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Why Freelance Work Is Becoming So Appealing
  • 12 April 2016
  • Eric Michaels

Why Freelance Work Is Becoming So Appealing

The entrepreneurial spirit is alive within the working world. Once there is a limit on a position's income and fulfillment, the desire to branch out comes naturally to many employees. However, starting a company alone can be intimidating when there is no clear picture as to how your next paycheck will arrive. For entrepreneurs who want to earn cash while starting a new venture, freelance work has become a very appealing option. Likewise, the freelancing community has become a support system for start-ups with staffing issues. Here's a breakdown of why freelance work is becoming so appealing.

Moving beyond your day job

A career does not have to consist of the gradual increase in responsibility and salary that is common with most jobs. For anyone with their eye on something bigger, it is perfectly reasonable to think of ways to leave a career behind and start out on your own path. However, there is a right way and a wrong way to quit your day job, and you don't want to leave your comfort zone unprepared.

The first thing to do is to assess your financial situation and figure out how much you need to make in the coming year. No entrepreneur should empty all their savings into a new venture. You are much better off investing part of your savings and looking for funding elsewhere, whether it be from others in the industry through a Crowdfunding campaign such as Kickstarter or people you know such as family and friends. If you make the calculation and find that you need more money as you establish your business, freelancing might be a great way to supplement your income.

Balancing freelance work and your new business

According to Ford's 2016 trends report, more than nine million freelancers and four million clients are registered on Upwork, a site that allows users to find freelancers or freelance jobs. Opportunities are available for a variety of skill sets, but entrepreneurs who have a background in technology, public relations, or editing will be able to easily find work.

The trick is to spend the bulk of your time and energy on the company you hope to launch. You have to wear several hats in this stage of the game, and the role includes pitching your idea to investors as well as negotiating with suppliers and/or potential employees. As you hustle to put together a company, you'll have to manage your freelancing on the side. While it might not be easy, this system could give you the income and time you need to get your business off the ground.

Using freelancers after you launch

Once you have your new company up and running, you will see the value in hiring freelancers to handle various jobs around the office. Accounting tasks, copywriting services, web design, and marketing services are all available on a freelance basis. Rather than committing to the expense of a full-time employee, entrepreneurs can meet their business needs with outside help—and without compromising on quality. Using freelancers allows you to adjust your staff as business ebbs and flows early on.

As with any business decision, consider the pros and cons of working with freelancers before you get started. There are always trade-offs and advantages when you don't pay an employee a full-time salary. However, with the right pay and flexibility, many freelancers feel like they have the ideal employment situation. Hiring a freelancer will also provide you with extra free time that affords you the opportunity to do a number of things—like starting a small business.

Freelance work offers entrepreneurs a safety net while they plunge into a new venture. Before you quit your day job, see what your skills are worth in this growing market.

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