There are many pros to freelancing. You get to choose your hours and days you work, you have virtually unlimited income potential and you are your own boss. Unfortunately, there are also pitfalls and bouts of drought during the slow seasons. The good news is that there are ways to overcome this through discipline, exposure, and short-term borrowing to carry you over.
The short-term loan option
When you’re a freelancer and you don’t have savings to fall back on, a short-term loan through a company like MaxLend is a viable option. Unlike a typical bank which requires you to show a weekly or bi-weekly pay stub, many of these online lenders have less stringent guidelines. They usually need a social security number, a valid checking account and proof of income. They also offer a variety of short-term loans with different repayment options, with some spread out over a 24 month period. This allows you to make small, affordable payments until your business picks up again. It gives you a way to get you the cash you need to cover your immediate expenses without harming your credit score.
Social media and gaining exposure
In the freelance world, name recognition can play a vital role in your staying afloat. Creating a presence on platforms like Facebook and Twitter can help your business grow where you won’t have a month or two without income, just a slowdown. In addition to social media, it’s also important to create a website that’s user-friendly in order to attract new clients. If you are not computer savvy, there are many online companies who specialize in designing websites for a lot less than you might imagine. In order to bring your business to the next level and avoid the stress that comes with too much time off, both of these are necessary.
Working for yourself is a great feeling. You get to make all the decisions and craft a schedule that works best for you. During the peak months where the money flows in regular, you might get tempted to splurge a bit and make large purchases. While it’s true you do deserve it, a better approach would be to take a small portion each month of the surplus and open a savings account. Since you know that there are still months that the cash flow falls short, having additional monies available will allow you to continue to pay your monthly obligations on time. Once you cycle through to your peak season, whatever you have left you can use to buy the things you want.
When you’re self-employed you must make every effort to create a schedule that works for you and then remain focused. During your working hours close yourself off from family and friends and put your cell phone on do not disturb. While you can change things around as needed, a basic working schedule is still something you must have in order to put the hours in to perform and build your business.
Setting up a budget
When you work for you there are many expenses that you have to cover, including federal and state taxes and social security. Setting yourself up on a monthly budget will give you a clear picture of what you are taking in and where you are spending your money. This will benefit you in several ways. First, you’ll be able to see each bill, preventing any from getting missed or paid late. And, secondly, it will show you what you are spending money on so you can make adjustments to your business purchases.
Hiring an accountant
As stated earlier, when you work on your own, you still have to pay your taxes. And, in the freelance world, unfortunately, some months are much better than others. In order to avoid paying penalties from filing late or because you don’t have the monies to cover the complete amount owed, hiring an accountant is a smart move. This person will set you up on quarterly filing making the amount owed much smaller than filing at the end of each year. In addition, an accountant can inform you about deductions which you may not already know about, helping to reduce the amount you owe.
Nothing beats being your own boss. It’s hard work, but with lasting benefits that continue to pay off. With a little self-discipline and aggressive marketing, you can enjoy the lifestyle you’ve earned and you deserve.