Coronavirus has thrown the U.S. economy into turmoil and freelancers are especially at-risk.
- There are over 57 million self-employed and freelance workers in the U.S. That’s 35% of the American workforce and they generate over $1 trillion in income.
Coronavirus legislation has done a lot to support hourly workers, but freelancers need to be more proactive! They’re used to that though.
Here are some things freelancers can do to protect their business in times of crisis.
- Cancellation policies. Include cancellation policies in your contracts so you can get paid if a client cancels less than 30 days before the service date.
- Collect retainers. A non-refundable retainer ensures you still get paid something if a client cancels. Call it a retainer because deposits don’t afford the same legal protection.
- National financial aid. The Small Business Administration and some local governments offer low interest loans and grants to support businesses in times of crisis.
- Buddy system. If you get sick and can’t work, your business could be in trouble. Find a friend who you can sublet your work to in case you’re too sick to get the job done.
TL;DR. Freelancers are a growing portion of the U.S. economy, but self-employed workers don’t have the safety nets that hourly wage-earners have. Freelancers need to be even more diligent about disaster planning than traditional employees. Be proactive!
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