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3 Considerations Before Going Freelance

As the world becomes even more automated the demand for software developers is going to continue to rise.  Smaller business can’t afford to have their own in-house IT departments; it’s too expensive and often so is hiring a big company to build you some custom software.  This is the sweet spot where a freelancer can succeed.  If you have some good skills and you have the ability to market your skills then freelancing may be ideal for you.  However, here are 3 considerations before going freelance.

Working Alone is Hard

When you work freelance you are probably going to be working from home, you are solely responsible for everything.  Not only are you responsible for the job of developing software but you will be managing your own projects and you will spend a fair bit of time looking for new clients.  That may sound pretty exciting in the beginning but it is really easy to get bored with certain tasks and you have no one to bounce ideas off of.  The other thing to bear in mind that good programmers don’t always make the best marketers and finding new clients may be harder than you think. 

Lack of Help

When you work with a software development company there are always people around to help you should you need it.  When you freelance that safety net is gone, you are going to have to be able to tackle almost any kind of problem on your own.  Solutions to problems are your responsibility alone, so you better know how to use Google and software development forums effectively.

Lack of Consistent Income

You are now a business owner and when it comes to business, cash is definitely the king.  You need to be able to support yourself and pay for the tools that you need to run your business.  There is a lot of money to be made as a freelancer but it doesn’t come overnight so be prepared for some pretty lean months in the beginning.  You need to have enough cash on hand to support yourself until you consistently generate more.  Money will fluctuate a great deal when you work for yourself, having a lucrative June in no way guarantees that July will be successful. 

Freelance software development can be a rewarding and lucrative career path.  Before you hand in your notice take the time to decide that freelance work is right for you, it is not for everyone.  You need to be very comfortable with being self-reliant and treat this like any other business.  I would recommend that you don’t even consider leaving your job until you have a method to get new clients and a pipeline set up to market your services.