If you are like me then you definitely hate the 9-to-5 grind. And you must have at one point weighed the advantages and disadvantages of working as a freelancer.
We all want a bit of freedom as we earn our living. Unfortunately this is not possible when you are working for an organisation or company.
This is true for most of us and we are forced to brave the rain, snow and other negative weather elements just to make a couple of thousands of dollars every month.
If freelancing was readily available most of us would definitely say bye to our overbearing bosses almost immediately. Unfortunately, life is not as easy as that for most of us.
To be perfectly honest the majority of us look at our jobs as the only secure way of making a living. If not us then our spouse and parents believe that freelancing is not a “real” job.
I have come across many who were trying to earn a living online being harangued by their spouses for not searching for real jobs. For most people “real” jobs mean working for a company or organization.
The fact that people can work for themselves especially on the internet is yet to be accepted by many.
However, with the advent of the internet freelancing cannot also happen online besides the normal freelancing we are all used to.
For those that are interested in knowing more about how they can make a living online, I would suggest that they visit the following posts.
14 Easy Ways to Make Extra Money On The Side From Home. Here you will learn all sorts of ways of making money from doing surveys, being a mystery shopper, and many others.
How To Make Money With ClickBank. Clickbank is a platform that has helped many internet marketers to make a lot of money through digital affiliate products.
Surfer SEO Review: Best On-page SEO tool?. If you want to do well in the search engines you need to provide information in a way that the Google bots and others understand. This tool Surfer SEO helps you do that by examining the first page of Google results and asking you to prepare your article accordingly.
How To Start A WordPress Blog on Bluehost. Bluehost is one of the biggest web hosting companies in the world with millions of websites making Bluehost their home.
What are the advantages of being a freelancer?
Below are some of the advantages of being a freelancer that I have enjoyed over the past few months and I hope that you too reader will enjoy soon:
1. Being your own master or boss.
If there is one advantage of being a freelancer that I like most is the fact that you are your own boss. Having had to report to other people all your working life, you are now on your own and are able to determine your own future.
If there is one thing that most people in the west hate about working for others is the fact that you are under the control of someone else. The fact that every day you have to leave your home and fall under the authority of your boss.
A boss who assigns you stuff that you need to do that day. While this is not a big problem in some parts of the world, it is not a very popular proposition in the west.
People do it because they have no choice. We all look forward to the day we can be free from any control and do our own thing in our own way.
And doing this without being afraid of being fired as you are master of your own destiny. That is the dream for most people.
For those seriously considering this I have provided some links for posts in our blog that can help you achieve the work freedom you so desperately desire.
2. Ability to determine working hours.
Another cool advantage of working as a freelancer is that you get to determine your working hours. If there is one thing I like about being a freelancer is the ability to determine my working hours. I hate having to wake up early in the morning every working day. I have struggled with this even when I was in school.
As a freelancer, you decide your own working hours. This is even much better when you are involved in internet marketing as you can have even more flexibility. As an internet marketer, I can work in my pajamas at the time of my own choosing.
And when your internet businesses are well established you can have the luxury of working for just two hours every day if you want to.
Actually, if you have a website that is established you can actually afford not to work on some days and still earn income.
I remember a couple of years ago I set up a youtube account and posted some videos in the first six months and thereafter did nothing. I was still able to get cheques from Google Adsense for years without me uploading any new videos. It was a real passive income.
3. One Can Choose His own clients
As a freelancer, you can choose the clients you want to work with. You are therefore not bound to work with clients that you are uncomfortable with. You are the boss when you work as a freelancer.
This is not possible when you are an employee. We all have been in situations when we have had to deal with some very difficult clients at work.
Clients who can shout at you and utter some abusive words in the worst of cases. As an employee, you just have to bear with such clients as you have little say on clients. It is your employer who calls the shots when it comes to clients.
That would never happen if you are a freelancer as you have the freedom to drop abusive clients or customers.
You however need to be careful in this as some of the grievances could be genuine ones. And if they are genuine they could be an opportunity for you to learn from your mistakes and be a better contractor in the future.
