75% of Freelancers Say They Earn More from Freelancing Than at a Full-Time Job

75% of Freelancers Say They Earn More from Freelancing Than at a Full-Time Job

Ditching the 9-5 grind and starting something on your own can look draining, daunting, and demanding at first. But the rewards often outweigh your struggle. It is not only about satisfaction, working for yourself means more money as well.

According to Upwork’s report, 75% of the freelancers earn equal or more than when they were doing a full-time job.

Upwork Freelance Forward 2020 Report

The COVID-19 crisis has changed the way businesses and employees work. Now, companies and employees are increasingly adopting a remote work model. And the Upwork report indicated the same.

Here are the key findings of the report:

  • Two-third of non-freelancers say that they would consider doing freelance work full-time to support their families
  • 58% of freelancers have worked for more than 5 clients in the past six months (up from 2019)
  • 86% of freelancers say that the best days of freelancing are yet to come
  • 71% of freelancers say that freelancing as a full-time career becoming more acceptable

Hayden Brown, President and CEO of Upwork, said, in a prepared statement, “Amid all of the uncertainty brought about by COVID-19, the data shows that independent professionals are benefiting from income diversification, schedule flexibility, and increased productivity,

“At the same time, companies are finding that these professionals can quickly inject new skills and capabilities into an organization and strategically flex capacity up and down along with changes in demand and workloads. We expect this trend to continue as companies increasingly rely on freelancers as essential contributors to their own operations,” he added.

Adam Ozimek, Upwork Chief Economist, said, “To adapt to the changes and uncertainty of COVID-19, we saw many professionals enter the freelance workforce for the first time. At the same time, the shift towards greater workforce flexibility coupled with the necessity to maintain continuity brought new demand for independent professionals from businesses. The changing dynamics to the workforce that has occurred during the crisis demonstrate the value that freelancing provides to both businesses and workers.”

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Key Takeaway

Upwork data suggests that working on your own can be an excellent option even in the COVID-19 world. So if you have fire in your belly, you can take the plunge.

However, you should understand that freelancing is like running a small business. You should make an aggressive plan to get more work as a freelancer.

Also, you should get ready to work on long-term gigs as 97% of freelancers plan for long-term gig work.

About the Report

Upwork commissioned an independent research firm to do research for this year’s Freelance Forward report, including 6000 participants. You can click here to know more about the findings of the report.

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34% of Small Businesses Struggling to Pay October Rent

34% of Small Businesses Struggling to Pay October Rent

In its latest Alignable Pulse Poll of 7, 726 small business owners, 34% of the respondents say they are struggling to pay their rent in October. This news comes as the pandemic continues to disrupt business operations across the board eight months on.

The Alignable poll, which was taken in the first week of October shows the number is two percent higher than September (32%). And there is no shortage of industries that are getting hammered by rent demand from their landlords.

Small Business Struggling to Pay October Rent

Overall, the national number is at 34%, however, there are some industries particularly hit hard. This includes B2C and B2B businesses. But the B2C segment is hurting because they rely so much on customers.

Forty-six percent of beauty salons and barbershops say they are not able to pay their full rent in October. And as for the restaurant and gym/fitness industries, 40% of small business owners have the same problem.

The entertainment industry is next at 38%. This covers everything from small theaters to concert venues, movies and many other small businesses operating in this segment. Although the front face of this industry is generally large enterprises, it is small businesses that provide the supporting service. These small companies provide everything from catering, to security, vending, janitorial services, and much more.

The numbers do not look much better for consumer retail (36%), travel (36%), construction (32%), marketing and advertising (32%), legal (31%), and health and fitness (30%).

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image: Alignable

Solving the Problem

In the survey, Alignable asked what would solve their current predicament. And 35% or the majority say lowering the number of COVID-19 will be beneficial. This they say will increase consumer confidence which in turn will get more people to come out and spend.

Another 21% say more federal aid is the way to go. And as President Trump and Congress negotiate the next stimulus package, time will tell if it comes in time for many small businesses to pay their rent and stay in business.

The insights Alignable is providing with its polls and reports are invaluable. You can take a look at the monthly data in its ‘The Road To Recovery: State of Small Business Report’ series for more. October’s report.

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72% of Small Business Owners Remain Optimistic About Their Future

72% of Small Business Owners Remain Optimistic About Their Future

It’s been a rough year for business, there’s no doubt about that. The pandemic has taken its toll on small businesses. Despite the hardships and challenges, it’s not all doom and gloom. This new survey by Bluehost shows optimism is aplenty, with 3 in 4 small businesses being hopeful about the future.

Web hosting specialists Bluehost analyzed the responses of 500 small business owners in the US. The ‘State of Small Business Survey’ explored business owners’ thoughts and plans as we move into 2021.

Bluehost Small Business Optimism Survey

72% of those surveyed say they are confident about the business outlook. Much of the positivity involves online sales. Almost half the respondents admit they have no reason for a physical store.  Three-quarters of small business owners expect their online sales to increase in 2021.

Turning Passions into Businesses: The research highlights a determination not to let the unforeseen obstacles of the pandemic bring people down. As many as 27% of respondents say they have turned their passions or hobbies into a full-time business.

Fortitude and Proactivity: Showing fortitude and proactivity, small businesses are busy implementing important digital changes. One key change is adjusting websites, with 39% of business owners prioritizing website modification. 31% say they plan to expand their social media presence. A similar number are going to increase marketing efforts in a bid to pull their business through these testing times.

Lingering Concerns: Naturally, there are lingering concerns. One top concern is related to securing new business. 44% of the business owners surveyed say they are apprehensive about acquiring new customers.

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Almost a third of small businesses are worried about the enduring economic impact from Covid-19. 21% of respondents cite lower sales and consumer demand as their most pressing concern in the months ahead.

Such concerns cement the importance of making savvy adjustments to business operations. By making changes to marketing and sales, small business owners will be better equipped to successfully navigate these testing times. Better still? Joining the 72% of small business owners who have an optimistic mindset about the future.


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25% Can’t Remember Changing Their Online Passwords

25% Can’t Remember Changing Their Online Passwords

When 1 in 4 or 25% of respondents say they cannot remember changing their online password, there is cause for concern. The data is from a new survey and report from PC Matic looking at the struggles with password management.

PC Matic Online Passwords Survey

Businesses and individuals must take more precautions. Passwords are one of the weakest links when it comes to cyber security, according to the report.

Remembering Passwords: Close to 70% of respondents say they have more than one email address. And this, the report says, is making people remember each password mentally (55%). Others write their passwords down (26%) and use a password manager tool (19%).

Based on this data, the report says people are most likely using the same password for multiple accounts. Moreover, the passwords are probably not meeting the advanced complexity measures to ensure proper password hygiene.

What is Password Hygiene?

Password hygiene is a set of best practices for ensuring your passwords are strong and secure. This is always worth repeating because people are still using default passwords in 2020. In this survey alone 53% of individuals say they still use a default password on their wireless router.

Tips from PC Matic

For Individuals:

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  • Change passwords every six months and reuse them
  • Use difficult passwords
  • Enable multi-factor authentication
  • Have password lockout thresholds on all your devices
  • Do not access your personal accounts when you are on your company’s network
  • Take cybersecurity training

For Employers:

  • Implement password hygiene best practices
  • Mandate cybersecurity training for all employees
  • Demand your employees to update their passwords every 90 days
  • Do not allow the recycling of passwords
  • Have employees connect to a VPN before starting work-related tasks
  • Enable multi-factor authentication for access privileges
  • Apply filters for online activity
  • Have default predetermined password threshold lockout times for computers

When you consider the surge of remote workers now making up a larger percentage of a company’s workforce, it is more important than ever to impellent these tips.

Methodology: The survey for this report was carried out in August 2020 with the participation of approximately 1,000 people and their cybersecurity practices. It specifically looked at password protection or hygiene habits.

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Nearly 1 in 4 New Business Owners Plan to Use a 100% Remote Workforce

Nearly 1 in 4 New Business Owners Plan to Use a 100% Remote Workforce

A new QuickBooks report reveals 23% of small businesses starting in the next 12 months will have a completely remote workforce. This is primarily driven by the impact of COVID-19 on the work habits of most employees and businesses.

