Lots of studies show that more and more of us are turning our backs on full-time jobs and are moving into self-employment. There are many advantages that come with working for yourself. These are varied and include things like being able to better control your workload and work flexible hours.
It also lets you work on numerous projects at once, which can be very exciting and keep you on your toes! However, all of the disadvantages of being self-employed are extremely well-known. You might have to deal with clients who do not pay on time and periods of little work.
All of these disadvantages can add up and make self-employed job security seem very poor indeed. But that shouldn’t be a reason to not take up self-employment, as there are many ways you can minimize the risk and improve your own job security. Here are some tips that can help you do that.
Make Sure You Are In Demand
If your services are not in demand, there is no way you are going to get enough work to survive. Ideally, there should be enough demand for your services that you end up turning down work. If you know that there is a market for what you do, you need to work on the visibility of your business.
This ensures that plenty of people know that you and your business exist. To ensure that your business is always visible, you need to make sure that you’re always on top of your company marketing. This means getting involved with social media, and you have an active blog on your website. All of these factors will help improve your SEO to ensure that you are always top of Google searches. Even if you end up getting very busy with work projects, having a good website, blog, and social media profiles will help you stay visible without having to put too much time into it.
A general rule of thumb is that most self-employed contracts are very flexible. And that means you will be able to work on them whenever you want, as long as you meet the deadline. This flexibility can be a great thing for workers who like to set their own working hours. However, there is also one major downside to this. And that is they could come to an end whenever, even if it is before the agreed end point.
There are various reasons why this might happen, normally down to the client’s budget. In order to make sure that you are never too affected by a contract that is cut short, you should endeavor to find numerous sources of work, so that you have someone to contact whenever you have availability to take on more work.
If possible, try to find sources of work in different industries so that you won’t be too badly affected if one industry goes through a difficult financial period.
Get Long And Short-Term Contracts
There are many different advantages and disadvantages of working on both long and short-term contracts. Short-term contracts are a quick way to get money, but they can also be quite tiring to work on as they are usually very ad hoc. You will find that long-term contracts help to foster the best relationships with your clients and are a lot more rewarding to work on.
However, these can be very hard to come by when you don’t have too much experience in an industry. Regardless of the disadvantages that come with each type of contract, you should always aim to work on both long and short-term contracts.
Sort Out Your Finances
If you ever hit hard times, there are certain emergency ways you can stay afloat such as self-employed loans and dipping into your savings. But, ideally, you should try to stay away from these situations. If you improve your finances and get savvy with money, you will find that it becomes a lot easier to deal with all the financial strains that often come with being self-employed.
Namely, these include periods of no work and not getting any paid sick leave or time off for holidays.
First things first, you need to set up a fund that you can use on rainy days. Ideally, you should have saved up for this before you went self-employed. This way, you will have enough money to survive even if you have little work one month. This can also make things easier if clients are late paying your invoices. Don’t forget about taxes either.
Remember that around 20% of what you earn will be taken as tax in the coming year, so you need to plan for this so that you aren’t too shocked when your tax bill arrives!
Join Networks For The Self-Employed
Lots of people think that being self-employed can be very isolating as you mainly work from home and rarely have to go into a company’s office. While this is true, there are ways that you can feel a lot less alone.
One way is to join self-employed networks. Not only is this good for helping you to stay connected with other people who are in a similar boat to you, but it will also help you to find more work and clients. Lots of clients and recruiters regularly look through these online networks to find new self-employed workers and contractors. So by joining one of these platforms and networks, you will find that you could be approached for various jobs and projects. Some of these networks also offer certain benefits style packages, including private sick pay and income protection.
If you are considering moving into a self-employed career, this blog post should have given you some great ideas to help you support yourself during your new line of work. Also, if you have already been working on your own for some time now, some of these points should, hopefully, help you feel a lot more supported.
This post has been contributed by Ryan Gatt, it may contain affiliate links.