4. Choice of Location
As a freelancer, you decide on your work station or location. As an internet marketer, I can work at home. I can even work while still in bed as I am my own boss. I have no one monitoring my behavior as a freelancer which is a really cool thing.
As an employee, it is your employer who determines your work location. I used to work for a company where the sitting plan could be changed at least once every two months and I hated it.
While it was good for team building, I considered it much of a hindrance with few benefits to show for it.
Whereas when you are freelances even for an outdoor freelancer you still have the final say on your work location. You can refuse to go to places you don’t like. After all this is your business and you have all the freedom to act in a way that satisfies you and not be forced to do something you don’t like.
For example, as a plumber, you can narrow down your work area and refuse to go anywhere outside that zone.
5. You keep all the profits
Another one of the advantages of working as a freelancer is that you get to keep all your profits. As a freelancer all the money you make is yours. As an employee, you have a fixed salary in most cases.
Your salary remains the same regardless of the money you make for your employer unless if you are working as a salesman who is entitled to bonuses.
As a freelancer, your earnings are not static and if you are very successful then you make more money for yourself.
One of the things I hated as an employee was the 1%-2% annual increment I used to get every year. I thought it was too little when I had put in unpaid overtime hours throughout the year.
However as a freelancer you can through your hard work double your income every year. This is something all employees would enjoy if that applied to companies, unfortunately capitalism is after making the owners enjoy the fruits of the sweat of employees.
6. You develop new skills
As a freelancer, you are forced to learn new things as you are in charge of everything. You may now be responsible for preparing invoices, customer care, debt collection, dealing with the IRS, etc.
It is, therefore, a great way for personal development. You end up being an all-rounder when it comes to running a business. That is definitely a plus for anyone.
It is my opinion that even in the rapidly evolving economic world where not long from now some jobs will be handled by Artificial intelligence freelancer will still survive. Even where your busines collapses your new skills will help you get recruited easily if you sell yourself properly.
Many businesses out there would enjoy employing someone who has experience in all these areas already mentioned.
A freelancer would easily see the big picture having run a business before and would be a very valuable member of staff in any organization.
Disadvantages of being a freelancer
Below are some of the disadvantages of working as a freelancer that you need to be aware of before you decide to become one.
1. Lack of interaction with other people
Working as a freelancer can be a tough experience if you are all alone. Man is a social being and needs some company.
All of this is provided for when you are working for companies and other organizations. I remember having to look forward to meeting with fellow employees at work and chat about weekend activities.
In my case, they would include soccer matches that took place that weekend. We would also chat about politics and other topics too. I especially enjoyed making fun of fellow employees whose teams had lost that weekend.
This is really good for the mental health of all human beings.
This may not be readily available if you are working alone. One can really feel isolated and lonely when working as a freelancer.
This is especially difficult for a freelancer who is struggling to find clients. That can be the most stress full thing you can ever experience. This is because you will still have bills to pay regardless.
2. Tax consequences
As a freelancer, you may be subject to taxes that are not applicable to employees. This will necessitate that you employ an accountant to do your books and prepare your tax returns.
If you do it yourself you may miss out on some loopholes in the system that can reduce your tax bill. I would therefore urge anyone in business to seriously consider hiring a trained accountant.
As a contractor, you are also legally required to keep certain records for tax purposes. All this depends on the tax system in your jurisdiction.
It is therefore important in situations where you don’t have an accountant to contact an accounting firm in your area for more information on this. No one wants to be on the wrong side of the law when it comes to taxes. If you do that you will soon regret it.
As a freelance you are also responsible for the payment of taxes to the tax authorities. You don’t have to rely on an employer to do this for you. You therefore have to manage your cash flow wisely so that you have enough money for the taxman when those payments become due.
3. Lack of job security
Unfortunately, when you become a freelancer, there is no job security. You will need to find work to earn a living.
If there is no work then there is no revenue and therefore no salary for you. You, therefore, need to seriously consider all these things before you decide to become a freelancer.
