Back when I first started as an SEO professional (and a part-time content writer) it was common among SEO professionals to get some hands-on experience and then quit their jobs to start their own online business. There were so many opportunities lingering around in the cyber world and everybody wanted to grab a piece of the pie. Back then there was a lot more earning potential in starting an online business than in working on freelance gigs for others.
Needless to say, internet marketing experts and other professionals associated with this industry used to frown upon the idea of doing freelance work for others. IMO, times have changed, and starting an online business is not as good an idea as it was a few years ago.
These days, I meet a lot of professionals (for example: SEO, writers, developers, designers, etc) who are fretting over the fact that they are doing all the work while the “company” gets all the riches and growth without doing anything. That viewpoint is not entirely wrong, but things are not easy on the client side of table either. Of course, experiences will turn out differently for different people.
However, I believe that starting an online venture is not the ultimate answer to success any more. In this post, I’ve listed some reasons why I think working as a freelancer for others can sometimes be a better choice than starting your own venture.
Reason #1: Start Earning Money Right Away
No matter how good your business plan is or how competent you are, it will always take some time for your business/website to get going. In the beginning, you will have to invest a lot of time and resources, so you need to have the financial means and patience to go through the initial period when you will see little or no results. For someone looking to start a career, it’s hard to have that kind of financial support and patience.
On the other hand, when you work as a freelancer for others, you can start to earn straight away. Having the rewards in your hand at the end of each month (or at the conclusion of each project) is important, especially in this day and age when the economy and businesses are not doing well.
Reason #2: Stability Factor
Having your own business might appear to be a more stable option than freelancing for others, where you can lose the job or project at any time. But, to be honest, business owners don’t really enjoy that much stability and peace of mind. This is especially true of the online businesses.
As we’ve seen in the case of Google Panda update, businesses that were going great came to a sudden halt with their websites disappearing from the first pages of Google. That might sound like a minor setback for those who are not aware of the power of Google, but the truth is that it’s big enough change to totally eradicate a small business that doesn’t have the budget to sustain and invest in a recovery process.
What’s good about freelance jobs is that if you’re skilled and good at what you do, you will get another job (project or client) even if you’ve lost your current one. For a business owner, it isn’t as easy to simply dump one business and go for another one.
Reason #3: Fewer Administrative Chores
You still have to organize your work when working for others as a freelancer, but it’s far less time-consuming and stressful than managing day-to-day business activities that range from marketing to finance and from human resource management to bookkeeping.
While you can often get away with a simple explanation when you can’t do freelance work for a client on a particular day, in business, you will get no real days off. This is true even if you’ve got people working for you. You will still have to oversee many things.
Reason #4: Income Factor
Contrary to the popular belief, working for others doesn’t necessarily mean having less income than running your own enterprise. You can earn quite a good income while doing freelance work for others.
For me, having a handful of good clients assures me a better income than some of my friends who have recently started their own ventures. Of course, not all freelancers earn that much, but not all businesses are producing bags full of cash either.
Reason #5: Stress Factor
Hardly any job is stress-free. However, people working for others often tend to consider their boss or managers’ job to be hassle-free, mainly because they don’t have to report to anybody. The truth is that the pressure that comes from management is less than the pressure of being in charge when almost everything depends on your performance and decisions.
A company will manage if some freelancers don’t deliver. However, a business might be seriously affected if the owner was incompetent, and that pressure takes the stress to a whole new level.
Which do you prefer–doing freelance work for a client or starting your own venture? Share your answers in the comments.
Image by notmargaret