With times changing drastically, self-employed workers must be vigilant - Expect the best but prepare for the worst.
In the UK there are around 5 million self-employed people which makes up for 15% of the UK workforce.
Self-employment as any job has its downfalls and Covid-19 has thrown many of us into a frenzy. From beauty therapists, Uber drivers, restaurant owners, artists, designers and marketers, absolutely no one is safe.
Having experienced the turmoil that is the pandemic first hand, we have gathered some tips and advice on how you could manage through these trying times.
Come to terms with your situation
The sooner you assess your personal situation the sooner you can put effective measures in place. There are a lot of skeptics
Call for help
If you are struggling don't be afraid to reach out and ask for help. HMRC has set up a line to help freelancers and self-employed workers gain help and advice on financial support. The helpline number is 0800 0159 559
Although you are not entitled to statuary sick pay, you may still be able to claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). The amount you will get may vary depending on factors such as your age and what stage your application is at, the maximum payout is £111.65 a week.
Visit the government website to start your claim or if you need help getting started.
Stay up to date
We're being fed news from morning until night, the next day is never the same as the last. Things are moving quickly, as a freelancer or self-employed worker, you must stay up to date with both news and trends.
Although not everyone is social media savvy it still stands undefeated as one of the fastest means of getting current news and updates, maybe now is that time to consider creating the twitter account just to follow the news ( you don't have to post).
Adjust, re-strategize, re-structure
With the unknown looming over our heads whilst the world tries to find a way to get COVID19 under control, it's important now more than ever to flex your adaptation skills.
Is there a way you can deliver your services virtually?
Could you tutor your students online?
Could you sell an ebook on marketing?
Could you teach a hair course online?
Is it easy for people to access your website?
Are you still engaging with old and prospective clients?
Push yourself online
Whilst we are glued to our phones and laptops, use this opportunity to propel yourself online. You must stand out from the crowd- polish your LinkedIn profile, create more content, stay active on social media. Continue selling yourself, engage and connect with prospective clients and employers.
Social media gives you a platform to attract a multitude of potential customers by advertising yourself and your brand. During this time make your presence known online. More people are working from home or are indoors near a screen so now is the time to market yourselves!
Social distancing is not the same thing as social disconnecting. Use this opportunity to uplift and lean in each other. We are all on the same boat so don't be afraid to take advantage of the situation and come together. At the bare minimum, we can learn from each other and repost if you're on social media!
Self-develop, Learn a new skill
Thanks to the internet we now have an infinite library accessible by a single search. Watch tutorials, take a course, read a blog.
Whatever your interest, use this time to better yourself. Workout, try some yoga, cook with the family. Every second is precious, don't waste it stressed or depressed when you could use it to become better.
We left this one until the end because it's the one that will most likely get the most eye rolls. Easier said than done right?
Although this is a trying time- IT WILL PASS as everything does. Rather than letting it defeat you, try to walk with it and do what's in your power to stay safe and in control of your business. There are lessons to be learned from this experience, some we may not be able to imagine yet. This is a wake-up call to all self-employed workers and freelancers to dig deep into your business and test just how strong your structure is. Get creative, get help. Really and truly if there is no way- this is where you turn to a contingency plan and find alternatives. You might have to downsize, you might even have to shut completely- use your time wisely and sharpen your skills or set up a side online business until we can get through this.
Worst case scenario find out how your government can help and seek advice on managing your finances.
Nobody knows what will happen during these uncertain times, try not to isolate yourself, talk to as many people as you can including friends, family, and colleagues. More than anything, through this stay positive you are doing great, and with the little, you do every day it goes towards growing and maintaining your business or finding work, you can do this!