More and more workers are choosing to become self-employed freelancers despite the sometimes high levels of uncertainty. But how to be a freelancer is not really taught anywhere.
The growing demand for freelance professionals, together with the unstable labor market, makes the freelancing option increasingly common. Once you finally dare to take the plunge into freelancing you may ask yourself, where do I begin?
When working on your own what proves to be the key factor for success is your ability to achieve the desired objectives, results and, of course, profitability.
This continuous preoccupation, with the above factors, leads many to commit some common mistakes. Thankfully, these mistakes are relatively easy to minimize since most of them are the result of lack of vision and planning. Here are 4 common mistakes to avoid:
1- The inability to set achievable goals
The most typical mistake is the inability to set achievable goals. It is essential, each time you take on a new work project, to know what you want to achieve in the project and thus apply all of your efforts to achieve it. Needless to say that your objectives in a project must be aligned with those of your customers to ensure their satisfaction. This is what is known as “Managing customer expectations”.
2- Not having Project Management skills
Another problem that often arises is the lack of understanding that projects are dynamic and are subject to continuous change this is a normal part of its development cycle. Adapting to these changes is key to complete the project on time and on budget.
Poor planning usually occurs when we have not developed a methodology for the management and development of the project. At its most basic, you need to clarify working procedures, roles and responsibilities, and mechanisms for monitoring right from the beginning. Without this clear definition it is most likely you will complete the project successfully.
3- Lack of working methodology
Developing a system that works for you takes time and a lot of hard work. It is the result of a combination of factors such as common sense and the knowledge you gain with experience. Experience will help to sharpen and perfect a methodology which is right for you. It will allow you to estimate the needed resources and timelines for each of the tasks. In fact, experience will give you benchmarks to properly estimate the progress of a project and facilitate its monitoring.
4- Leaving Monitoring to the end
One of the most damaging mistakes is to leave evaluation of the project to the end. If you are not continuously monitoring and evaluating your progress against your plan you are taking a very big risk in ensuring the delivery of a high quality service/product.
It is true that we are always in a learning process, but sometimes if we do not continually monitor our progress, mistakes may lead to duplication or result in waste of time, higher costs, and unsatisfied customers and ultimately the loss of clients and revenues.
The environment of a self-employed is increasingly competitive but more and more people decide to take the step. Feel more comfortable now on how to be a freelancer?
Original article written by Jose Manuel Garcia. Graduated in Psychology from the University of Malaga, Master in Organizational development from ESIC – Business & Marketing School.