It is an exciting time to be self-employed. The American workforce is changing, with an ever-increasing number of individuals choosing to work for themselves.
With the rise of employees moving from traditional corporate structures to the more flexible schedules of solopreneurship and freelancing, comes an increase in benefits and perks available to those that work for themselves. Major companies are paying attention to the growth of the gig economy, and providing benefits that are as high quality as group benefits, at an affordable cost for solo workers.
However, not all solopreneurs know that resources abound for those that work on their own – from shared workspaces to group buying power to individual insurance packages that provide coverage even without a group plan. Below is a roundup of these five must-have benefits.
1. Alternative Workspaces
Whether you want a workspace outside the home every now and then or require an actual office of your own, most cities offer short-term workspace options at affordable prices. Coworking options include informal open spaces with shared amenities like break rooms, and more formal office arrangements that may also include a receptionist and admin support and even professional development opportunities. If you’re looking for access to technical support and mentoring from venture investors and other seasoned entrepreneurs and others to grow your business, look for an incubator space where these options are frequently offered.
2. Group Buying & Local Deal Sites
You don’t have to buy a lifetime supply of paperclips to get a good deal. Sites like Rewardli or AppSumo leverage the power of the crowd to save money on the things you use most, from office supplies to travel services and more.
3. Banking & Financial Services
Most online and traditional banks have specialists to help self-employed people find and manage the right banking and credit card options for their specific needs. They also dispense free advice on the financial basics you need to know. Online financial services groups like Lendio make it easier to get small business loan financing. And you won’t have to give up on that retirement nest egg, either. Self-employed folks can create a Simplified Employee Pension Individual Retirement Account (SEP IRA) to save for those all-important Golden Years.
4. Member Discounts & Deals
You may think paying a membership fee is a waste of money, but many Chambers of Commerce and trade and industry groups like the Freelancers Union serve up member discounts and deals that more than cover the cost of joining. Offerings include everything from janitorial services to auto insurance.
5. Individual Insurance Coverage
Stride Health, an online insurance brokerage, estimates that self-employed individuals are three times more likely to be uninsured than the national average. You know you and your financial wellbeing are at risk, but isn’t health, vision and dental insurance coverage ridiculously expensive for individuals? Not anymore. In response to the rise in the non-corporate workforce, there are lots of individual insurance options from major insurance brands like Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Delta Dental, Cigna, Humana, and VSP Vision Care.
Why protecting your vision is a smart move
Your eyes do a lot more than help you see and understand the world. In fact, they have a big impact on your overall quality of life. From increased effectiveness and productivity at work, to fewer headaches and reduced eye strain (along with many other benefits), it’s crucial to keep your eyes healthy to perform your best.
Comprehensive eye exams provide a surprising number of clues about your overall health, including early detection of health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Despite the importance of keeping our eyes healthy, a 2015 Vision Council report found that nearly 50% of Americans don’t have vision coverage—and many are members of the gig economy. Luckily, that doesn’t have to be the case anymore, thanks to Individual Vision Plans from VSP ® Vision Care. Solopreneurs like you can receive the same great benefits and savings as you would if you were covered under an employer’s plan.
These resources are key to thriving in the new economy because they reduce the stress related to working for yourself and make it truly financially rewarding. Leverage these opportunities fully and you’ll spend less time worrying and more time celebrating your independence! Click here for more information on all the benefits you should take advantage of as a member of the gig economy.