Starting a business? What this means for you: QuickBooks says it is going to lead to a no-office culture for many small businesses as they adapt to the way employees work in the future. For prospective new business owners, the report points out they are significantly more likely to expect new employees to work remotely.

Data supporting the change: For businesses that are already established, 27% of them are allowing more employees to work from home. Furthermore, 1 in 7 or 13% say all new employees they hire will work remotely or at home.

So, both established and new businesses are moving towards remote work as a viable option to keep their workforce employed.

The fact of the matter is remote work was on the rise before the pandemic. However, it accelerated the adoption process across a much wider segment of the economy. And in turn, this innovation is creating new opportunities, especially for small businesses.

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Additional Findings

The changes brought about by the pandemic is driving entrepreneurs to adapt and innovate. In the survey, 86% of small businesses said they developed a new product because of the pandemic. Furthermore, 28% of those starting a new business say the pandemic is accelerating their plans to open their business.

Here are more findings:

  • 28% of small businesses are selling more online and 94% say the pandemic influenced this change
  • 42% are starting a new business to make their side gig official
  • 87% of those opening a new business will be primarily online
  • 72% of prospective business owners are optimistic about small business ownership in the next 12 months

Methodology: QuickBooks commissioned Qualtrics to find out how 965 current small business owners and 635 people prospective business owners who intend to start a small business in the next 12 months will do. This despite the current economic conditions brought about by the pandemic.

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40% of Consumers Have Considered Creating a Website for a Business During the Pandemic

40% of Consumers Have Considered Creating a Website for a Business During the Pandemic

Have you got an idea about creating a website in the ongoing pandemic? If yes, then you are not alone, my friend.

According to the latest survey from WebsiteToolTester, 40% of those surveyed have considered creating a website for a business or hobby since the pandemic started.

Pandemic Website Creation Survey

Due to the ongoing pandemic, most small business owners have by order or voluntarily allowed their employees to work from home. Not only businesses, but the pandemic has also driven most facets of our life online.

So there is no surprise 40% of people wanted to create a website for a hobby/business amid the COVID-19 crisis.

However, thinking about creating a website is one thing, and doing it is another. 64% of respondents have said that they wouldn’t be confident to create a website on their own, as the survey finds.

The survey also discovered that 53% of males and 60% of females have stated that not knowing to create/design a website is their biggest hurdle.

Lack of expertise to find the right website tools, not having the time, and the lack of funds are other challenges.

PC: WebsiteToolTester

Not many of us are skilled enough to build a website on our own. With a little search on the web, you can find tons of resources and tips to build your first website.

Needless to say, one can build a website within any budget parameters. Nearly 55% of respondents have said they want to spend $100 or less to build a website. And 22% of respondents have stated that they would like to create a website for free.

PC: WebsiteToolTester

What is your budget for your website? 66% of small business owners spend less than $10k to build their websites.

Yes, you can build a website for free with a free website builder. But you shouldn’t go for a free website if you want a fully-functional website for your business or hobby.

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Robert Brandl, the founder of WebsiteToolTester, writes, “It’s important not to be blinded by the word “free.” If you can afford it, stay away from free plans for your business site, even if it’s a small business. Free plans come with certain restrictions that can give your business website an unprofessional look, such as strange domain names and an obtrusive advert.”

Choosing a Website Builder

Be it a creating hobby website or a business website, you expect a seamless website building experience. And picking the right website builder plays an essential role in your overall website building experience.

Here are the top features respondents would like their website builders to have:

  • Affordability of tools
  • Template options
  • SEO capabilities
  • Ease of use
  • Customer support
  • Reputation and reviews

42% of respondents have voted ‘ease of use’ as their top priority when selecting a website builder.


Why Starting a Website Is a Good Idea

Unless you’re someone who doesn’t want to grow, it is always good to have a website.

Around 36% of small businesses have a website. So having a website will immediately provide you with an edge over many of your competitors.

