When the pandemic peaked about three months ago, I was watching the news and saw that people who were part of the personal services industry were going to be impacted. Many of the operators had plenty of 'tude and bling but no savings in reserve...according to them. Cash flow for freelancers or small business owners is something that many are re-considering because they know that preparation is everything...especially while the orange monster is in office.
Hopefully, you love what you do or at least love being your own boss. However, many of us freelancers have the check-in and out mentally that comes with punching a clock. It can be hard to shake off, especially if you grew up to appreciate an employee benefits package.
But being in complete control of your personal finances is now very necessary. Disability insurance, medical, retirement, and unemployment should be near the top of your priorities. While loans may help, they're ineffective if you're barely breaking even.
Creating a plan should be an ongoing process that will change with every new event. Entering a new age bracket, family additions, profit increases/decreases are things that can be affected by saving a few dollars every week. This is a separate plan from business or marketing but a way to look at finances that can save you money.
- Clients - we know the slow payers and the ones that send good referrals. Yet, have you considered creating a system that will bring profits faster or increase income? In these times, it may not be beneficial to cut the cord so look at service increases or a mandatory retainer to continue the relationship with peace of mind.
- Cutting personal costs - going out to eat less, altering older clothes at home, and doing auto or home repairs yourself can add up at the end of the month. By setting a monthly dollar amount aside as an automatic deduction, you can earn more by opening a savings account.
- Look at money discrepancies - no one enjoys looking at bank statements but oftentimes, it can shed light on some important factors. Maybe you're paying too much in credit card interest or have been overcharged by a merchant. Another area where people get in trouble is automatic payments for products that are no longer relevant.
- Make a realistic goal that will help your business - do you want to try a new marketing strategy or promotion? Maybe add a service that will require a small investment. In this case, an electronic book or digital download may be an affordable alternative or you can collaborate with a like business and the two parties share the cost.