Growing Pains

Everyone spends a lot of time and energy explaining how to make sure you get enough business to survive as a freelancer or small business owner. Very rarely do we talk about the growing pains, when you have too much business coming in. Should you hire more people (which is a risk in itself), send work out to sub-contractors or simply say no?

Personally, I have no desire to say no to projects. I always strive to provide the best experiences for my customers, but going into university in just a few weeks, my time will be severely reduced. Employing someone is likely too risky of a project, which leaves sending work out to sub-contractors. Now I just have to find some.

Sure, it’s nice when your business goes well, but it creates new problems. Problems which are hardly ever talked about.

I’ve been on a mission recently to gain much better control over the financials of my business, that is, I want to always know where my income is coming from. An easy mistake as a freelancer or business owner is to just look at the big projects and forget about the small hourly fixes.

What amazed me after having put in each months income in a big spreadsheet and segmented it in projects and hourly jobs, I found that the hourly jobs makes up between 40-50% of the company’s income in any given month. That to me is impressive and helps me find time for that and not feel obligated to rush after as many projects as possible.

Cherish the little things because they add up. On the other side of the coin, don’t forget to charge for the little things too. Even though it’s easy to say: “I’ll just take half an hour…“, don’t! Spend five of those half hours a week and add it together and look at the income figures. Over the course of a month, it’s not insignificant.

How are you doing and handling it with the little things?

Photo credit: Flickr

One of my everlasting topics that I keep thinking about is the subject of photographers and other creative professionals that do their (your) own websites. I’m probably not alone in spending some time thinking about this as the general consensus from the design industry is that this is bad practice. I disagree, but there is a but!

If you’re not a web designer you should definitely still be able to build your own website. The tools today make it even simpler too. There’s just one thing that I think anyone should do when venturing into a field that isn’t their comfort zone: Ask for advice!

Simple enough, there are many web designers that you can ask for advice. While many choose to do their own sites to save money, it is cost-effective to say, pay for an hours worth of consulting to get advice on how to improve your site from any standpoint.

Keep doing it yourself but don’t forget to ask for some advice because that’s a quick and cheap way of improving, isn’t it?

New Office!

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It just so happens that we have some under-used space in the house and I’ve been thinking of moving my office from my bedroom and down here to get more space. Easily said and done! Spent a few hard-working hours yesterday carrying down desk and everything and here’s the result. I couldn’t be more pleased.

I just stumbled onto this earlier in the week. International Freelancers Day on September 23rd is an online conference for freelancers. Best of all is that it is fully free. The event will be held online and feature 17 speakers and some exciting sessions. Due to the many speakers that they have lined up for the one day, the “conference” will feature two simultaneous tracks that you can jump between at any time.

You do have to register to be able to watch it for free and if you would like to have a recording or cannot join on the 23rd (11a.m – 7p.m EST) they will be offering recorded versions for $29 afterwards.

Here is a video about the event: