The pandemic has caused significant changes to the way the world chooses to conduct business. From more prominent international corporations, small and medium enterprises, and even down to individual workforce contributors, they’re all feeling the ramifications of the past few years. In the middle of a pandemic, moving employees to work from home without the proper training and systems has proven challenging for most companies.
Companies across multiple business sectors took hits to their bottom lines and have even closed shop due to different circumstances. However, as with any other change to the business landscape, businesses have been developing innovative ways to adapt. Companies that have gotten the hang of things are experiencing increased productivity and efficiency despite the novice work setup.
Freelancing: An Emerging Sector
One of the sectors currently teeming with new opportunities is the freelance industry. Most companies underwent hiring freezes during the pandemic as revenues were stretched to the limit and the current workforce transitioned. As the world slowly settles into the new normal, businesses big and small have hired freelances in industries such as IT, engineering, management, financial, and operational consultants.
Freelancers and expert consultants provide the knowledge of a seasoned professional while also allowing companies to test the waters a bit in the beginning. Creative and more corporate freelancers have experienced a slew of new companies entering the space.
Whether you’re a programmer or a creative designer, here are some critical aspects of freelancing that you must remember.
The creative and technical fields will usually require you to present your previous work before any engagement commitment. Make sure your portfolio is well-rounded and well-vetted. Presenting any position that doesn’t make it into your top ten or fifteen projects will only serve to clutter your portfolio.
In the modern era, what’s great is you can also digitalize your portfolio. Whether uploading your work online or compiling a digital copy on a flash drive, having a digital copy to provide is convenient for both you and the client. A digital portfolio was a must-have during the pandemic where many hiring managers conducted interviews or initial engagement meetings virtually.
Managing Your Workload
Many freelancers state that having autonomous control of their time is one of the top reasons they don’t go and join traditional nine to five corporations. This control also extends into your actual workload. While taking on every client you can take on might seem tempting at first because of the profits, remember that you’re the only one who will end up juggling all the workload.
This was particularly common as the markets opened up again in the new normal, and freelancers often overloaded their schedules. If you struggle with managing project deadlines or blocking off your schedule, consider using organizational and management software available on the market to keep track of all your deliverables.
You Are the Business
As a freelancer, you don’t have a finance department to keep track of your payroll and file your taxes. You don’t have a marketing department to promote your business and reach new clients. You also don’t have a legal department to go over client contracts and other paperwork. Treating your freelancing as a business means ensuring that you have the right tools to keep every part of the process running smoothly. Engaging the professional services of an accountant can help you straighten out and keep track of your incoming payments. Freelance designers and marketers in the digital space can also provide you with campaigns that guarantee engagement.
Suppose you’re a ride-sharing driver. A lawyer specializing in DUIs can help protect you or get what’s due to you in a court of law. These legal professionals typically have experience in both civil and criminal law, which means they can serve as your personal and professional attorney. You can tailor which services to avail of first, but keep in mind that early partnerships with these professionals can only better your freelance business.
In the freelance space, having diverse clients can be a great perk. The work doesn’t get too repetitive, and you’re always seeing a fresh new perspective. However, nourishing your client relationships for repeat projects also helps you get a better grip on specific sectors. You can add the experience you gained in your curriculum vitae.
Having long-standing clients also enables you to get referred to othered companies, which means more business and translates to more revenues. Establishing great client relationships starts from that very first interaction. Make sure you remain professional throughout the project and manage your deadlines properly. Clear communication with clients is essential for freelancers. They often juggle multiple projects, leading to some wires getting crossed if they’re not careful.
There’s no longer just one way to do business successfully. Less traditional avenues are slowly getting brought into the spotlight as the internet becomes more and more integrated into businesses.