Developing your own skills, realizing yourself, being free: for many, independence is the ultimate dream . Many of us have had daydreams in which we quit our employee job and started our own business. With success, of course. Where do these reveries end? The moment we actually take the step from being employed to being self-employed. When time pressure suddenly turns into existential fear and when the pressure is no longer the boss, but the tax office. With letters that apparently you need a dictionary to understand. With endless forms, obscure regulations and exceptions lurking around every corner.
So that the day doesn’t turn into a feverish dream, there are a few hacks that help freelancers to concentrate fully on their business, to have fun at work – and to do everything that involves paperwork properly.
Work smarter, not harder: 3 efficiency tips for freelancers
1. Know your worth
This is too expensive. Not the answer you would like to hear as a freelancer looking for a job. What shouldn’t happen now? A hasty turn in and adjustment. Because those who are too flexible weaken their own position and perspective: With experience, prices should also rise. But once a price has been negotiated, it is very difficult to correct it upwards. And not only that: Those who set their own hourly rate too low also contribute to dumping prices in their own industry, which means that qualified and experienced freelancers have to reduce their fees to a level that is neither appropriate for their experience nor for themselves financially worthwhile.
The self-employed should therefore definitely calculate their hourly price before they go looking for customers – realistically so that there are no nasty surprises. There are numerous tools for this on the Internet. If possible, you should also exchange ideas with other freelancers and find out about industry differences. One possible tactic to convince customers? Arrange a trial run in which the client receives a discounted foretaste of the work – with the contractually agreed agreement that the current rate is then to be paid. The answer is still. But other providers are much cheaper ? Yes, that can be – but others do not have the same experiences and references that you can show yourself.
2. Establish clear rules
Can you please exchange the word; would you have a little time; I’ll call you from 10:00 p.m. let’s move the telco to Sunday. The advantage of being self-employed? The flexibility.
The disadvantage? Flexibility too. Unfortunately, many customers confuse the line to the freelancer with a 24/7 hotline. If you have several clients at the same time, you quickly get into a mess when customer one rings the bell during the call with customer two because of a trivial storm. That is why it is important to define the framework for the joint project: How many correction loops are included in the price? When can you be reached? And when not? Who can give approvals? This saves you, but also the customer, a lot of uncertainty and thus avoids stress and a bad experience.
3. Get help
I can do it alone! A sentence that marks the beginning of successful self-employment – but can also open the door to excessive demands, stress and broken dreams. Because freelancers in particular face a range of tasks that most employees are unfamiliar with: Suddenly you are in contact with the tax office much more often, have to deal with additional insurance and keep an eye on retirement provisions and taxes.
A full-time job in itself – and then there’s the actual main job as a freelancer. This whole carousel of bureaucracy and business can quickly get you into a skid. That is why the self-employed should definitely accept help – and demand it.
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