Do you want to work from home but you are concerned about financial stability? Do you wish you could find real clients so that you could make enough money to work from home?
Start making the transition to working from home by doing freelance work while you still are working your full-time job. There are pros and cons to Freelance work and a pro is that it isn’t just for writers and graphic designers anymore.
Yes, it will take a little more effort to set aside the time in your schedule. Yes, you will probably need to wake up a little earlier. Your dream to work from home is worth it.
In a perfect world, you could maximize the time you have to commit to freelance work by asking your boss if you can work your current job from home. Even for 1-2 days a week. The time you would gain by not having to commute to your job, not having all of the office distractions combined with waking up earlier would give you enough extra time for freelance work.
Do you want to know how others have successfully asked their bosses to work from home? Check out my post How to Ask Your Boss to Work From Home. I lay out exact steps for you to take to get a yes answer. (Pin it now and read it later.)
If working your current job from home just isn’t an option don’t stop reading. You can also do freelance work in the early mornings, late evenings and on the weekends. It’s worth getting up a little early and missing a few weekend activates. The best thing that happened to my family’s lifestyle is my work from home job.
Freelance work has pros and cons in addition to extra cash and making time in your schedule to get it done. Below are the pros and cons of freelance work.
Six Pros and Cons of Freelance Work
1. Freelance work is a great way to develop your skills working with clients and juggling multiple bosses.
If you plan to work from home as a solo entrepreneur there is no time like today to start working on your client relationship skills and improving your time management systems. It’s one thing to have clients when you work for someone else but it’s another whole thing when it’s just you.
When you work for a company, even when the client is your responsibility, there is still a larger entity responsible in the end for meeting the client’s needs. With freelance work, there is just you. 100% of the revenue is yours. 100% of the responsibility to complete the task is also yours.
Meeting and exceeding freelance client needs can lead to more profitable work from happy clients and their referrals. It’s also great training for juggling the competing priorities that exist when you go out on your own.
2. Freelance work can be done from any location
Being able to work from anywhere is one of the best parts of working from home. Freelance work lets you work from anywhere too. You don’t need a designated office space to get started.
Do you need to take your dog to the vet? Take your tablet or laptop with you and work from the waiting room. I personally love my Surface tablet and take it everywhere. Anytime I can find 15-30 minutes to complete an easy task it’s a win.
3. Freelancers can set their own rates and keep all the cash
Okay so you do have to share some of your revenue with Uncle Sam but we’ll get to taxes in a minute. Getting paid for your freelance work is where you can really see the value of your time. You may start out with freelance work that pays less than your current salary but by successfully completing those assignments you will be able to increase your rates and be able to charge more in the future.
Experience = higher rates and you have the advantage of getting that experience while still making your full-time job salary.
If you do freelance work while still at your full-time job I highly encourage you set your freelance income aside. Having a cushion for when you make the full transition to working from home will provide you both piece of mind and start-up expense cash.
When you are a solo entrepreneur there are start-up costs and monthly costs to operate your business. The expense that gets me every time is how crazy expensive printer ink is.
4. Freelance work often has quick deadlines and turnaround times
When evaluating what type of Freelance work you want to do consider the expected turnaround time. Some work allows you to work at your owe pace paying you per project completed. Other work expects you to complete assignments in a given amount of time.
If you are still at your full-time job start with work that lets you work at your own pace. Once you have a good schedule going move on to assignments with shorter deadlines that may pay more.
5. Freelance work is short-term project work that lets you choose who you want to work for
If you are anything like me, the personality of the people you work with and work for impacts your prioritization and motivation to complete work. One of the great things about freelance work is that you can choose who to work with and who not to work with.
Did you try out a freelancing service but found their terms less then idea? Try another one. Did a project take significantly longer to complete then you had budgeted your time for? Try something else or try it again because now you know the tricks to complete it faster.
6. Freelancers must pay self-employment business taxes
Paying self-employment taxes really isn’t as bad as it sounds. Your clients will provide you with a W-9 to fill out. This is a super easy form to fill out. If you’ve never filled out a W-9 you can see it here. I encourage you to take a look at it now. Don’t let yourself use the uncertainty of not knowing what information might be asked for as procrastinate to do freelance work.
As for the taxes themselves, if you keep up with your receipts of deductible expenses you might be surprised at tax time how little you owe. I use Freshbooks for both my business and my husband’s business which makes tax time really easy. If you haven’t picked a bookkeeping system yet I wrote about why I picked Freshbooks in my post How to Set Up a Successful Bookkeeping System.
I also recommend talking to an accountant if you make more than $500 as a freelancer. If that sounds like a big step don’t let it stop you. I totally understand and talk about my experience finding one in Finding an Accountant when You Are Self Employed.
More than likely you will be able to handle your freelance self-employment taxes with TurboTax, another DIY tax program or using a freelance tax preparer but it never hurts to get professional counsel.
While there are both pros and cons freelance work is a great way to transition to a full-time work from home job.
Are you ready find out about more specific freelance jobs? There are a number of sites that offer traditional freelance work and there are also sites that offer work related to online business such as reviewing other people’s websites and testing websites. You can also help non-English speakers practice their English as well as teach English to non-English speakers among other things.
Flexjobs is another great resource. It does have a small fee to join but you can always find a coupon code online. They charge a small fee because they screen the companies they work with. I love looking at the opportunities they post.
I encourage you to give good thought to the hours you can find in your day to prepare for a work from home job and lifestyle. There are is no question there are some upfront time costs. But the control over your life you will gain more than made up for the extra couple of hours of sleep lost!