As a freelancer, you won’t have any help when something goes wrong. You can’t call the IT department when your computer stops working, and you need to get it fixed as soon as possible. You can’t call the accounting department when you don’t get your money on payday. And you certainly can’t ask your manager to move to a different cubicle when your workspace is inaccessible. You’ll have to deal with these problems all on your own.
photo credit: Anna Shvets / Pexels
To guarantee that you don’t panic when something goes wrong, you should set up these three backup plans:
1. A Tech Emergency Fund
If you spill a glass of water onto your laptop or accidentally smash your smartphone on the floor, you’re going to need to race to a repair shop right away. You can’t wait. Without this tech, your work goes on hold.
To make sure that you can handle a quick tech repair or replacement, you should put together an emergency fund. With an emergency fund, you can withdraw what you need to cover the expense right away. You’ll be back at your desk and working on your projects in no time.
When your emergency fund is still new and you don’t have enough savings, you might have to turn to credit to help with urgent tech repairs. You could put the expense on your credit card, or you could apply for a personal loan online.
If you’re considering an online loan, make sure to narrow your search to your home state. So, if you live in Oahu, you’ll want to look for a personal loan in Hawaii to handle your emergency. Not all online loans will be available to Hawaii! Check before you apply.
2. Contract Penalties
You’ve met your client’s deadline for your project, but will they meet your deadline for payments? It’s a common problem that freelancers face — they finish their work, but they have to wait to get their paycheck.
To guarantee that your clients take your payments seriously, you should make some changes to your freelancer contract as soon as possible. Start by adding late penalties. By signing your contract, your client is stating that they will owe you more after missing your agreed-upon payday. The longer they take, the more they’ll owe.
You should also divide up larger projects into smaller installments instead of one lump sum. State in your contract that you will not continue to work on the project until an installment has gone through. Following your payment schedule will be in your client’s best interest. Why? If they don’t pay on time, they’ll be delaying their results.
3. Alternative Office-Spaces
Sometimes your home won’t be the best place to get your work done. Maybe your home is in the middle of renovations, and you can’t focus with the construction noise and dust. Maybe you have a relative crashing on your couch for a few weeks, and you can’t concentrate around them.
To make sure that you can still get your work done, even when your home office is unavailable, you should have a list of alternative workspaces you can go to at a moment’s notice. This could be a local library, a coffee shop, or a coworking space in your neighborhood. You’ll want to have options that you can turn to when your home office isn’t accessible or comfortable.
These backup plans will help you the moment something goes wrong. Start setting them up!