For anyone looking to possess more control over their professional life and career, freelancing is definitely the way to go. The daily “9-5” jobs could get really boring and hectic. Freelancing however grants professionals the flexibility of working at their own pace and more control over how their time is used.
The booming freelance economy
The freelance market has grown immensely over the past couple of years, rising from a community of 53 million people in 2014 to 57 million people in 2019. This number is estimated to make up about 35% of the American workforce and is projected to rise to over 86 million people by 2028.
Challenges faced by freelancers
Freelancing might seem overly enticing and while this is true, it also comes with its hurdles. Briefly explained below are some of these challenges:
“To whom much is given, much is expected”. With all the perks associated with freelancing, the responsibilities that come with it are quite numerous. You need to be able to handle the finance aspect, finding your health insurance, have to reach out to clients and secure jobs, and also be in charge of acquiring the needed technologies.
Another huge downside to freelancing is the famine syndrome. For some periods, you might experience a rush of gigs while some periods might feel like a ghost town and this could hamper your productivity. To thrive in freelancing, constant sourcing of clients is necessary to keep your business afloat.
With that being noted, there are several tools necessary for a freelancer to thrive in the business.
Tools to help freelancers overcome challenges
Although every product or service requires different tools, there are some generic ones that help overcome the aforementioned challenges. Some of these are:
This is the most critical part of the freelance business and if not handled properly, the business could face severe challenges. The activities to be performed under finance include generating invoice, reminding clients to pay, doing taxes, monitoring analytics of income and expenditure, etc. Luckily, there are several tools on the internet that help integrate some of these actions onto one platform. Some of these are: Wave accounting and Bonsai.
The current cyberspace can be very dangerous. It is therefore necessary for freelancers to secure their PC from attackers or viruses. In an unfortunate incident where a PC gets infected or attacked, the freelancer could lose their files and possibly work that is being done for a client. To prevent situations like this, it is necessary to get a strong antivirus and a Virtual Private Network to encrypt your traffic and protect you from dangers online.
Because of the time flexibility that freelancers have, they often work tirelessly till they burnout and this in turn reduces productivity. It is pertinent that freelancers optimize their time and asides that, take actions that help make their work easier and smoother. Some of these actions include note-taking, organizing to-do list and tracking time. Examples of applications that can assist with this are: Notion and Calendly.
Equip yourself with necessary tools
Being a freelancer can be a tough job, given the number of tasks you have to manage and the instability you may face. Equip yourself with the aforementioned tools and make the best out of the resources you have to boost your productivity and ensure security. You will be well on your way to becoming a more organized and efficient freelancer.