Empowering the Freelance Economy

How can freelancers “spring clean” their business every year?

Spring cleaning your business processes, rates and client base is crucial in recessionary times. /Photo by Jan Kopřiva via Pexels
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We spring clean our homes, but what about our freelance businesses?

Here we discover how freelancers can carry out a spring clean of their business objectives and client base so they can declutter what might be causing unnecessary stress on themselves and their businesses.

As your business grows, you may find that some of your processes and procedures are no longer working efficiently. Spring cleaning your business operations allows you to identify areas that need improvement and make the necessary changes. This can help you to streamline your business operations and become more efficient, which can ultimately lead to increased profitability and time to do the things you love outside of your work.

Tough economic times as we are experiencing now, with the UK’s cost of living crisis, are and ideal to carry out an assessment of your freelance business. As yourself: are things really working for me? What would my ideal work-life balance look like?

Roy Sheppard, the Founder of Freelancer Support, a coaching and training business for budding freelancers, has predicted that freelancers are going to have a challenging 2023.

“As someone who has freelanced through two recessions, with the next one likely to
last for up to two years, this will be an extremely challenging time for freelancers, as the
organisations and individuals currently pay them look to reduce costs,” said Sheppard.

“In addition, as large employers such as Meta and Twitter have already shed thousands of staff, more employees may be forced into freelance work as they strive to make ends meet. This in turn will create greater competition within the existing freelancer marketplace.”

Here are a few steps you can take to spring-clean your freelance business:

  1. Check for client worthiness: Over time, you may have accumulated a lot of clients that do not align with your niche or expertise. By spring-cleaning your client base, you can identify the clients that are worth keeping and focus on working with them. This allows you to invest more time and energy in building long-lasting relationships with clients who are most likely to generate repeat business and referrals.
  2. Reassess your rates for each client or project-type: As you gain more experience and improve your skills, you may find that your rates no longer reflect your value. Spring cleaning your client base gives you an opportunity to reassess your pricing strategy and raise your rates for clients who are willing to pay for your expertise. By letting go of clients who are not willing to pay your new rates, you free up time to focus on higher-paying clients.
  3. Streamline your processes: When you start to see your business grow, you may find that some of your processes and procedures are no longer working efficiently. Spring cleaning your business operations allows you to identify areas that need improvement and make the necessary changes. This can help you to streamline your business operations and become more efficient, which can ultimately lead to increased profitability and scheduling in ‘me time.’.
  4. Prioritise your health: Working with difficult clients can take a toll on your mental health and well-being. By spring-cleaning your client base, you can let go of clients who are causing you stress and frustration. This frees up time and mental energy to focus on clients who appreciate your work and make your job more enjoyable. This can help you to maintain a healthy work-life balance and prevent burnout, which can ultimately bring on long-term illnesses, including cancer.

In these recessionary times, you have to ensure you are working smarter. By scrutinising your own business by giving it a clean up you will be better positioned to focus on your core clients, increase your rates, streamline your business operations, and promote a healthy work-life balance. If you continue working longer hours but come out short financially each month, and become increasingly tired and frustrated, then it’s time to spring-clean your freelance business!

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