Well, I guess it’s inevitable that at some time or other you will succumb to illness and be unable to work. Here’s a few strategies to help …
1. Don’t hide it from your customers – especially if it’s going to be more than a few days. They deserve to know that their work may be delayed and why, they also may be more sympathetic being told up front of potential problems rather than being informed when they’re already cross at delays.
2. Work when you can but take care of your health – it’s all too easy to think you ‘have’ to get work done but if it will make your recovery slower then what really is the point?
3. Do the essential stuff first – prioritise your work so that the really important stuff gets done first. I let a lot of things slide while I was ill recently but managed to keep on top of my client work so I didn’t let anyone down.
4. Delegate – if you know you’re going to be unable to work for a while do you have people you can delegate work to? Find like-minded and trustworthy people to take some of your workload so that you can recover sooner and with less worry.
5. Refer – if the worst comes to the worst do you have people who you can refer your clients to when you cannot fulfil your commitments. Customers will be happier to have you admit you are unable to complete their order and refer them to someone who can rather than be suddenly left in the lurch and not know where to turn next.
Earlier this year I joined the local ESTA (Ethical Small Traders Association) but didn’t manage to get to many meet-ups until recently. The more I talk with them the more I know I am in tune with what the group envision for our area and the future.
We aim to provide a mutually co-operative framework for local social entrepreneurs to work together on developing products and services which serve to develop the prosperity and common good of the wider community. Taken from Lancaster ESTA website.
It has been lovely to connect with like-minded people in my local area. While I don’t always ‘trade local’ I do try to support and promote local businesses wherever possible. I always aim to be ethical in my dealings with clients and suppliers.
ESTA seeks to be a model of best practice in how to run a successful, resilient, environmentally and socially responsible local business network.
As a condition of joining, members agree to improve the way their business affects environmental sustainability, community well-being and the development of everyone. Rather than being additional business burdens this can actually enhance the success of your business.
You can read about ESTA’s 4 Principles and perhaps take some, or all, on board with your bubble – even if you’re not in the Lancaster area.
I began Bay Web Designs in 2008 to make money.
I began Create Bubbles in 2012 to help people.
However, as my love for Create Bubbles now matches my enjoyment of owning Bay Web Designs I am looking at ways to continue to help while also creating an income for myself and my family. Cake supplies don’t appear as if by magic you know. With this in mind I am writing the Create Bubbles book (due to be published November 2013) to be a helpful and fun introduction to my freelance life.
Recently I was exchanging emails with someone I admire, business-wise, and was stating what I hoped to do. He asked why I was going for a target audience – new freelancers – who probably didn’t have the funds to pay me what I was worth. How was I going to make any money?
My main opinion is that, when I started out there was government funding to help me with a mentor and other basic things, yet now there is little available if at all. I also had so much generous advice and support from other freelancers that I would like to pay forward. But I need to balance my altruism with the hard fact that I need to create income to live.
So I am looking at ways I can do what my heart tells me while satisfying my head’s desire for money to live. Please comment below with any ideas or thoughts and also what type of services do you feel would be beneficial and worth you paying for.