The following are some reasons why you must have a website for your small business:

  • Your customers want you to have a website (most customers now search online before making any purchase)
  • A website will offer your business the much needed social proof
  • You stay 24/7 open with a fully-functional website (Your website can generate leads even when you’re sleeping)
  • Your business will start showing in Google search results

Even if you don’t have any business idea to implement, you can create a website for your hobby and find ways to monetize it.

About the Survey

WebsiteToolTester surveyed 1000 people from the US to know what they think about creating a website. All the participants were aged 18+.

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30% Say Automation Software Saves Their Company Money

30% Say Automation Software Saves Their Company Money

About 30% of employees say automation software saves their business money. And 44% disclose automation saves them time. Almost a third (33%) of workers admit that automation software enables them to accomplish more with fewer resources.

These statistics were unveiled by Zapier’s quarterly Automation Confidence Survey. Conducted by Harris Poll, the survey measures the growth, interest, and usage of automation.

The research involved surveying 1,198 employed US people. 912 of the participants are knowledge workers, those who work in a professional setting and use a computer as part of their job.

Zapier Automation Confidence Survey

For small businesses, the findings of the research highlight the proficiency of using automation software. Adopting automation technology and its money and time-saving benefits, could contribute to a small business’s survival, especially during testing times.

In a blog about the report, the Zapier editorial team sum up the effectiveness of automation technology:

“No one dreams of doing the repetitive work that we’ve been told is a necessary part of our job. This could explain why people are turning to automation (i.e., software designed to automatically complete tasks/processes) to help them work smarter, complete tasks faster, focus on important work, and make them better at their jobs.”

Automation Benefits Nearly Everyone Who Uses It at Work

Zapier’s data shows automation software benefits 96% of people who use it at work. 43% of participants said it helps them complete tasks faster. 40% of workers say such software enables them to be more organized at work. Slightly fewer employers (38%) believe using automation improves the way they work overall. 36% of those surveyed say automation software helps them and their team focus on importance work.

Saving Time and Reducing Human Error

Out of the 96% of participants who say they benefit from automation, 44% admit it saves them time. Almost 40% say the tech enables them to complete projects faster. A similar number say automation reduces the number of errors in their work.

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Prevents Work from Falling Through the Cracks

Such are the time-saving benefits of automation that a quarter of workers say that using it enables them to work fewer hours a week. Almost 30% believe that using automation software prevents work from falling through the cracks. The same number of employees say this type of technology allows them to work on the things they enjoy and value more.

Not All Businesses are Capitalizing on Automation

Despite employee enthusiasm towards automation and its benefits, the survey revealed that just 31% of employers are using automation software. 27% of the workers surveyed say they like to experiment with new technology. A similar number believe automation is a skill employers’ value.

Out of the employees not using automation, 33% fail to see how such software may be useful to their job. 17% of participants say they are working for employers that are not tech-savvy. 13% admit to not know what automation software is, and a similar number use different apps and software at work.

10% of participants don’t have the time to learn and new skill. 6% believe the software is difficult to set up.

Despite some employer and employee apprehension about automation software, the survey shows the growing popularity and prevalence of such technology. Making the effort to adopt to automated practices, could be an invaluable sacrifice for small businesses in the long term.

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52% of People Not Concerned with Payment App Security

52% of People Not Concerned with Payment App Security

According to Money Crashers, 90 million Americans use payment apps. But its new survey reveals 52% of the respondents are not concerned about payment app security. This translates to millions of people not taking the necessary precautions to protect their transactions and personal data.

What this means for small business owners is they have to take more precautions to protect their payment processing platform. Because hackers can use the compromised account of a customer to get information about a business.

Money Crashers Payment App Security Survey

The case Amanda Pell highlights in the report is quite revealing. The data comes from Venmo’s reported $40 million loss in fraud reimbursements during the first quarter of 2018. In analyzing the security issues of Venmo, Hang Do Thi Duc, a coder and privacy researcher, explains what you can learn just from the personal information people share on the app.

Details such as text and time stamps of transactions people make is all it takes. With this information, a hacker/scammer can examine the transactions of a single food cart vendor. To show what could be done, Do Thi Duc was able to identify the vendor’s most frequent patrons, how often they made purchases, and at what time of day they could be expected to visit.

