Perhaps the most difficult part of running a freelance business (at least in my opinion) is learning how to stabilize freelance income. Or, at the very least, learn to deal with the swings that occur in your business without ripping your hair out.
This is especially true in the first couple of years of starting your business, but speaking as someone who is passed that mark, it can still be difficult even when you’re starting to make good money.
Here are some tips on how to stabilize freelance income so you can at least have some peace of mind. Note: Some of these are lessons I’ve learned the hard way.
The first step in learning how to stabilize freelance income is to have patience. A lot of it. It takes time for your business to get off the ground. In my case, I didn’t feel like I’d reached a tipping point in my business (and therefore my freelance income) until I’d been running my business full-time for two years.
I once had a business mentor continuously tell me, “Just make it past three years.” This became my mantra as I dealt with inconsistent income in the beginning. If it’s helpful, find something that will remind you to be patient during this time.
Find different sources of revenue.
I’m beating a dead horse again, but it’s with good reason. By far, the number one tip that has allowed me to better stabilize freelance income is to incorporate different sources of revenue into my business.
I recently wrote about how I wasn’t worried about a natural disaster hitting my area and losing power because I knew I was making money from affiliate income. Additionally, I also made money from selling products on my blog’s store this past month.
This means I have some sort of money coming in from other sources besides client work. Because of this, I don’t have to worry as much about a project not going through or a deal not getting signed.
Know your numbers.
Knowledge is power, especially as you are learning how to stabilize freelance income. That’s why it’s imperative that you start becoming hyper aware of your expenses and your revenue. After all, if you’re oblivious to what’s going on with the numbers, then you can’t take action to stabilize your income.
In my case, since numbers have never been my strong suit, I had to hire an accountant to help me out. I also use online software to help me track and balance my budget. I admit this has not always been easy, but I usually feel better once I can actually see what’s going on.
Start focusing on what works.
The great thing about tracking numbers is that you can see what works and what doesn’t. For example, it was when I realized I was making more money writing about finance that I decided to finally specialize in it. Additionally, I know which of my affiliate products is most popular, so that’s the one I focus on promoting the most.
By knowing what works, I can start customizing my business to focusing on what makes money. This allows me to stabilize freelance income because I have data to show me what gets me paid the most. I then use that data to take action.
Learning how to stabilize freelance income takes time, but it is well worth the effort once you get the hang of it. By using these tips, you’ll be well on your way to finally having some peace of mind as it pertains to your freelance income.