Remote and Freelancing market in Belgium
Bio: Saravana is a Salesforce Expert with 6+ years of experience in Salesforce. He started his career in freelancing by creating his company (Lewafa). Before that, Saravana worked as a Salesforce Developer and Administrator in a leading company in Belgium. He is also a certified Application and System Architect.
Saravana, are there any remote opportunities in Belgium and how does the market look like for Salesforce freelancers?
It is still quite complicated in terms of remote opportunities, because most of the companies are “old fashioned”. They prefer people who can work onsite full time. But we have to differentiate between freelancing and remote working. Meanwhile, there is still a market for freelancers that can go to the company office (even from time to time). Still, companies don’t trust remote workers. With that said, it is important to mention that tech startups are growing a lot in Belgium. So maybe in younger environments, companies are more open to remote jobs and to trust people that are not located in Belgium.
So, you weren’t actually afraid about the difficulties and decided to start your freelancing journey …
Yes, I moved to a freelance career to have more flexibility in my schedule and to be free to take some vacations between two projects, as well as to better organize my working day.
A lot of freelancers have difficulties getting direct access to the final client, is that also the case for Belgium?
Yes, especially when it comes to big companies. They have their procedures that need to be followed and they already work with their own subcontractors, so it is complicated to get direct access. Usually, freelancers work with an intermediate like a consulting company or any other subcontractor who actually brings the client. So, quite often, a freelancer signs with an intermediary and not directly with a client. Then, the freelancer works onsite with a client.
In your opinion, what is the best way to approach a potential new client? Would you write a direct private message on LinkedIn or search on job boards?
Well… you need to be creative about it that’s for sure! I use different approaches including searching on job boards and LinkedIn. You can also go on the appexchange to see the companies that have published a package and try to get a contact via LinkedIn. And of course, never forget the power of networking.
What was the method that was successful for you?
In the end, it was the networking! I found a contract because of a contact I had in the company I was working at before. This is why I said that here in Belgium, companies want people that they can trust.
Is it difficult to register and open a company as a freelancer in Belgium?
Opening a company is quite easy, the most important part is to have a good financial plan and apply in order to get and activate your VAT number.
I would like to suggest a link that was very helpful for me.