Working freelance has a lot of advantages but it can quickly become complicated if you don’t follow certain rules. Your work is already busy. If you add to this the management of your business, the canvassing and the management of your projects, it will be very easy for you to lose your footing. If you’re not organized, you’ll end up getting eaten up by your work, your bad manners and your clients.
I went through this a while ago. Having a business to run, clients to find, projects to maintain, a child, a wife and hobbies, it quickly became very complicated to manage.
I let myself be absorbed by my work and my hobbies while putting aside my family life. Not wanting to choose for one or the other, I tried to create my own rules to make my time available in a “balanced” way for family, work and hobbies.
Today, I have sold my company and I work from home for the company Codeur.com.
Here’s what I’ve learned from my bad habits and what I’ve put in place to stay organized as a freelancer; hopefully these tips will help you succeed in your freelance activity.
Be good and strong mentally
Make a plan
I started by making a plan to determine what my priorities would be to improve my well-being and stay strong over time. I imagined a perfect day, a perfect week, a perfect weekend and a perfect life for me. I tried to estimate how much time I needed to spend on each of these priorities in order to get as close as possible to my expectations.
Being happy with my family
To have or create an exciting job with a lot of freedom
Experience unique thrills
You’ll have to be strong. For me that’s the key. Rigor will allow you to create positive thoughts and synergies. It will give you self-confidence in achieving small or big victories.
Organizing yourself to be effective in your work
A good organization will allow you to be more efficient in your work. Here are my recommendations to gain in performance.
Avoid depression when working freelance
Working from home in the early days, I didn’t necessarily learn about the best practices and tricks of working from home. In conclusion, I experienced a real blues. Shortly afterwards I decided to correct the situation so that I wouldn’t continue my activity in this state.
Know how to protect yourself and say “no”!
Some ill-intentioned project owners make the freelancers they work with suffer their cash flow problems. To prevent this type of hazard, it is necessary to protect yourself:
- Announce penalties in case of late payment for example;
- Be firm and assert your rights whatever happens.
- Require a down payment of approximately 30% of the project cost before starting the project.
In the event of unpaid invoices from a customer, it is possible to obtain an “order for payment” from the local court for amounts less than or equal to 4,000€, or the Tribunal d’Instance for larger amounts. A judge can also issue a European order for payment. This is a simplified procedure applicable to transnational claims not contested by the debtor.
In all cases, you will have to justify a contractual clause between the two parties: order form or contract signed by the client with the amount of the project. Therefore, always remember to protect your work by drafting contracts that include specific clauses.
Another mistake is quite natural as a new freelancer. It is not to dare to negotiate with the project owner, for fear of losing him or annoying him. It is normal to want to obtain the satisfaction of your client. However, it is essential to be able to negotiate when necessary (project cost, conditions, etc.).