Being self employed can bring a level of freedom and ownership many people strive for in their careers. But the lack of a regular pay check, feelings of isolation and having to generate business can wear on even the most enthusiastic among us. Here are 4 ways to stay on the bright side if you’re working self-employed.
Save Money During Good Times
Depending on the type of work you do, being self-employed can mean the money flowing into your bank account is bountiful one month and spotty the next. When your calendar is chock full, you get more incoming work requests than you can handle. And when your work load is light, all your clients seem have other priorities rather than sending work your way.
Not only do self-employed people have inconsistent income, but they also need to cover their own sick pay, holiday pay and other benefits. Be sure to save as much money as you can when work is good and you are earning. That way you can still pay your bills and use any extra free time and money to invest in marketing and outreach for your business when work is light.
This strategy can help reduce anxiety when works slows down. Unexpected money problems are the 8th highest cause of stress according to a YouGov survey of over 2000 people completed by The Physiological Society, and those working as self-employed can be particularly prone to money ebbs and flows.
Organise Your Finances
Stay on top of your business expenses and turnover to avoid finding yourself in a stressful situation at the end of the month. Even though November was great, maybe you don’t need that expensive, new leather office chair if it will deplete your profits.
Modelling your business inflows and outflows is a fantastic way to understand the financial health of your business. For example, you can use Excel to mock up a quick model. And maybe you can afford that chair, after all!
If you’re just starting out, be sure to include expenses such as self-employed business insurance, taxes and the cost of hiring a professional accountant, which can sometimes be forgotten as they aren’t related to the day-to-day operations of your business.
Always Be Marketing
Devote at least a morning a week to outreach. Check in with previous clients, find out what ex-colleagues are up to and nurture your social media accounts. Reaching out is a great way to stay in people’s mind.
Business success comes, in large part, from being in the right place at the right time. By staying in touch with the world, you’re more likely to come across interesting opportunities with seemingly little effort and avoid dry spells.
Find Other Self Employed People
Being self-employed can be lonely work. Humans are social creatures, and without co-workers to gossip with around the water cooler you can easily feel isolated-especially if you live alone.
Connect with other folks in your position by joining trade groups, attending small business support groups or connect with people over LinkedIn. You’re bound to find other people in a similar situation who also want to share ideas, challenges and the ups and downs of working independently.
At the end of the day, being self employed means wearing many different business hats. One of these is the HR role which entails looking after the well-being of your employees, or in this case, you. So be conservative with your finances and work to build relationships to build your brand and stave off feelings of isolation. These simple acts can give you the best shot of building a successful business working for yourself. Good luck!