Overcoming common problems

Overcoming common problems

Freelancing often feels like a dream come true - you can be working in a field that is interesting and engaging to you from a desirable location on a schedule that you planned yourself, but it's not an easy way to earn an income. There are lots of bumps in the road between you and your pay check, but a lot of these are easily solved or avoided.

Technological problems

- A computer is often very central to freelance work, and is probably one of the most, if not the most expensive piece of equipment a freelancer requires to successfully complete a piece of work. When a computer is experiencing problems, it is frustrating enough, but when you are paid by the project and you are unable to make any progress, it is absolutely infuriating. Always make sure you have all of the contact details of the support team in charge of looking after technical problems in line with the make of your computer, for example, knowing the number for Apple Support for when your Macbook won't turn on. If you can solve technical problems yourself, it's great, but if not then you should know who you can contact who will be able to help you. Sometimes, it's also a good idea to have a backup plan, for example a second computer of a friend or relative you know you can borrow to finish off any projects close to a deadline when yours just won't co-operate. It might also pay off to know of another place you can connect to wireless internet on days when they might be doing maintenance to yours, or on days when yours isn't working to it's usual capacity, but the joy of working remotely is that this can be anywhere.

Finding work

- Even after you have established yourself as a freelancer, there will probably be months where the work flow is a little dry and you struggle to find new projects to apply yourself to. The best way to maintain a steady workflow is by having clients who request repeat work from you, but when this isn't enough there are plenty of websites that connect freelancers to clients that might be able to help you score a one-off project to fill the void where your regular clients aren't requiring so much of your services. It is also a good idea to have some money saved to fall back onto for months where work is a little harder to find.

Getting paid

- Sometimes clients are very reluctant to part ways with their cash, and this can create a lot of tension between you and them and an overall bad working relationship. Some freelancers like to request half of the payment before they start work and get paid the rest afterwards. Be clear with your clients when you can expect your work to be completed and how much you expect to be paid and by when before you start the project, and maintaining a good connection and rapport with them will help you to build up a trustworthy working relationship. If people fail to pay, if you are working through a freelance website, often they will help to be able to settle the debate, and if not, you may have to review your contract that you set up with the client and even approach a debt collection agency to assist you in getting your funds.

Meeting deadlines

- Every client will believe that their project is your top priority when in priority you could be juggling any number of projects, and balancing these expectations can be very difficult. Make sure to keep your work varied and interesting to you, and to set realistic deadlines that still push you to work and to stay ahead of your competition. Aim to completely your work before it is actually due to ensure there is a little extra time for when things do go wrong, and be sure to structure your time off around the fact that you do actually have to be productive in order to be able to survive. Something will always pop up to delay the finish line, but if you plan for this to happen, it will be much less of a problem.