Pell goes on to say, “Depending on the context, this information can expose users to everything from marketing schemes to theft, assault, and blackmail.” If you stay on top of your payment app security protocol, you can greatly decrease and/or eliminate these threats.

Downloading Apps

In the survey, 20% of the respondents say they have security concerns, but it doesn’t prevent them from continuing to use the apps. However, almost a third (31%) have enough concerns to make them stop from downloading a payment app. Another 43% say they haven’t decided against downloading and 26% have never considered using a payment app.

According to Pell, users should read the privacy policy before making a decision about downloading the app. Because it’ll tell you how the company will collect, store, protect, and use the personal data you share with them.

The sharing of this information can put your personal and financial data at risk if the company is not careful. Who it shares the information with is out of your control once you click the privacy statement without reading it. In the survey, only 19% of the respondents say they read privacy policy statements. So, 81% or more than 4 in 5 people are in the dark as to what is taking place with their information.

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Pell says you should at least read enough of the privacy policy to learn:

  • What information the app is collecting
  • Whether your information will be used for secondary purposes (such as marketing)
  • Whether your information will be shared with third parties
  • What the app’s policy is on sharing information with law enforcement
  • Whether information is protected in all phases of collection and storage
  • Whether the app allows users to delete their data
  • If the app uses personal information to build user profiles for non-primary use

Answering the above questions will give you enough of a clue to determine how the app is using your data. This includes whether the app will sell their data, use it for marketing and advertising, or store it in such a way it makes it vulnerable to hackers.

Securing your Payment Apps

Security has to be a daily part of your personal and business protocol in a digital ecosystem. It takes less than a minute to check and update your anti-virus/malware software. But this simple act will save you a lot of headaches by preventing a breach.

A simple cybersecurity training will do wonders for you and your employees to protect your small business. When it comes to payment app security, you can do the following to make your information more secure:

  • Read the Privacy Policy. Learn how your information is being collected and how marketers or advertisers can use it.
  • Use a Password Generator. Password protection is crucial in securing your financial information. Use a password generator to come up with and protect your password.
  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication. Go a step further with password protection and configure an extra layer of security with two-factor authentication.
  • Secure Your Lock Screen. Don’t stop at a secure login to the app. Make sure your phone is also locked so your information isn’t compromised if your phone is lost or stolen.
  • Make It Private. Although it can be amusing to use Venmo as a social network, doing so can compromise your security. Switch your payment settings to private so your payment history and time stamps aren’t available publicly.
  • Enable Notifications. Make sure you’re notified of any payments or changes to your account so you can address them quickly if you didn’t authorize them.
  • Monitor Your Bank Accounts. Don’t neglect your bank accounts. Regularly monitor their activity so you can alert your bank if something doesn’t look right.

Payment apps have introduced a new level of convenience for both consumers and merchants. But this convenience has risks if you don’t apply some precautions to protect your information. With the right safety measures in place, you can enjoy the benefits of payment apps.

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30% of entrepreneurs who are ready to take more risks now

30% of entrepreneurs who are ready to take more risks now

Almost a third (30%) of entrepreneurs are now willing to take more risks. 44% do not intend to return to a traditional “nine to five” job. These were the results of newly published data from Printify a print-on-demand drop shipping company. <! – ->

Printify surveyed over 5,000 members of its global customer base. The research was done to determine how the pandemic is affecting emerging entrepreneurs around the world.

Printify survey of entrepreneurs who take risks

The results were largely positive. Despite the post-Covid-19 economic downturn, many Printify users remain optimistic about the economy. About 24% of respondents believe the US economy is improving. Almost 40% of Printify customers say they have reassessed their life choices because of the pandemic. 30% are willing to take more risks compared to before COVID-19.

Prioritization of flexible work agreements

<! – -> Printify's research is important for aspiring entrepreneurs as it sheds light on how other startups are feeling right now. Rather than feeling depressed by the current climate, research gives hope for a more positive business environment. Research also shows how people are now prioritizing flexibility away from a rigid "nine-to-five" structure. This could prove enlightening for small business owners and show the importance of providing flexible working arrangements for employees.

