Thursday, 3 November 2011

How To Create Multiple Income Streams

What do you do if you have one main client and for some reason the work from that client dries up? Perhaps the client goes out of business or goes in a different direction or just has a lull in business?
Your main source of income is then gone. Which is why it’s crucial for anyone who relies on their freelance revenues to have multiple streams of income.
That’s easier said than done, of course, as many freelancers have two or three main clients and are happy to focus on those alone. But as many experienced freelancers will tell you, that’s a mistake.
Today we’ll look at a few different ways to set up multiple streams of income to make your freelancing business more stable and ensure that you’re living the freelancing good life for years to come. Please note that the following are just different options you can choose — I’m not recommending you do all of them.
1. Have multiple clients. If you rely on one main client, slowly start branching out to new clients. That doesn’t mean to add a bunch of new clients willy-nilly, but to gradually add good clients, one at a time. You need to ensure that these clients fit with you, that you work well with them, that they don’t give you too many headaches. If the client fits those criteria, keep them. If not, dump them (professionally and nicely) and move on. But aim to have a wider variety of clients as well, as you don’t want a single unfortunate event (say the collapse of an industry) to wipe you out too.
2. Have a full-time job. You may already have a full-time job, and if so, my recommendation is not to quit outright. You might downsize your job, if you don’t really need the income anymore, but it’s often smart to keep the full-time job in some capacity just to ensure that you have that regular paycheck coming in. You could cut back on your pay and responsibilities, though, and work from home if possible.
3. Have a part-time job. If you don’t have a full-time job, and don’t think getting one will work for you, consider a part-time job. If you have valuable skills, often a part-time job can pay good money and offer you the flexibility you want so you can continue to freelance.
4. Get a contract. This may seem the same as freelancing, but I’m talking about a different kind of contract from freelancing. Freelancing tends to be on a per-assignment basis, while other contract options could be on a monthly rate for performing certain services, for example. I’m working on a contract with a non-profit organization to do some work for them on a monthly contract. The good thing is that you can do contracts and freelancing at the same time.
5. Start a blog. I’ve done this, as have many others of course, as a way to market my writing and to share my knowledge with others. And I make some decent cash from it, from ads, that adds another revenue stream. It can take awhile for a blog to make any money, as with any business, but I think it’s worth the effort.

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