Whether it’s a short-lived detox, a valiant attempt at dry January or the promise of taking your freelance business to the next level, the new year is a good excuse to kick bad habits and start as you mean to go on.
Come February though, the optimism surrounding the beginning of the year runs out of steam, as we inevitably break every unrealistic resolution and promise we’ve vowed not to, just one month earlier.
Perhaps it’s time to save yourself from the disappointment of failure, and start making freelance resolutions that you can actually stick to. So, here are some realistic ideas for long-lasting improvements to make to your freelance business in 2017:
Set your alarm an hour earlier and start work before anyone else. Without the mayhem of typical working hours, scientists reckon you can focus completely on the task in hand without distraction when your willpower is at its most. If the likes of Richard Branson, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Twitter Founder Jack Dorsey do it, it’s worth experimenting with.
Embrace the cloud.
Back all your work up on The Cloud – that goes for all your receipts too. Stop relying so much on physical copies and files saved only to your hard drive, and transfer everything that matters to your business to Dropbox securely. You can thank us if – or more accurately – when your laptop dies or the moment you can’t find that ever so important print out.
Ask for help.
Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. From getting your head round managing your freelancer finances, to general industry advice, join a network of like-minded people who have been there and done it, and happy to share their experience. Social media is a good place to start. So is IPSE.
Being freelance doesn’t mean you have to work entirely alone. Think about fellow freelancers whose skills are compatible with yours. Come together as a team as and when, pitch to new clients and widen your offering, with your new mixed bag of skills and experiences.
We don’t mean a big, fat expensive marketing strategy, but business development pays. Whether it’s a super-simple website on Squarespace, a thought-provoking blog or industry insight and commentary on social media, get creative with your marketing and grow your business leads quickly and easily.
Sort your finances, at last.
You’ve put it off for too long. And surprisingly, it’s not that big of a job – honestly. Embrace technology and check out free financial apps like Albert and paid for services like FreeAgent and Crunch. They exist to help you get to grip with the ins and outs of your money once and for all. Come tax returns time you’ll be delighted you did.
Plan for life after freelancing. After all, you won’t have a workplace pension to dip into. Chat to investment experts Nutmeg or try out nifty new app Moneybox, that rounds up your purchases to the nearest pound and invests the spare change for you. It takes seconds to sign up and start investing.
Strike a better worklife balance.
Easier said than done, of course. But take time to remember why you started working for yourself. 2017 is the year to take back control of how, when and where you work. Do more of what makes you happy, and start working as and when you want to once again.
What are your freelance goals for 2017? Get involved...