Diane Hall - The Frazzled Freelancer

Freelancer, Entrepreneur and mother of two...

3 ways a freelancer can benefit from the recession

There’s been a lot of statistics in the press at the moment that show inflation is at a 20-year high. The cost of living has trebled in a very short time as wages have stayed the same and jobs have been lost.

However, what the papers don’t report are the positive outcomes of an economic situation like this, and why freelancers will inherit the earth and find new sources of freelance jobs and work.

1. Use the recession to become a very fast learner.

Losing your job can be the catalyst to thinking about starting your own business, but as everyone turns to freelancing, you soon find how much competition you’re up against.

The good news is that every freelancer, by their very nature, is individual, and has a skill set unlikely to be matched by many others in the freelancing world, as everyone’s careers and situation have been shaped in different ways.

You’ll quickly realise where you have gaps in your skills and strive to learn more about what you don’t know. However, your USP or main skill will still set you apart from the bulk of solopreneurs, and by researching your market, you’ll find out the extra mile your customers may expect, or benefit from, that your competitors aren’t offering – and that’s the key to success.

A recession gives you the impetus to act, there’s no resting on your laurels; before you even realise it, you’ll have picked up so much knowledge and so many skills.

When the recession eases your business will have worked through its hesitant, immature early days and will be well on its way to growth and expansion, just as people start to spend again.

2. Develop your creativity

When money is tight, you find ingenious ways to market your business, find freelance jobs and work, and your creativity gene will be exercised daily.

You’ll hone the best way to sell yourself and your company, and will undoubtedly become more customer-orientated – none of those are bad things!

The best thing about this is, when the economy starts to right itself, it’s unlikely you’ll change your creative marketing strategy – after all, if you can attract freelance jobs and business without spending, and it works, why would you throw money at advertising, etc. just because you have more of it?

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it (or shower money on it!). <<Ed: surely with the exception of attending our fabulous freelance job building event in Manchester???>>

3. Learn to deal with uncertainty.

Before you ask, this isn’t a bad thing. Those workers even in the safest jobs will be quaking in their boots on a daily basis – the fact that you can control your freelance future and make efforts to bring work in and sustain it, is hugely empowering.

You’ll have already cut back on anything but essential spending and found ways to cope with having less money, but even when your freelancing business starts to grow you’ll still be conservative with your cash.

Being thrifty has never been more fashionable, and when you see close friends living with the stress of redundancy hanging over their heads you’ll realise that you have job security in a funny sort of way, (I’d even go as far to say that freelancers have more job security than employees at the moment).

Increasing the avenues your income comes from, by building your client base and maintaining a constant marketing presence and strategy, cushions the blow if one of your customer’s business folds. Your eggs are all over the place, not in one basket as per your employed friend.

It’s a common saying that a recession is a great time to start a business, and it’s true. Learning to budget, market effectively and spread risk are absolutely essential lessons that may not be learnt when things are booming, hence the shock and panic when things inevitably come crashing down.

A recession presents a fabulous learning curve, makes impossible decisions for us and teaches us how to be self-reliant.

Perhaps it’s how you look at it; don’t get me wrong, there are days when I can’t wait for the recession to be over, but even if it ended tomorrow, the financial and creative lessons I’ve learned will stay with me – they’re essential business practice.


We will be asking this question – how can freelancers benefit from the recession and help business – when we celebrate National Freelancers Day on the 22nd November in Manchester (yes, a day earlier than London).
Come and join us …


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Written by Editor on October 22, 2011 and filed in Entrepreneurs, Featured, Frazzled Freelancer, Freelance Jobs, Freelancers, Opinion , , ,

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