Importance of tracking small business activity

James Berdigans, Founder and CEO of Printify, points out the importance of keeping track of small business activities:

“While small business activity is the best barometer of an economy's health, it has always been difficult to track. So we thought we should interview our own customer base to get a feel for what they are seeing.

“For this purpose we are cautiously optimistic. In fact, we ourselves have recorded a growth of 304% over the previous year. People love Printify because they can use our platform to share their own creative ideas with the world while becoming masters of their own economic fortunes by becoming independent business people, ”added Berdigans.

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Value of "Side Hustles"

Some entrepreneurs prefer to keep day jobs and run a business on the side a practice known as a "sideline". The Printify study found that 72% of customers use Printify as a “sideline”. A quarter of the participants stated that they use a secondary job as their main source of income. <! – ->

Desire to run my own business

About 54% of respondents said they use Printify because they have the freedom to run their own business. Also, 53% said they use the print-on-demand drop shipping service because they want to be their own boss.

Increase in demand for products

The survey also found that 45% of Printify users have seen a surge in demand for their products since the Covid-19 pandemic. And 60% of Printify customers say that competition has increased recently as more merchants are now selling online.

<! – -> The Printify survey shows that small businesses are optimistic. It also highlights the increasing popularity of online sales. In these uncertain times, embarking on a side business for additional income is an effective way. Entrepreneurs can not only earn additional income by doing part-time work, but also enjoy the freedom to be their own boss.

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Less Than 8% of Job Seekers Want a Fully Remote Work Environment

Less Than 8% of Job Seekers Want a Fully Remote Work Environment

Remote working has surged in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite its growing prevalence, research shows less than 8% of job seekers want to work in a fully remote environment.

This was the finding of a survey composed by iHire, a leading career-orientated platform. iHire’s ‘2020 State of Online Recruiting’ report found that just 7.6% of job seekers want to work solely remotely.


Few Job Seekers Want a Fully Remote Work Environment

The survey interviewed 3,184 job seekers and employers across the US in May and June. Respondents came from 56 industries in ten sectors. Almost 40% of recipients said they were open to any office environment, whether it is remote, in-office or flexible. This suggests job seekers are so keen to get back to work, they are willing to work in any environment.

Just 2.5% admitted an indication to work remotely on a job ad was an important feature of a job ad.

Knowing What Candidates are Prioritizing

The findings of iHire’s research is important to small business owners as it shows what job seekers are prioritizing. Knowing what candidates are looking puts employers in a better position to attract the right talent. This is especially in the current climate as businesses are having to go that extra mile to navigate challenging times.

Further recruitment challenges are forecast to be in the pipeline for employers as lay-offs escalate, and candidates flood the jobs market.

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As iHire’s report notes: “These survey findings point to employers’ ongoing struggle with finding qualified, relevant candidates in their industry. This challenge will only become prominent as professionals laid off during the pandemic re-enter the job market in droves and flood inboxes with applications. At the same time, there is still much uncertainty surrounding the economy and labor market – increasing the importance of strategic online recruiting.”

The Need to Communicate with Candidates

18.8% of job seekers said failing to hear back from employers following an application or interview was their leading challenge. This statistic highlights the importance of employers communicating with candidates. At the very least, businesses should let applicants know their status with a position. Such communication shows diligence and appreciation on an employer’s behalf. Feeling valued and respected through communication will make candidates likelier to engage with and recommend a company.

Promote Flexibility in Job Ads

While less than 8% want to work fully remotely, 42.2% of jobs seekers sought a flexible working environment. Businesses would therefore be wise to offer and promote flexible working arrangements in job advertisements. Offering both in-office and work from home options is likelier to attract a wider pool of talent.

Try an Industry-Specific Approach

This year’s iHire report showed a 4.4% increase in candidates using industry-specific jobs boards to search for jobs. This finding could prove valuable for employers, as by using industry-specific platforms may help them find the right candidate faster.

The Covid-19 pandemic has created turbulent times for small businesses of all industries. These challenging times will not disappear overnight. It’s, therefore, more important than ever that employers adhere to job seekers’ demands to attract and retain the best talent.

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