Tips for Freelancers During an Economic Downturn
Freelancing can be hard during normal financial times, but freelancing can be more difficult during an economic downturn. However, if you make changes and prepare, even you can do well as a freelancer during an economic downturn.
Help set your freelance business up for success with these tips.
Consider Restructuring Your Fees
Many freelancers set their fees and never change them. There are several ways to go about restructuring your fees.
Look at your current services and prices. What have clients been asking for? Could you make packages and combine these services? When you make new packages, you may want to consider raising your prices.
Another possibility is to change your structure to a retainer fee. Many freelancers charge by the hour, leading to clients canceling contracts because they feel each penny is being paid to you. If you switch to a monthly retainer, they may see you as a better value. Just be sure to lay out what is covered within your retainer fee so there are no surprises.
A monthly retainer can also help you better plan for the future. If a monthly retainer contract is expiring, you know when and can adjust your business accordingly.
Expand Your Services
If you are experiencing a slow growth period or a hiatus, consider expanding your service offerings. You could offer more in each package or even add new services. This is a great thing to do in tandem with restructuring your fees.
For example, if you are a freelance writer, you could expand into social media content writing. You will probably want to stay in your area of expertise, but you can always educate yourself in new areas. While you may not be able to afford to purchase training, there is an assortment of free training courses available online.
Look at Your Expenses
If all of this is not enough or you want to prepare for the future, look at your expenses to see what can be cut or reduced.
Much like fees, people tend to purchase tools for their freelance business but rarely evaluate them later. Look at your monthly business expenses. You might be able to eliminate some expenses or downgrade a service.
Be sure you have your business expenses appropriately deducted from your taxes as well. This can reduce your income tax for each quarter and the year. Remember to keep your receipts!
Consider Getting Insurance
Paying for insurance might be contrary to saving money, but it might save you money in the long run. You can get many kinds of insurance, but liability insurance is an excellent place to start.
Liability insurance is designed to cover your business if you are sued, damage the client’s property, or if a client experiences downtime and holds you liable. If you want to protect your physical assets, such as computers, you might also consider property insurance.
Depending on your business, you might also need cyber liability insurance or commercial auto insurance. Research your options and pricing to decide what you need.
Reach out to former clients and let them know you have availability in your calendar for more work. Ask them to refer you to new clients if they can. Most clients will be happy to hear from you, and even if they can’t hire you right now, you have now reminded them in case they hear of something.
Make sure your freelancer network also knows that you are looking for more work. Freelancers are great at referring their freelancer friends to clients.
If you don’t have a freelancer network, now may be an excellent time to start making one. Join freelancing groups on LinkedIn and Facebook. Reach out to people who you can relate to and strike up a conversation. Slowly work up to mentioning you are looking for work.
Contact a Financial Professional
We hope these tips have helped you. If you feel you need more guidance, please reach out to us to discuss your financial goals for your freelance business.
Equitable Advisors, its affiliates and financial professionals do not provide property, casualty, auto, or liability insurance. You should seek advice from a qualified professional regarding your specific situation.