So I am guilty of these as well; and thought this would be a good subject to talk about. I have agreed to / and have done things that later on I think to myself……you did it again!
.....maybe I am going to have to come and read this post every once in a while!
First point I have is KNOW YOUR WORTH, AND DON’T CUT YOURSELF SHORT!
What I mean by this is; for example, I went to school for 4 years for Graphic Design (that I am STILL paying for…it never seems to end…but that’s a whole different rant), creating graphics and art for people is something I truly love; but there are costs I have to incur to be able to do my job.
Examples of the types of things I have to cover and keep updated:
- Software (for my computers and the programs that I use to do the design)
- Printer and supplies
- General Operating Costs
- Phone Bill
- Many forms of payments you receive from the customers; you may incur fees that way
….and those are just a few; a company does not pay for office supplies, electrical bills etc. when you are freelancing and working from home.
Also, there is no point in doing the work if you are just working to “cover your costs of your business”. You also need to take into consideration covering for your life as well Mortgage/Rent, Food etc.
Don’t shoot yourself in the foot for taking a job that you KNOW will take a lot of time to do; but you charge basically nothing and end up losing money.
This does not mean that you can’t bend your budget (depending on what freelance work you do) because for me every project is different in its ways.
For example, in my field of work there are plenty of sites to get graphic work done for cheap. I joined this one site to see what it was and look for clients; and designers were offering graphics and portraits for $5.00. I can’t even wrap my head around that.
If somebody were to offer you a Logo Design for $50.00; great! It sounds like a great idea right? But what kind of service and quality are you going to get; and if its for your business you want to make what you have representing your business a priority.
No matter what business you are in, you get what you pay for. Don’t feel pressured to charge less and less to compete with others; know what your absolute minimum is and stick with it, if you don’t get that job don’t stress about it and keep moving forward. You will hear a lot of NO before you get a YES!
In my business; I want to give my customers good service, different options and to really get to know them and what they want so I can give them the best service possible; I will charge for that.
…..Your time is IMPORTANT!
You may work from home, you may not work for a big company….but your time is just as valuable. If you have a great product or service to offer; people will come around and see that you are worth what you charge. The greatest bonus to finding an entrepreneur is that their clients ARE THEIR LIFE, their business is their baby!
In order for them to stay in business, they always need to give their best….Always! If somebody works for a company, they can do great work, but if something happens…in the end it’s the companies problem, they still get their paycheck right?
** For the ones that work for a company please don’t take this the wrong way; I know many of you are amazing at what you do and take great pride in your work…..but that’s NOT always the case **
Because I do graphics I will use this as an example:
At the beginning I was so nervous to charge what I believe I should charge for a job.
I started sending out quotes for jobs. For the ones I got on a really low quote it was great; I loved doing the work, but in the end I was working for maybe $2.00/per hour. A real rookie move on my part.
I sat back and thought to myself; why did I do this to myself? Yes, I’m doing what I love to do; but my time is valuable and I have many years of experience; so why am I working for $2.00/per hour?
….MAKE SURE YOU DON’T GET STUCK CHARGING TOO LITTLE!
You got a job because you charged lower to get another client which is amazing!
What happens if you get referred and they know how much you charged that client and so on and so on. It’s going to be hard to get out of that rut of KNOWING that you are charging way less then you should.
Which comes to another point, don’t tell others how much you charged a different company for a certain service until you know all the details; because you want to make sure you know what you are expected to do first.
Know When to Stop or Say No!
There have been times that I have spoken to clients at all times of the night. I want to be able to give them a great service; but at the same time I do need my “non-working hours” as well.
If you read my last post I covered a bit on this topic. Sometimes it’s hard to stop yourself and create set “Working” or “Non-Working” times and stick with it when you work from home. It is so easy to get caught up in a job or deadline (which is totally acceptable to put in some overtime) but on the other hand….you cannot work 24/7. You do need to also take care of yourself.
Learn when to shut off your email, or not answer the phone; unless a late discussion is agreed upon earlier in the day.
Take a day off here and there. Everyone needs a life, hobbies, to see family or friends! Or to do….well; NOTHING!
I know I could go on and on; but these are my MAIN tips to try and avoid or work on when you freelance or work for yourself at home. Its amazing being your own boss, making your own hours. But sometimes people don’t realize the challenges that can come with it.
Let me know if you have more points to add on this topic of some struggles you have had or are having currently.