For many people, being self-employed isn’t just a way to make a living; it is the key to their identity. Many people choose the self-employed route because they want to have some form of control over their lives and don’t want to work for someone else. There are certain things associated with being self-employed, not just the freedom, but the tax refunds they could get or claim certain expenses. As such, being self-employed is something quite difficult to get out of. Once you’re used to this way of life, going back to 9 to 5 isn’t appealing at all. But as many people have found during this challenging time, their work has all but dried up. But what can you do to help keep yourself afloat and self-employed during tough times?

Diversifying Your Financial Portfolio

It may seem like the furthest thing from your mind, but when you have a business that isn’t taking in money through a certain avenue, it’s time to find other approaches. After all, if you run your own business, you’ve got used to a certain way of looking after your finances and investing it into things that would benefit the business. Now might be the perfect opportunity to revise and research different investment options. Stocks and shares might seem like a risky venture, but there are so many different ways for you to dip your toe into the world of stocks and shares if you haven’t before. You could be a day trader which allows you to invest something in the short-term, and you can find some apps here. But you can also invest in other ways, such as by setting up an ISA, which is something everyone should do.

Refine Your Networking Skills

When work dries up, the most important thing for you to do is to get yourself out there. If you are someone that never had the opportunity to network or you luckily fell into a position where you got plenty of customers quickly, now is the opportunity to create an online presence. Taking the opportunity to join online networking groups and interact with other business people, personally and professionally, can help you to refine that online presence. It can give you an idea as to what is hot in terms of your industry. When you start to work with other like-minded people, a new project could be on the horizon. Business partnerships form when people fill in the other’s gaps. Perhaps you may understand where you are falling down, and now you can encounter someone who can complement your skills and vice versa.

Focus on a Different Strand of Your Business

Diversifying your efforts is crucial. It can take difficult circumstances to get you out of your comfort zone. When we get used to a particular way of working, we fear deviating from the norm. When work dries up in one area, that may not mean it dries up across the board. If you are someone who teaches a musical instrument, you could start to get more creative by making videos or drafting learning materials. The most interesting thing about getting creative during difficult times is that some of the ideas you have may not be implementable right now. But when you come out of this difficult period, you might find there are so many other options available for you, it can diversify your business in ways you had never imagined. This is a great opportunity to let your imagination go wild.

Going Back to Your Old Customers

One of the common mistakes we can make is that we sell a product to a customer, we won’t see them again. Rather than going back on your hands and knees grovelling, it might be a nice reminder for you to diversify your marketing efforts. Going back to your old customers with different offers can bring people back. But it’s also a good idea at this point to revise your marketing strategy. When you look at how you promote your product to customers in the past, having this breathing space can help you to see the light. Perhaps you weren’t using SEO techniques effectively, and it may be as simple as this to put your website higher up in the search engine results. Marketing to a new customer base is always difficult, especially during uncertain times; this is why you’ve got to go back to the people that bought from you originally. This could very well be a lesson in keeping the customer satisfied. Ultimately, they purchased from you in the first place, so you shouldn’t leave them behind.

Don’t Be Afraid to Earn Extra Money in the Short Term

You might feel that you have fought hard to get to where you are, only to have it taken away from you. When people go to a regular job, it can feel like a step back. But it’s something that can help you in the short-term. Ultimately, if business is slow, you’ve got to bring some money in. There have been so many actors that have found their latest role stacking shelves refreshing. And if you look for a role where you can get closer to people and understand why they buy certain things, this can be a lesson for you too. It’s also a refreshing break from the self-employed life. Working at home might get a bit stale. But while you are bringing in some extra money doing a job that might not stimulate you, it allows you to think about how you can come back fighting. But there is nothing wrong with having some employment to tide you over. 

Being self-employed during any challenging time can make you rethink why you put yourself through this in the first place. And now during the pandemic, it’s certainly made many people question many aspects of their lives. But if you want to stay self-employed throughout this period and need to come out the other side, you may have to learn a few other skills.