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5 myths about freelancing

As per estimates, the number of freelancers in India could double every five years until 2035. With the gig economy well poised to take the global center stage in the near future, in this article let us explore what are 5 most common myths about freelancing

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Freelancing is fast emerging as a key career option for many people across the globe, as per the latest industry trends. In Europe, as per Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE), freelancers across the European Union doubled between 2000 and 2014 which makes them the fastest growing group in the EU labor market. Half of the workforce in the US is estimated to become freelancers by 2027. By 2036, the number of freelancers in China will nearly quadruple from its current base of approximately over 100 million and as per estimates, the number of freelancers in India could double every five years until 2035.

With the gig economy well poised to take the global center stage in the near future, in this article let us explore what are 5 most common myths about freelancing.

Myth #1
It is not easy for a freelancer to onboard clients: A freelancer is either working by himself or he has a small team in place. Therefore he might be constrained to manage each and everything and as a result he might not have the time and / or the resources to apply in tenders or meet prospective clients. But this isn’t a challenge anymore. There are perfect platforms for people looking for jobs including short-term gigs. These companies now serve as a global platform effectively connecting location independent freelancers and their clients.

Myth #2
Expensive and difficult to venture into international markets: General belief says that a freelancer would not have the necessary funding to extend its market outreach beyond the country of its origin. Physical presence in international markets would entail a huge overhead cost which a freelancer would not be able to afford. Wait! Are we not living in a digital society? Internet connectivity has created a huge disruption and so one would no longer need to have a physical presence in overseas markets to do business. Location-independent entrepreneurs can run their company remotely from anywhere on Earth and by expanding their market to Europe, they can reap benefits of huge demands from 500 million population of the continent.

Myth #3
Difficult to receive payments especially cross-border: If you are engaged in a cross-border business, transfer of payments, currency conversion etc. will call for a lot of unnecessary hassles. A freelancer is already constrained on time and this will further add up to his existing workload. Additionally, such transfers are also quite expensive. This is no-longer a challenge. Companies have made cross-border fund transfer both easy and economical. The companies have a huge customer base across the globe and help them with seamless transfer of funds.

Myth #4
Very important to have face to face meetings with clients: Like any other business, it is very important to meet your clients from time to time. Such face-to-face meetings act as a breeding ground for strategizing future course of action, developing new ideas etc. However, owing to the cost constraint of freelancers, such frequent meetings are impossible. Again, in this era of enhanced internet connectivity, this is no longer a problem. One can easily conduct such meeting using video conferencing tools such as Skype. You can connect at any time and from anywhere and also saves on a lot of cost. In fact, now-a-days, more and more companies are preferring such virtual meetings because it also saves you a lot of productive time which you might want to utilize more efficiently elsewhere.

Myth #5
Need to be an expert to manage your own accounts / finance: As a freelancer, one needs to manage each and everything on you own including your finance. Preparing a book of accounts, taxation etc. is a highly specialized job which requires expertise which many freelancers might not be equipped with. Digital society has come up with a solution to this too. There are multiple online tools available such as Estonian 1Office which provides services such as accounting, creating annual report, legal consultation, international tax consultation, VAT registration, etc. Online platform LeapIn also helps freelancers with accounting, tax and compliance among others.

Authored by by Alex Wellman, Head of Marketing at e-Residency | Republic of Estonia

 


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