Is there anything freer than a freelancer? Being an independent contractor can be a truly rewarding and empowering experience. Solopreneurs, freelance creatives, and remote workers are all a rapidly growing part of today’s workforce.
In the US, people are submitting small business applications by the thousands everyday. This surge in applications started last summer — and more than half a million were filed just in the month of May this year. “This was the second highest number of applications filed since this data was first collected in 2005,” reports Small Biz Labs.
Now more than ever, people want the freedom that comes with being your own boss.
The Freedom of Freelancing
Freelancers are independent contractors, but they still fall under the category of a small business. Freelancers are still required to file taxes, manage client projects, market their services: All things that larger businesses have to do. A freelancer isn’t simply someone who works their own hours.
Freelancing can be incredibly liberating, and there are many advantages to working at your own pace. “That said, freelancing isn’t a vacation. It’s up to you to make sure you keep your clients happy, keep track of budgeting, seek new clients, and negotiate rates. You may find that keeping on top of everything means you work double some weeks and very little others. However, it’s all under your ultimate authority,” writes UpWork, a hub for freelancing jobs and postings.
Celebrating the Solopreneur
Just what is a solopreneur? They’re the entrepreneur who isn’t married to any partner or even one business … They treat life like a startup looking to scale. Everything has project potential, and they get to choose where they pour that potential. But it can be a demanding and isolating position.
“Solopreneurs are flexible, dedicated individuals who are so passionate about their business that they’re willing to go it alone. To find success in their endeavors, they must often assume every role in their companies,” according to a report from the Forbes Business Council.
The Rise of the Remote Worker
“Remote worker” shows up in headlines just about everyday now, because of how the pandemic changed today’s workforce and the spaces we work in.
The remote worker works for an employer, often full-time, but not in their employer’s office. They get a regular salary, but don’t have to be at their cubicle to earn it. When COVID-19 shut everything down, many businesses found they could save money on rent by allowing their staff to work remotely: At their homes, coffeeshops, or local coworking communities.
“When asked about the future of the working environment, 74% of professionals answered that they believe remote work will become the new normal,” writes Asshira Prossack for Forbes.
And bosses who don’t allow for a remote work option for their employees are looking at what Digiday is calling the “Great Resignation.” Simply put, if an employer won’t let them work from home, employees are moving on and not looking back. “The enormous market for talent now emerging is presenting unprecedented opportunities for employees seeking greener pastures — and greater expectations than ever that bosses will facilitate the working preferences of their people.”
Supporting Solopreneurs, Freelancers and Remote Workers
- There are a few ways that the freelancing and remote work communities can find support while the workforce and economy continue to evolve. Solopreneurs and startups alike are in need of spaces and programs to grow their businesses.
- Coworking spaces act as the backbone of many small business communities. Coworking spaces provide basic amenities to solopreneurs and other small business folks. Amenities like Wi-Fi, printers, conference rooms, bike storage, coffee and refreshments, and kitchen access. Some corporations and large companies pay for their employees to work out of coworking spaces.
- Freelancers Union offers a host of resources to freelancers and solopreneurs, everything from local events to health insurance: https://www.freelancersunion.org/
- In many cases, larger cities often offer programs for freelancers and small businesses. Atlanta is a great place for remote workers and freelancers to get work done, and provides the perfect backdrop for the small business community to collaborate and inspire each other.
The Exciting New World of Work
Yes, freelancing means that you’ll have to make a lot of decisions on your own. But there are resources and communities out there that offer support, so that you can continue to grow … your own way.
Are you a freelancer or small business in Atlanta? What better way to celebrate summer than finding a cool new way to work — in your very own local coworking space!