How Gig Workers Can Prepare For An Economic Downturn

Date:

Share post:


Zaheer Dodhia, CEO of Logo Design, is an entrepreneur who’s launched multiple startups, including ZillionDesigns, PCStore, CashforUsedLaptop

“Economic downturn”: No matter who you are or what line of work you’re in, this is not a phrase anyone wants to hear. But it is something that needs to be talked about.

While experts are divided on whether a recession is “inevitable,” according to Forbes, one thing that’s agreed upon is that there are certainly warning signs, including the ongoing war in Ukraine, inflation rates and high interest rates. All of these and more point to “financially iffy” times ahead. This can be a challenge even if you have a steady, well-compensated position with a reliable, stable employer. Add freelancing or gig working into the mix, and it’s only natural to be a little nervous.

Based on my experience outsourcing some of my company’s internal work to freelancers, as well as holding graphic design contests for freelancer designers, here are five of my tips on how gig workers and freelancers can ensure they’re ready for the possibility of economically stressful days to come.

Network.

Networking is important for any self-employed worker. You never know when you might connect with someone who will become your next big client. Reaching out to communities with common interests gives you the best opportunity to advertise your skills and drum up new work.

The best place to start is with your current clients. Ask them about sending other projects your way. You can also request referrals from existing clients by highlighting their happiness with your work. For instance, “If you like what I do, I’d like to ask you to mention my name to colleagues who need similar services.” Incentivize them to participate in your networking by offering discounts or rewards for sending new clients your way.

Diversify.

Over and over, one of the oft-repeated suggestions from experts is to avoid relying solely on a single income stream or skill. I would add that gig workers should avoid relying on a single client if possible. If that avenue dries up, you’re up a creek, to mix metaphors.

A good way to circumvent this is to remember to take the time and invest in yourself as a freelancer. Educate yourself. Learn new skills. Picking up skills that relate to the work you already do gives you the chance to provide a more complete package to your existing clients and pick up new ones.

Analyze your skill set and determine what other services are complementary to what you do. If you’re a web designer, for example, consider branching out into content creation, social media management and graphic design. Gaining these skills requires an investment of time, not necessarily money. Take a free content creation course on YouTube or consider participating in a relevant competition, and you’ve got the basics covered, which can allow you to expand your repertoire.

Communicate.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and good communication is key to avoiding problems from the start—especially when it looks like difficult times might be ahead.

Set your cancellation policies in place now, and make sure your clients know what those policies are. Nearly 75% of freelancers said they are not paid on time, according to a survey of more than 400 1099 workers by the Independent Economy Council. It can be difficult to remedy that without legal aid at times, but it would be nearly impossible if you didn’t set your terms at the very beginning. Hard times hit both freelancers and clients, so it’s important to keep communication open and honest.

On the flip side of the coin, make sure you’re protected if something inescapably prevents you from completing your work as agreed. We live in a world of disaster after disaster, so it only makes sense to include this in your contract and communication. At the same time, if you’re willing and able to work with the needs of your clients when it comes to getting paid for what you do, I would suggest having a policy set up for that as well.

Seize the day.

Seize the day. Carpe diem. Make hay while the sun shines.

In other words, if a recession strikes in the future, make the most of better times until then. Take on extra work when possible. Ask your clients about other projects that you could handle for them. If you’re developing other skills, this would be a great time to double down on that and promote your new ability to your client base. Cross-promote your skills by combining them into marketable packages, such as bundling website building with initial content creation.

Diversify your work platforms. If you’re already finding gigs on one platform, create a profile on other freelance marketplaces as well.

Overall, this is the time to manage your schedule in a way that maximizes the current economy.

Plan ahead.

More expert advice: Use today to get ready for tomorrow.

From a financial standpoint, it’s quite common for freelancers and gig workers to have a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle, especially when first starting out. But with an eye on the future, now might be a good time to put money aside. I’ve seen some commentators on the gig economy suggest having three to six months of expenses saved ahead of time. Depending on the type of gig work you do, this might not amount to much if you don’t have much overhead, but you might still find it helpful.

You can also consider working with a financial adviser. Investing in tools for your business in financially stable times might help you when tax season comes around, and you might also be able to develop those new income streams and grow your business.

Life as a gig worker or a freelancer tends to fall into “feast or famine” territory. It’s impossible to tell which stage will come next. But with an eye on the future, gig workers should always plan for the worst and hope for the best.


Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?




Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related articles

Englander Davis is Gearing Up To Continue Their Growth Throughout Australia

PRESS RELEASEPublished January 30, 2023One of Australia’s leading digital marketing firms, is ready to expand its reach...

9 customer retention strategies – tips for small businesses

7. Use analytics and automationAs a small business owner, freelancer or sole-trader, you already have a lot...

SURVIVAL TIPS FOR THE 59 MILLION US FREELANCERS IN 2023

PRESS RELEASEPublished January 30, 2023 America’s 59 million freelancers need to buckle up and assume the ‘brace’ position;...

$250 Main Event ($500,000 GTD) | 2023 888poker XL Winter Series

Players have been duking it out for a couple of weeks trying to earn Day 2 seats...