Christmas is ‘the most wonderful time of year’ - except perhaps when you’re a freelancer, sole trader and a small business owner.
Unless you’re providing goods and services that skyrocket in sales at Christmastime (you smart cookie), you might find yourself with less work and less money lining your pockets. I’m in the same boat as you, so naturally we’re all considering the worst that could happen and what on earth we’re going to do if we find ourselves in financial turmoil. The times I’ve resurfaced from those expected depths of despair though, I’ve tried hard to give myself a break and start thinking about how to take a more proactive approach to a quieter workflow.
Find a Side Hustle
There’s no harm done whatsoever in applying for temporary positions to tide you over the Christmas period. If you know you’re going to be spending less time working on your main money-maker, you might as well be spending time making the money elsewhere.
Adjust Your Business Model
We’re not talking about tailoring your services to try to get more work at Christmas, although this is something you can certainly do in some cases. Instead we’re talking about that one action I always love to talk about. Planning. On those free afternoons and, for the outdoor workers, days where you might have been rained off, spend some time examining what went well for you in the last year and those things that maybe didn’t go so well. Give yourself a head start in arranging plans for the new year.
Are you in a good place, money-wise?
If you’re not in the best of places with money at Christmas when you run your own business, it’s time to get the side hustle we talked about and understand why the dough is a little light right now. Were you simply unorganised and careless with your spending? Maybe you could have tried harder? Or, is there something in your life or your job that’s only draining money, money that could have been better spent elsewhere?
Get the Paperwork done
Organise the boring filing you were supposed to have sorted a while ago. It’s not a cheery task for this time of year, but getting your paperwork in order is going to help you feel so much more at ease as the festive season approaches.
Market, market, market
Whether you’re busy or not, you need to be marketing all the time. Make sure the marketing activities you’re doing are reaching the right people, people who can give you recurring work, and just be sure that any techniques you use (like ongoing email campaigns) are still going to be feasible when you do begin to get busier again. That way, nothing you’ve done and worked for will simply drop off the face of the Earth.
If Christmas is always a quiet one for you as a freelancer or sole trader, I hope these suggestions help you ease your way through the holiday season, even just a little bit. The important thing is to come back into the new year feeling rested and ready to kick off again, so enjoy the holidays and don’t let the opening hole of ‘no earnings’ in your business swallow you up completely.