As the coronavirus sweeps across the globe damaging the world’s economy, many business are facing their biggest challenge ever. One of the most affected groups are freelancers and small business owners who were forced to put their activity on hold.
If you’re in this group as well, it’s time to put all the concerns aside and roll up your sleeves. As it’s difficult to predict how long the epidemic will be paralysing businesses around the world, the best approach is to act now and keep working hard.
So, how can you survive this crisis as a freelancer?
1. Apply for the government support
In many countries self-employed professionals can apply for a grant to cover some percent of their losses. For example, in the UK this grant might be worth up to 80% of your average monthly profits over the past three years to the limit of 2,500 GBP per month and in the Netherlands self-employed professionals can receive income support amounting to the maximum of 1,500 EUR per month for maximum of 3 months. Check carefully new policies in your country and make sure you meet the criteria. The list of requirements that you need to fulfil to apply for your government’s support might be surprisingly long, so make sure you’re in the know.
2. Review your budget
If your profits have significantly fallen due to the pandemic, review your budget as soon as possible. Verify your monthly costs and check if you can cancel some of the subscriptions and services or replace them with cheaper solutions. You probably don’t need or don’t use regularly all the tools or apps installed on your devices, so limit the inessential expenditures. Make sure your invoices are paid on time and contact your customers in case of overdue payments.
3. Move your activity online if possible
If you need to be in a direct contact with your customers to run your freelance business, look for affordable options to move it online. If yoga teachers, sport instructors and even hairdressers can effectively guide their clients via Zoom or similar tools, maybe so can you. It might not be the same as real-life interaction, but with some tweaks, adjustments and workarounds you can still provide great experience and make your customers happy.
4. Invest more time in new skills
If you had to limit your activity due to the virus and spend less time on work, it could be the right moment to up your skills. Think about the areas you’ve always wanted to improve in your business but never had enough time. What are the skills that you may need now and in the future? What can you do or learn to do in order to enhance your business and serve your customers better. Time management skills, social media marketing, data analysis, negotiation and communication techniques – there’s always something you can improve to boost your business in the long run.
5. Update your content
Use the temporary stagnation to your advantage. It’s a great time to update or create new content to make sure your online presence is strong. So, revisit your website and social media profiles. Think about new marketing campaigns, updates to your terms and conditions, blog articles that you can write or social media posts that you can schedule in advance. Nothing lasts forever, even the pandemic, so once the chaos is over you’ll be equipped to start a new, maybe even more dynamic phase in your freelance career. Plus, maybe this approach will help you stay ahead of competition once the paralysis and panic are over?
So, what will you do today to keep your freelance business afloat?