When you are self-employed, there is always the possibility that you will hit a “dry spell.” If you’re living month-to-month, or even if you have a bit of a buffer, a lack of steady work can threaten your livelihood and possibly that of your family as well. When this happens, it often takes some quick thinking along with a step or two outside of your comfort zone to get back to a stable place and a reliable income. Here are a few ideas to help you branch out and get back on track.
1. Expand Your Skillset
If you’re not having any luck finding work in your particular profession, consider either expanding to other areas of your current field or even adding an entirely new skill to your repertoire. Along with the obvious benefits, you’ll also get the confidence boost that comes with mastering a new skill. In addition, it will be easier to go through the process again if you ever need to expand your skillset further.
2. Contact Old Clients
If you do choose to expand your available pool of skills, or if you know that you’ve got more to offer than you did in the past, take some time to get in touch with past clients and let them know about the new or improved services you offer. This eliminates the need to “sell” yourself to a new client and lets you build off of the positive relationship you’ve already (hopefully!) fostered.
3. Advertise Somewhere New
One thing to look at when work begins to dry up is your advertising efforts. If you’re going to generate new business, you’ll probably need to revise your plan when it comes to where and how much you’re advertising. This may also be a good time to reevaluate your client base and see if that information helps you when deciding on new places to look for clients.
4. Do Charity Work
While this may not be a way to directly generate income, the benefits of this tip are threefold. First, it will get your work in front of a large group of people, and possibly get it seen by many people who wouldn’t otherwise have been exposed to it. Second, it will keep you in practice and ensure that your work doesn’t suffer during your dry spell. Finally, rather than being idle waiting for work to pick back up, you’ll be giving back to your community and improving the quality of life for those around you!
5. Ask Family and Friends
While you may be inclined to avoid asking family and friends to hire you, those closest to you can still be an excellent source of leads. It’s probable that someone in your circle knows of a person or business that could have work for you. Along the same vein, if you’ve already implemented tip #2 and are in touch with old clients, asking them for referrals can also be a good source of new work, especially considering the fact that leads from them will come with a built-in recommendation!