Taking the leap into the world of freelance work can be daunting. While the initial lack of stability may seem too much of a risk to many, the rewards of being your own boss can be well worth it, and as with anything, preparation is key. Here, we look at the rewards and riskier aspects of going freelance.

Rewards

There are many pros of going it alone. Whether you’re a budding florist setting up your own shop, a taxi driver expanding or beginning a fleet of taxis from Cab Direct, or a wedding planner offering nationwide services, there are huge benefits to take advantage of.

Be your own boss – when you set up on your own, you have the luxury of being your own boss. You get to make the important business decisions, work in your own way and at your own pace. Also, the hard work you put in directly benefits you and your pocket!

Work when you want – you have the flexibility to work when it suits you. If you want to start working at 6am and finish early afternoon, you can. Prefer a lie in? Start late and finish late. This is great if you have a family and need to work around the school run.

Work where you want – you can choose where you want to work from. So whether you have the option to work from the comfort of your own home, or set up shop in a location to suit you, the choice is yours.

Earn more money – business owners and freelancers often charge a higher rate than you would expect as a permanent employee in the same industry. Although it may seem like businesses won’t want to pay higher rates, to them it is a much more flexible arrangement where they only pay for what they need at a given time. It also means they don’t have to pay any benefits such as holiday and sick pay.

Risks

While the above all seems positive and may make you want to jump straight into your own business, there are also some necessary considerations before taking the plunge. Failure to appreciate the pitfalls of self-employment could lead to financial difficulty, so it’s vital to understand these before pursuing this way of working.

No employee perks – self-employed people cannot rely on the perks that employees receive. For instance, you may not get sick pay, maternity/paternity leave, working time rights and annual leave. This means that you need to have adequate plans in place to ensure you are financially stable should you fall ill or want to take a holiday abroad.

Income is not guaranteed – while employees can rely on regular pay each month, self-employed people cannot guarantee a constant or reliable income. Work may come thick and fast, or it may be hard to come by, depending on your business. This means that your income could go up and down from month to month.

Win your own work – business owners must win their own work, rather than relying on their employer to provide it. This requires a lot of motivation and persistent to earn a good income.

Despite the risks, for many workers the potential rewards are more than enough enticement to pluck up the courage and go freelance.