Our “new normal” economy has regrettably resulted in sluggish business for most Freelancers and we are forced to watch our pennies. The financial squeeze may tempt many to cease spending on all expenditures deemed nonessential, but it’s wise to be strategic about what gets relegated to that category.
In fact, judicious expenditures for the right business upgrades will help us to fight back against the recession and demonstrate to clients that our business remains viable. If your credit line can handle it, this is an ideal time to invest in your business by purchasing almost any type of equipment or promotional service. Fourth quarter purchases are sweetened by the knowledge that the tax deductions will flow back to you a little faster.
So let’s go shopping! There’s plenty of inventory in the stores, despite diminished wholesale purchases, and prices have never been better. Now is an excellent time to replace or upgrade computers and other IT equipment, office furniture or even a company vehicle. Commercial real estate is likewise more plentiful and hence affordable, so if trading up has been on your wish list, investigate options now. Plus, if a build-out is necessary, those in the trades are ready and willing to provide quality work at competitive prices.
Advertising space is likewise more plentiful and hence more affordable. Discounts are available and payment terms are gentle. Revisit publications and online sites that were previously out of your reach and ask what can be done for you now. Do not be afraid to negotiate. The buyer’s market is in full effect.
Now, take a look at your website. Does it look a little dull? Maybe the text could use some sharpening? Or perhaps you’d finally like to have a logo? What might help your website to communicate your brand and core services more effectively, or provide a compelling “call to action” to potential clients? Web developers, graphic artists and copywriters continue to be busy, but not so much that they won’t take on smaller jobs and do good work at a reasonable price.
The “new normal” economy also makes this an excellent time to hire, if you can make the case that an extra body or two will increase revenue. There are so many highly qualified professionals searching desperately for cash-generating projects that you will be able to hire someone (maybe part time?) to write your monthly newsletter, manage social media, cold call prospects and set appointments for your follow-up, manage the books and accounts payable and receivable or just about anything else you need taken off your plate.
Finally, our professional skills are our most valuable asset and also deserve investment. I’ve seen more generous than expected early-bird registration discounts offered for numerous seminars, since organizers are anxious to fill rooms. Take advantage of this trend and sign up for training that perhaps you previously could not afford. You may also want to have a few sessions with a business coach, who may now offer money-saving incentives to stimulate business, and work on other ways you can find competitive advantages for your business venture.
Thanks for reading,