold a steady job while running a freelance business on the side and that is exactly what all newbies should hold unto. This is because, the freelancing industry is unpredictable, one moment you are making $$$$$$ figures and another month, you have no cent to your name.
That should not worry especially if you are planning to integrate your freelance work with a lot of blogging and social media work. In the long run, after gaining some stability, most part-time freelancers become the best full-time freelancers.
Whether you’ve recently been laid off, your tired of the daily grind, or you just want to go into business for yourself, starting a freelance business offers several incredible benefits that most employers just can’t compete with.
Be equipped before you start this venture-it is not for the fainthearted. Did I mention it is not a GET RICH QUICKLY SCHEME! You have to put in the hard work, long hours, short nights and sometimes lack of social time to get where you want to be.
Here are some unique pros and cons.
You’re the Boss-Do I need to explain this con? This is the fastest means of managing your own work, doing your own thing as you so wish.
You Can Make More Money-freelancing has money. If done in the right way with a lot of consistency, trust me you will get there. I have read many successful stories of freelancers online and how they have achieved stability. Be part of that story.
Lower Taxes-I think the correct term should be NO taxes, most freelancers get paid directly to their banks or M-Pesa (Kenya) and most of these amounts are not taxed. I hope no KRA employee sees this!
Work-Life Balance -BYOB, have flexible schedules and live an incredible life.
Happier, Healthier–Studies have found that freelancers are happier and healthier, both mentally and physically, over traditional workers. Freelancers have money atleast $10 a day!
The Disadvantages of Freelance Work
While there are a number of incredible benefits surrounding freelance work, there are some cons that should be considered.
No Job Security–If your clients don’t have any work for you, then you can’t make any money. That is why many freelancers treat it as a side hustle. Know this as you start that way you will be able to make the best during the best season. Make enough and save more.
Remember, make hay while the sun shines because one way or another, it's gonna rain. Sometimes when it rains it pours!
Inconsistent Work–There are months when there’s a ton of work to complete and the paychecks are more than you expected. However, the work may dry up and the next month you’re only making half of what you made the previous month.
There Are No Benefits – One of the perks of working for someone else is that the employer will handle all of your health or retirement benefits or bonuses like paid vacations or profit sharing. Purchasing your own health insurance is often more expensive than what is offered from an employer.
You Have to Handle Accounting–Taxes, bookkeeping, paying bills, and managing cash flow is up to you. I am not good at this too but you can have someone do it for you.
You Risk Not Getting Paid–It’s not uncommon for independent contractors to have difficulty getting paid for their services. Some clients either don’t pay on-time or they don’t pay at all. Unlike traditional employees where you always know that a paycheck will arrive. Be sure, out of 10 clients, 2 will default to pay some for no reason at all.
You must be able to motivate yourself–without prodding from an outside source. Though there are many pros and cons of freelancing, only you can decide if it’s right for you.