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5 Financial Tips For Freelancers

Take a look at these five financial tips for Freelancers before you start your freelancing career and be prepared for anything.

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5 Financial Tips for Freelancers

Making a career change and moving into the freelancing sector is an exciting prospect. Let’s face it: who doesn’t like the sound of being one’s boss? Yet, with great power comes great responsibility; especially so in the financial department.

Take a look at these five financial tips before you start your freelancing career and be prepared for anything.

1. Learn How to Budget

Just because your income is erratic doesn’t mean your expenses should follow suit. In fact, as a freelancer, keeping your expenses in check is the only thing you can do (most of the time). Speaking of erratic income there is a handy tool which helps you calculate your monthly income.

Start by determining your break-even number — the number you need to shoot for to stay in the green each month. List all the essentials you need including food, utility bills, transportation fees, etc. and add them all up to get a total that you need to save up to (and surpass) every month.

5 Financial Tips for Freelancers

Preparing for tax season is yet another thing freelancers should do more of. Too often people get fooled by the amount of money they make only to find out that almost a third of that doesn’t even belong to them.

Separate your personal and business expenses (accounts) to get a better idea of what you’re up for and audit your taxes regularly. It pays to be prepared; quite literally.

2. Make Use of Contracts

The Internet — you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy; except for Mos Eisley, perhaps. By now, probably everyone and their grandmothers were scammed at least once over the Internet; freelancers face this issue almost daily.

The solution: draft a contract for every new job you do to protect yourself from being ripped off by unscrupulous clients. Of course, this does not means you should make potential clients sign contracts for every small gig you do online; use common sense.

Overall, making use of contracts is not only good for your financial well-being but also for your reputation. By insisting on signing contracts before certain jobs, you’ll give off a sense of professionalism and clients will take you more seriously as a result; understand them, they too have been victims of scams in the past.

Protip: for some larger jobs, always include a deposit. That way you won’t have to live primarily off of air until the project’s end; 20% to 50% is the industry standard in most niches.

Make Use of Contracts

3. Know Your Limits

When you’re a freelancer, it’s easy to get carried away by present successes. Yet, the sporadic nature of the job can often leave you in great debt without any real source of income.

What’s more, missing any outstanding payments can impact your credit history beyond repair. The moral of the story — known your limits!

To get a good idea of where you stand, be sure to check your credit score, regularly; especially so when you’re thinking of applying for a loan.

Keeping an eye on this will make it easier for you to apply for mortgage and car loans later in your life, so do try to stay on the safe side.

4. Set up an Emergency Stash

Flexibility means having the freedom to organize yourself, not being free to do whatever and whenever you want (all of the time); that’s called anarchy.

Usually, the best way of protecting oneself (financially) is by setting some money aside in the form of an emergency fund. When you’re a freelancer, you learn the true meaning of a dry season on your skin (too many a time).

Apart from the obvious financial benefits, another thing a stashed cache does for you is — it provides you with an ease of mind. With some funds safely tucked away, you won’t feel as pressured as you would otherwise during these few dry months.

So, start chipping off some funds from each paycheck from now on and put them into a savings account, just to be on the safe side; use an automatic billing system if necessary to keep the payments flowing.

5. Save up for Retirement

The story of the ant and the grasshopper — my favorite. You might be enjoying your high-life now, but, in a few years, you’ll regret not putting away more money for your retirement fund. Of course, by that time it will already be too late… start today!

Since you’re self-employed, you need to sponsor your retirement plan. Depending on your country, there are a few options at your disposal, including:

  • SEP IRA — lower taxes than a traditional IRA.
  • Solo 401(k) — a simplified version of the regular 401(k) plan; made for the self-employed.
  • SIMPLE IRA — employer contributions are tax-deductible in the form of business expenses.
  • Self-managed super funds — a superannuation fund you manage on your own.

Whichever one of these you pick, remember to always contribute to your plan, and contribute often.

Tracey Clayton is a working mom of three girls. She's passionate about marketing and everything tech related. Her motto is: "Live the life you love, love the life you live."

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Business

4 Supply Chain Strategies for Digital Growth

Organizations generally model their supply chain strategies on their business model and customer demands. Supply Chain Strategies for Digital Growth.

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Run a Better Business With These Key Tips

Business models continue to adapt to today’s digital economy and consumer demand. For new and established companies to succeed, they have to be equipped with suitable supply chain strategies to meet the standards.

Consumers now tend to want and buy products and services quickly with websites and smartphone apps. Setting up and implementing the ideal strategies to control the supply chain will help businesses grow and increase their profit margin.

A comprehensive and effective plan will ensure that a business can smoothly move products through the supply chain. In addition, operations will efficiently function, costs will reduce, and profitability will increase.

Organizations generally model their supply chain strategies on their business model and customer demands. The following are some of the techniques that can help your business grow.

1. Customer-Centricity

This strategy streamlines its focus on the needs and preferences of customers. To ensure a customer-centric strategy, a business owner will have to improve the demand forecasting accuracy. It will enable the said company to prepare the inventory products to meet projected demands.

Businesses can pinpoint in-demand trends and products by using inventory management software that has forecasting abilities. The tool will record data concerning sales and stock. It will then provide real-time reports.

By using this strategy, organizations will be able to improve their financial performance while providing excellent customer service. Regular monitoring of demand will allow business owners to enhance their collaboration with suppliers, which will help in the efficient handling of new inventory.

7 Solid Tips to Strengthen Your Online Business Brand

2. Predictive Business

Setbacks like delayed shipment and machine malfunction will happen at times. However, businesses will be able to prevent most of these issues by quickly attending to them with the help of predictive technology.

By using predictive maintenance, a business can obtain a clear and concise view of its entire operation – including assets, products, and equipment. Insight can also be gained regarding product improvements and cost minimization methods.

3. Intelligent Automation

There’s no denying that businesses, regardless of industry, have embraced the integration of automation. This has been a very effective supply chain management strategy. Automation includes delivery drones, autonomous forklift trucks, and software solutions to streamline warehouse management.

Manufacturing companies maximize their supply chain’s potential by using intelligent automation. This solution utilizes robotic processes, AI, and software engineering practices to automate complex business operations. Manufacturers use this tool to mass-produce consumer-friendly products.

This will undoubtedly boost the revenue and sales of a business. Also, the flexibility automation provides allows companies to manufacture products when they’re needed – instead of manufacturing large quantities at once.

4. Total Visibility

For the supply chain to be managed appropriately, business owners will need complete visibility into every process and its role. Executives will have to monitor the production and delivery of the products. They will also have to regularly assess sales data to determine any future disruption in the supply chain.

With real-time supply chain visibility, management will be able to identify anomalies in the supply chain. They can also make quick adjustments to the production process or inventory to rectify the anomaly. This will go a long way in minimizing risks and spending.

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