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A businesswoman studies her documents intently in a white office.According to a survey by financial services provider Transferwise, 65% of Germans can imagine becoming self-employed. The reason for this: As a freelancer you can independently choose your projects and are more flexible timewise. In addition, there is a greater variety of interesting and diverse projects you can work on.

Becoming self-employed—what are the challenges you need to reckon with?

Despite a lot of flexibility and diversity in terms of projects, self-employed professionals face obstacles that employees do not have. This mainly means being responsible for project acquisition. Here you can find out more about the five biggest problems for freelancers and how to solve them.

Deciding on your professional fee

A man in a suit calculates his performance with the help of a calculator.While an employee’s salary is determined by their employer, as a freelancer you decide yourself how much you will earn. If you use Hays to look for projects, make sure to calculate your daily or hourly rates. Find out specifically the prices that are customary in your industry. Also keep a close eye on how much you charge and how much time you actually spend on the work.

Careful bookkeeping

It is very important to precisely document invoices and payments for every single assignment. Keep strict records about your expenses. Here, Hays is also at your side for smooth invoicing, using an electronic invoicing upload in the service area of your protected log-in section. Hays also provides save payments and access to your invoicing expert where you can specify individual payment terms.

Balancing work and family

If you work a lot from home, be sure to implement some solid rules. Specify your working hours and stick to them. Vice versa, work is a no-go if you have planned some spare-time activities. Ensure that your clients cannot contact you during that time, and communicate your availability beforehand as exactly as possible. In order to maintain a good work-life balance, we recommend using a work mobile and a private mobile.

Clients as a challenge for freelancers

Your clients are your customers—that is why you want to fulfil all their wishes, and this is part of your service offering. Be careful, however, if this results in your clients instructing you in undue measure. Please contact Hays in such cases. We can advise and help as a partner to try and clarify the situation for both sides.

One of the greatest challenges—project acquisition

Self-employed professionals often state that project acquisition is one of the greatest challenges for them. Finding clients while still in employment is often not possible as companies contractually prevent directly stealing potential clients.

But where will these new clients come from? There are two possibilities:

  • acquisition through project offerings
  • independent project acquisition

Hays’ project offerings let you look for suitable projects, filter the results according to your preferences and apply for projects directly via Hays.

As an alternative, you can take care of your own project acquisition. To do so, look for the right freelancing projects, send your documents incl. a project list and diligently prepare for a professional interview.



It is important that you proceed in an anti-cyclical manner when canvassing for projects. It means that you do not wait until one project has finished before looking for a new one. Such an approach would lead to gaps. Searching periodically is a benefit here.

Promote yourself and your projects with your own website

Your own website is helpful when independently canvassing for projects because it allows you to present all the important information, work samples and customer feedback. In addition, you can always use your own website as a testimonial when tendering for projects.

Conclusion: Recognise problems in time and enjoy the freedom of freelancing

It is important to find out as much as you can beforehand about your possible field of activity. Proceed systematically and do not neglect any of the points mentioned above to be able to grow from project to project, leverage new experience and really benefit from freelancing.

Use these three tips to heighten your success and overcome any challenges:

  • Define your framework conditions.
  • Actively canvass for projects.
  • Stay motivated.

If there is a challenge you cannot master yourself or if you need support with project acquisition, you can count on our experts. We will be happy to broker interesting projects and offer you support while working for your client.


Your advantages with Hays

Here you can find out which services we offer for you and why you can find your dream project with us.

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