Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Are You a Freelance Writer or Home-based Business?

Last night I was reading a respected solo business coach’s report (courtesy of Twitter) about why working from home is the best thing EVAR (clearly I’m exaggerating, but the report did quite a nice job of pointing out the benefits) when I stumbled across a section that basically states home-based businesses have more potential than freelancing. What’s the difference you ask? I wondered the same thing. But as I continued reading she really broke it down.

Freelancing vs home-based business

In her view, freelancers operate completely on their own terms. TheY work when they want, and when they don’t want to they don’t. A home-based business on the other hand is considered an enterprise with a distinct identity. The main goal is to grow just like any other business does. The biggest difference between a home-based business and a brick and mortar business is that the majority of communication is conducted via phone, email or IM.

Accessing value from the client's point of view

She went on to say that the owners of home-based businesses have the very same advantages that freelancers enjoy, but provide better service because they don’t rely on just one person to get the job done. Clients will perceive a home-based business more as a company which makes them more willing to develop the relationship over time than with a freelancer.

What do you think?


Devon Ellington said...

Interesting, but it can also grow into another trap for the individual, using the typical 9-5 business model instead of the flexibility that so many of us want/need/choose when we choose the freelance life.

Personally, I don't think the two ideas are mutually exclusive, but if I had to choose, I'd continue to call myself a freelancer. The freedom in freelance is paramount to me.

It doesn't seem to bother my clients at all.

Kimberly Ben said...

Hmmm, that's an interesting point, Devon. Although I suppose you could simply tell new clients that you're booked solid for a period of time and schedule them for a later date whenever you wanted time off.

Like you I find the line distinguishing a home-based business from freelancing pretty fuzzy. I think that I operate more like a business than the flighty freelancer personified in the report.

The author also said that businesses utilize alliances/partnerships/outsourcing to not only provide their clients with a more complete service, but also to lessen a lot of the burden solopreneurs must shoulder.

I know there are people out there that make this business model work, but I've had frightful experiences outsourcing work; and after watching my husband's business fold because of a bad partnership choice, I'm pretty gun shy about all that.

Devon Ellington said...

In my experience, those who generalize freelancers as "flighty" are jealous because they don't have the dedication. commitment, and motivation to make a true freelance life work.

Freelancing is about the freedom to hire out one's considerable talents at a fair price to the most interesting and unusual clients.

If you want a traditional business model, stick to the 9-5 world.

Devon Ellington said...

PS Reliability is a huge component in successful freelancing.

The "flighty" can't survive.

Kimberly Ben said...

You're right, Devon. I'm thinking the "flighty" freelancer was used to drive home her point about operating more like a traditional business.

The flexibility and the ability to hire out my services on my terms is what I find most luring about freelancing. It would be very difficult for my family if I worked a traditional 9 to 5 right now. Thank goodness this is working out better for me. You have no idea how I wish I'd had the guts to go freelance years ago!

allena said...

Who are these flighty freelancers? Be flighty for a week and you're working in McDs. What I'm saying is they don't last long!

Anyway, I guess I might be considered a home-based business as I've got an LLC and home office where I meet local clients. I also regularly outsource. HOWEVER I most certainly work when I want, which is not much in Summers and Winter Holidays sooo....

Which? Not sure...

Kimberly Ben said...

"Be flighty for a week and you're working in McDs. What I'm saying is they don't last long!"

That's right, Allena! I don't know too many "flight" freelancers that are really making a living.

I became an llc this year too. I'd like to outsource at some point, but I've had some really bad experiences. Maybe I just need to approach the hiring process differently.

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