7 Risks Freelance App Developers Face and How to Avoid Them

While being a freelance app developer gives you the creative freedom to work on your own terms, it’s not a bed of roses.

There are some risks associated with going solo but none that cannot be avoided.

Whether you are just starting off or neck deep in work as a freelance app developer, it makes sense to know and explore freelancing risks and ways to overcome them.

Not making enough money to pay off bills

The best thing about being stuck in a shitty 9 to 5 job is that text alert on the first of every month- ‘your salary has been credited’.

Freelancers aren’t sure of how much money they’ll make during a certain month. Sometimes the amount is quadrupled, and sometimes they only make enough to survive a month on cereals.

How to avoid this?

Save for a rainy day. If you are thinking of making the switch to freelancing, start keeping a sizeable amount of your pay aside for two or three months.

Your rainy day funds should be enough to pay off your major bills at least for a month or two.

But if you have already started as a freelance app developer and finding it difficult to meet ends, you might want to strengthen your game by learning new skills or joining an app development firm that lets you do things on your own terms but the pay is a little less.

And make it a point to save some amount of money every month; no matter how small that amount is.

Not being flexible

Some people charge a flat fee for all their gigs. While you can stick to a base price, you need to be receptive and flexible depending upon each project.

Some projects might pay lesser than the lowest you quote but it could be a great learning experience or there might be promise for long-term work.

For some heavy projects, you can charge more depending upon the effort and time you put in.

How to avoid this?

Be flexible (duh!)

Not being a master of one

Most freelance app developers aren’t sure of which platform to choose. They oscillate between iOS and Android and then back again.

Well obviously if you have the time and diligence, you can learn about both but it makes sense to be a master of one first.

Also remember that launching on both platforms will significantly increase your maintenance and marketing cost.

Plus you’d have to put in a lot of effort and time to make both a success.

How to avoid this?

Choose one platform and be a pro at it. While both platforms have their pros and cons, you need to know if higher payout through higher priced apps work best for you or is it earning more through ad revenues that do the trick just fine.

You can also start with one and proceed to other in due time but it’s not recommended to do both at once.

That’s what Angry Bird’s developer Rovio did. Making Angry Birds a cultural phenomenon on iOS they proceeded to capture the Android and Nokia market too.

We wanted to make Angry Birds available to all mobile phone users, regardless of platform, so we started to develop for other operating systems, like Nokia handsets, webOS, iPad, and Android.

Not treating it as a business

One of the biggest freelance app developer problems is that they treat it as some long paid vacation instead of a business.

Your clients cannot vest their trust in your unless you show them your work ethics.

How to avoid this?

Do what businesses do: get a website up, sprawl social media with related content, get the word out there, offer unprecedented customer service and build lasting relationships.

Not keeping abreast with the latest technology

As an app developer, you know that technology can change in a blink.

Plus the more skills you add to your kitty the better you shine amongst a plethora of other competitive freelancers.

How to avoid this?

Learn new skills and tricks of the trade. If you are going to earn your bread and butter through programming and developing apps, then you should know the ins and outs of it.

Read up on the latest news pertaining to your industry and all the changes that could affect your profession.

Enroll in webinars and online courses to stay ahead of competition.

Not having enough faith in themselves

With the likes of Zynga pooling their resources to dominate the app market, your small team might feel a little intimidated by the big boys.

After all they do have limitless capital and access to technology. It is only understandable that you feel in a rut when pitted against them.

So does that mean you should give up on accounts of it being a difficult to penetrate market?

How to avoid this?

Startups might not have oodles of cash stowed away but this isn’t a best brand win arena. If you have an amazing idea and the skills to back it up, you can give anyone a run for their money.

That’s what Temple Run co-founder Keith Shepherd testifies to. He also goes on to say that indie teams have the advantage to be as creative as they want and to explore niche ideas.

Not saying no

A lot of freelancing app developers can get exploited into working for less than their worth.

You might land an amazing client who’s stingier that Uncle Scrooge and even after several rounds of fair negotiations they might want you to work for peanuts.

And this is where a lot of new freelancers make the mistake and say yes.

How to avoid this?

Say no!

You need to know what you bring to the table and what it’s worth. If your skills and expertise call for a higher amount to be paid – no matter what the going market rate is – say thank you for the opportunity but sorry that won’t work for me.

Sometimes saying no can increase your worth as what’s of a higher quality would always cost more.

Like all businesses there will be risks involved and you too will come across a number of freelancing risks. And you need to be both tactful and receptive to these risks, which hopefully you can now handle like a pro with these tips!

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