Do the seasons tend to dictate your freelance work levels more than you’d like? You’re not alone. Read on for ideas on how to balance out your workload throughout the working year…
Most workplaces experience annual peaks and troughs in work volume, and most manage to weather them just fine.
For many freelancers though, a quiet period might mean that your lifestyle is in danger of being majorly disrupted. Equally, a busy period might be too much to handle, but can you really turn down opportunities that are too good to miss?
There are ways in which you can help make the working year less turbulent. Read on for our ideas…
Use low volume periods to make connections
The times when you don’t have much work on are perfect opportunities to connect or reconnect with contacts that might provide work down the line. Go to networking events, send a few proposal emails, take old clients out to lunch – whatever works for you. Drumming up business in quieter periods helps to ensure there’s work when you need it.
Do your accounts
When your financials are due, you might find yourself scrambling to get sorted because they fall in a busy period. January and April – two months when financial data is most likely to be needed – can be kick-off points for new projects, which means you’re likely to be too busy to sort out invoices and expenses. Take advantage of quieter moments to free up your precious time at the height of the work season.
A quiet period is also a great time to get your ducks in a row. Need to update a neglected business blog? Haven’t sent out a newsletter in a while? Need to get your contact lists in order? The quiet periods are ideal for this, and they’ll help you feel productive and get your work in front of people who might employ you.
Plan your holiday time smartly
Every freelancer needs time off, but sometimes it can feel like you’re missing out on lucrative work time. The best way to get the rest time you need and to keep your energy high for when work periods are busy is to take time off during low periods of work for you. This might not be at the same time as everyone else, so coordinating with friends and partners might be a bit tricky, but it might mean you get some real holiday bargains.
Enlist some temporary help
If you’re struggling to complete all your work in busy periods, but end up twiddling your thumbs when it’s quiet, why not try and get some temporary help in? No matter your business, there’s bound to be people looking for experience that can help you keep things running when business is booming. When things get quiet, you can scale back appropriately, and not worry about losing out on revenue because you’ve already stocked up on work when it was available.
Images courtesy of Press Association