When To Grow Your Business, Outsource, or Perfect Your Projects—Freelance Rules of Thumb

While we saw a dot-com bubble in terms of site appreciation, the sheer number of public pages continues to grow at a fast pace. If you’ve taken that as an opportunity to freelance, great! There has never been a better time for developers to grow their side businesses and learn new skills.

User-friendly development platforms like SquareSpace and Wix have made it easier than ever for users with zero experience in development to fill a beautiful template in minutes, while low-coding platforms like Bubble.io have offered coders the opportunity to work their customizable magic at an unprecedented speed.

As people experiment with digital pages and begin to differentiate themselves in a dynamic online landscape, there is more opportunity than ever for freelance designers and developers to implement clever code and web applications that achieve results that templates simply cannot. This is especially true of the mobile market, where usership has continued to grow steadily. Proprietary ordering apps for brands like Starbucks, for instance, are said to make up a whole quarter of their US retail sales in 2020 alone.

There is no “easy path” through freelancing, but with a few tips, you might pull ahead with enough gas in the tank to continue to “wow” clients with your after-hours work. Here are our tips for excellent freelancing practices in the low-code space.

The 50/50 Rule of Commitments

Whether you’re working for yourself fully or part-time, your hours are valuable. Making sure you’re using them effectively begins with understanding where your client needs end and your personal needs start. For this, the 50/50 rule is an exceptional tool.

In short, half of your working hours should be spent on existing projects, while the other half should be spent finding new clients. Too much time prospecting means a more challenging time delivering on projects, while too little time reaching out to new clients means unpredictable income and an unsteady pipeline.

Let’s break that down further by looking at outsourcing and why you should consider it.

Outsourcing is Your Ally

Keeping on top of your deadlines should not be a rush. If you’ve laid out a mutually feasible timeline and given clear expectations as to how long a client should have to wait before edits can be addressed, you should never run into the problem of burning midnight oil. However, if you are, there is always the opportunity for outsourcing.

Outsourcing repetitive or structural work allows you to create a more compelling finished product with the free hours—not to mention heading into meetings and project updates with a much better attitude.

Not only can outsourcing help your bottom line, but it can also help you refine a strategy that allows you to complete future projects faster. Think of it as a job description that will benefit you as you pitch your services or even hire additional personnel to help you on an ongoing basis.

If you’re worried about feeling like you’re cheating the client, don’t worry. It is an industry-standard practice that just takes the right hand on the wheel to drive home safely—your hand. The guide-and-correct approach is even more crucial in the low-code environment, where the lines between UX and UI require consistent review and optimization.

Explore Professional Development Opportunities

Whether it’s taking an online class or going for a walk around a local tech conference, never turn down the opportunity to do more with your day, even if it feels unrelated to your task list.

The best ideas can often come from unexpected places, and you never know what experiences you will have when you walk out and embrace the day.

Take some time to improve your LinkedIn profile, try some automated outreach, or even contact an experienced team for pointers. When you are your own business, any improvement is fair game for making your clients’ lives better.

Don’t let the process of building a freelance brand frighten you away from the benefits. In bringing your skills to a larger audience, you enable your growth alongside your clients’ growth, resulting in better service, a wider pool of experience, and, of course, greater revenue.

Techmate Labs began as a small project and has grown to a full-time job. It can happen for you, too, with a bit of strategy and a whole lot of coffee. For more on the process, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. Freelancing can help you scale your talents with your vision—what you do with the rest is up to you!