A fresh start for freelancers: 6 resolutions for the self-employed – Guest post from FreeAgent

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Your personal resolve to keep up that workout routine might be fading, but it’s never too late to make achievable resolutions for your small business! Anytime is an excellent time to review your progress in the previous year, and think about what goals you want to achieve in the coming years.

Emily Coltman FCA, chief accountant at award-winning accounting software FreeAgent, suggests six straightforward resolutions to help your small businesses bloom in 2018 and beyond.

Write down your goals

As well as being scientifically shown to improve your memory, there’s something about physically writing down your goals that makes you much more focused on them. Even if they’re very broad goals like expanding your client list, aim high and make a note of some achievements you’d love to make this year. You might even want to pin your resolutions up somewhere in sight to help you keep committed to them all year round.

Expand your online marketing strategy

Whether it’s just polishing your current social media output, or creating your first ever Twitter account, it’s a great time to try something different when it comes to your digital marketing. Whether it’s doing some SEO research to make sure your website is hitting the right keywords, or trying a new venture such as experimenting with paid ads, shaking things up just a little bit could reap huge rewards. Check out some of these small business marketing guides for more info.

Learn a new skill

IT, Marketing, Business Studies – stay one step ahead of your competition by developing your knowledge in useful areas this year. You might want to spend time improving on your current skills, or perhaps take up something completely new to expand both your professional, and personal, horizons. Websites like Udemy and Memrise both have a wide range of courses available if you’re looking for some inspiration.

Collect cash faster

The bane of many a freelancer’s life is trying to get paid on time and keep a healthy cash flow. Although there’s little you can do to force your clients to pay you in a timely manner, there are some steps you can take to encourage this. Whether it’s building a late payment penalty into your invoice template or shortening your payment terms, make this the year that you crack down on late payments.

Attend more events – get yourself out there!

It’s all too easy to feel a bit out of the loop when you’re self-employed. Having a group of freelance friends can give you people to bounce ideas off, as well sympathetic ears to share your struggles with. If you find yourself short of professional connections, then make this the year where you expand your professional circle. Sites like Meetup are invaluable for finding meetups relevant to you, or you could even reach out to your connections on LinkedIn or Twitter for ideas on events to attend. Make your own community this year, and you’ll never look back.

Master your bookkeeping once and for all

Organising your finances isn’t many people’s favourite task – mainly because parts of it can confuse or bore even the most patient freelancer. As well as reviewing your current bookkeeping system, if you don’t already use online accounting software, could this be the year you investigate the benefits? FreeAgent makes bookkeeping such a breeze, and on average, saves users a day a month in admin*. You can get a FreeAgent account at a special price through MadeSimple, and on top of that, subscription prices have been halved for new customers’ first 6 months.

*Survey of FreeAgent customers conducted in January 2017 with 366 total respondents.

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Mathew Aitken

is Head of Content at Made Simple Group. This entails overseeing MadeSimple’s blogs (five in all!) and any other content we happen to be producing. In his spare time Mathew is an avid film-goer, TV-watcher and Tottenham Hotspur-endurer.
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