It will not be good to leave your secure job and end up not find work to earn your living. Only take the plunge after you are convinced that you will easily find work when you leave.
I would actually first make enough income to match my annual salary first before I decide to leave my job and do internet marketing full time.
In that way, you have sufficient funds to cover your expenses in the event that things don’t work out. This is especially true for us who rely on free search engine traffic.
This is because we are at the mercy of Google and its algorithm updates. One algorithm update can wipe out all your traffic and therefore your income within days.
4. The sourcing of initial capital can be challenging
Another disadvantage of working as a freelancer is that you will need to find at least some initial capital for your business.
For most businesses, you will need to find some start-up capital before you launch your business. You, therefore, need to source this cash first before you take the plunge.
It matters not whether it is an online business or not you will in almost allcases still need a bit of cash to buy items or things for your work.
Some of these things can include, tools, web expenses, computer software, insurance, etc. In some businesses you cannot get any work until you show that you have insurance.
It is therefore important that you do your homework first before you make the financial decision to be a freelancer.
There are various way to get this capital. Some people can get this from their families. Those are the lucky ones as most of us don’t come from rich or well to do families.
In the case of some of us not coming from rich families another alternative would be to get a bank loan. The problem here is that depending on the amount you are looking for there could be some conditionalities from the banks.
For example, the bank can insist on a secured loan and if you don’t have any property this could be a serious problem. If that is the case you can ask someone to act as a guarantor for your loan and they would be the ones offering their property as security for the loan.
If everything else fails then you can opt for a lesser amount that may not require any security. It is this lack of property or land that is hampering many enterpreneurs in this world.
It is entrenching poverty in some poor areas and it ends up being passed on to future generations.
5. Getting clients may not be easy
One of the difficult things you can encounter as a freelancer is getting clients. Your business will prosper or flounder depending on how good you are at recruiting clients.
Clients are the engine of your business. You fail here then the future for your business could look bleach in the twinkling of an eye.
This means that you will have to spend some time recruiting new clients or customers. There are various ways you cn get clients.
One of the old true and tested methods is through advertising your business. You can advertise your business in newspapers, television, online, etc.
Don’t start a business and expect people to flock to your business without any promotion. Unless ofcourse if you are the only business in your area and your business is visible to the people in the area. For example if you own a grocery business and it is strategically situated then you don’t need to advertise if it only caters for people in one area.
I have a post on Future of Work Quotes that will open your eyes to what famous investors and others are saying about how we will work in the future.
6. Lack of Benefits
Another of the disadvantages of working as a freelancer is that of a lack of benefits. As an employee, you have access to all sorts of benefits that you lose once you leave your work to become a freelancer.
There are employers who offer child care benefits, fuel allowance, medical insurance, etc. All these cease when you leave your employment.
Once you become a freelancer you will be on your own and rely on how much business is making. If you are making serious money then you won’t even miss those benefits.
I know of bloggers who make so much money blogging that they don’t miss their days of working for a company. You too can do that but it requires a lot of patience and hard work in the early days or months.
7. Cash Flow Issues
Cash flow issues are another one of the disadvantages of working as a freelancer. As an accountant I know for sure is that one of the big challenges of running your own business is the issue of cash flow.
Many of the companies that I have worked for struggled with the issue of cash flow.
They all had to rely on bank overdraft facility arrangements. Unfortunately, this is the reality for many businesses out there.
Customers don’t always pay you on time and this is the reality for freelancers too. And if as a freelancer you cannot get financing arrangements with the banks you can really struggle if your customers take their time to pay you.
The tax authorities will still expect you to pay your taxes on time regardless of your cash flow issues. You therefore need to take into account of all this before you venture as a freelancer.
Becoming a freelancer has many advantages and also some disadvantages. You therefore need to take some time to analyse all these before you escape the daily 9-to5 grind.
If you plan well then there is no reason why you cannot join those that have succeded
Please share below your views on this topic on the advantages and disadvantages of working as a freelancer.