How to Manage When Your Self-Employed Earnings Decrease

Coins and pens, balance sheet.

Being self-employed is a dream come true for a lot of us. It gives you a chance to run your own business, your way, make money for yourself and work flexible hours that suit you. People work for themselves in a variety of different careers. Some start their own ecommerce or brick and mortar stores; others work for themselves in graphic design and photography, or they carve careers as bloggers or freelance writers. Some people even make successful careers as consultants or tutors.

One thing all of these career paths have in common is the risk of dry spells. Whether you’ve been self-employed for years, or you are just starting out, there is always a risk that you’ll have a quiet period. Often in January-February after the festive rush, and in September-October, once summer has come to an end. During these times, it’s important that you find ways to keep your business growing and that you look after yourself financially. Here is a look at some ways to survive the slow times.

Budget for It

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When you’re self-employed, it’s always a good idea to have at least one month’s earnings saved up, just in case. You may want to have a separate bank account for your business, and then pay yourself the same amount, no matter what you earn. This way, in busier months you will build up a little fund, and you’ll still be able to pay yourself when it’s quieter.

Pitch to New Clients

Pitching your services and ideas to new clients is essential to the growth of your business. But, when you’re busy with work it’s not something that you have always got the time to do. Use the quieter times to hone your pitching skills, put together some marketing materials, and start looking for new clients.


The harsh reality is that self-employment isn’t always easy, and financially it can be tough. When times are hard, find ways to save money in both your business and personal life. A few small changes can save you a lot of money.

Chase Payments

One problem many self-employed people have is not getting paid in a timely fashion, or even not being paid at all. When you work on your own, it can be hard asking for money. But, you’ve provided a service or product, and you need to be paid for it. Spend some time looking into a cash flow finance service, which can help while you wait. Then chase up any payments still owing.

Find New Ways to Make Money

There are a considerable number of ways to make money online. You could even branch out on the services you provide. Is there anything you can add? Or any gaps in the market that you can fill? Look at your business plan and try to find ways to expand and offer more.

Make the Most of It

If you’re quiet and not earning as much, you can at least make sure you use the time productively, to improve your systems, make sure you are protected and catch up on any admin.


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In many ways, a quieter spell can be when you get the most done. Spend some time looking after your business and giving it some TLC and look for ways to improve. Make the most of it.

Just a regular computer user. I write for regular users like me. When we grow up we are taught basic security tips like how to cross the street. But we are not taught how to take care of ourselves online.