Whether you’re writing articles about hair replacement or transcribing medical notes, moving from the everyday work world to freelancing is a huge adjustment. As a freelancer, you are in complete control of which companies you work for, your schedule, and the amount of work you want to take on. As if this isn’t time-consuming enough, you’re also expected to navigate taxes, communicate with clients, and continue to drum up business. Launching your own business comes with a fair share of pitfalls. Here are the five most common and how to avoid them.
Keeping poor records. When it comes time to file taxes or document your income for a loan, you don’t want to be left scrambling. Keep a notebook or spreadsheet of the clients you work for, how much they pay you, and keep a running tally. It is also helpful to highlight payments received on your bank statements.
Taking on huge projects. If a client sends a request for five articles, most people can reasonably expect to be done with that within a week or so. However, 35 articles in two days is a bit much. The same goes for work at home transcription companies or customer service jobs. Many companies that overload employees are doing so because they are understaffed. They are understaffed, usually, because they are either very picky or they underpay. Don’t overload your schedule.
Accepting an unfair wage. Making money by working from home often carries with it lower wages than if you had a traditional job. While this is to be expected, don’t sell yourself short. Often the best way to make sure you are making a fair wage is to determine how much you need to make in a working day. Once you know your goal, see how much you will need to work in order to meet your goals. If you are working 12 or 14-hour days, you cannot expect to keep that pace indefinitely. Look for higher-paying jobs in your field to reduce the time spent working to a more feasible schedule.
Not expanding your work options. It’s fine to be happy and content with the work you have now, but neglecting new opportunities is never a good option. Companies go out of business, clients shift focus, and work can dry up rather quickly. Even if you have the best work at home job in the world, make sure you have a backup plan just in case. Think outside your field for extra ways to make money, including:
- Selling items online
- Signing up for a text-answering service
Failing to take a holiday. Would you work a traditional job for years without a holiday? While most would scoff at the very idea, many freelancers work for years without cease. Your body and mind both need time away from work to relax and unwind. Your family also doesn’t deserve to suffer from your workaholic schedule. You should schedule regular days off from work and take a holiday at least once a year.
Avoiding these common pitfalls will help you stay organized, well-compensated, and engaged while working from home. Keep in mind that it is far easier to be making money from home if you follow these helpful tips.