When I worked a ‘normal’ job, holidays were a fantastic time, and gave me a chance to spend time with family and friends, without having to stress about work. Now that I am freelancing, I find holidays a lot more stressful, because there is less work to go around and because my family and friends don’t understand why I am working when I should be spending time with them. As someone who works for themselves, you have to be much more careful about how you manage your holidays, and all the events that occur as part of them.
1. Prepare ahead of time
The biggest thing about holidays for me is that there are not a lot of customers around. A lot of people don’t work over the holiday period, and many businesses even close. If you are freelancing you will find that your orders drop considerably and that there is less work available on freelancing sites. I find that I get less than half as many orders towards Christmas, and this lull in work can last months. Furthermore, the orders I do get tend to be smaller, and don’t pay as well.
You need to make sure that you can handle a decrease in income over this period, and one of the best ways of doing this is by budgeting. If you can put away a bit of money throughout the year, you will end up with enough to account for any decrease in income that you get around the holidays.
2. Branch out
There are many types of online business that do not rely on customers, such as internet marketing, which involves connecting a product and a buyer to one another. Internet marketing uses very different approaches to freelancing, but offers an alternative source of income for when you are having trouble sourcing customers.
In fact, using internet marketing can be particularly effective during the holidays, because many people end up browsing the internet looking for presents for their loved ones, or simply because they have little else to do. This means that internet marketing can act as a very effective supplement to your income whenever you need it.
3. Have a holiday
I have a tendency to work through the holidays simply because I feel guilty about taking time off, and worry that my business will fall apart if I am not putting the maximum amount of effort into it. However, this isn’t the case at all, and taking time off is important.
Even if you can’t completely stop working over the holidays, try and make sure you take some time off.
Taking time off can help you to feel more relaxed and revitalized, making you much more effective at work when you do get back into it full swing. It is too easy to focus only on your work and burn out as a consequence. Ultimately, this will do you no good at all.