In the world of the self-employed, there are going to be those times when business may slow, or even seemingly come to a complete halt.
What to do?
I have experienced such ups and downs over the last year, and believe me it’s not easy. I have been self-employed for going on two years now. Initially, I left a secure position I had been at for 5 years and went out on a limb when I was offered a position working from home, employed as a Virtual Administrator. This was a fantastic opportunity. I no longer had to do the 1.5-hour commute to and from work. Gas expenses went down, vehicle maintenance was much less, car insurance payments dropped, and most importantly, I was able to spend more time with my daughter, which included being there to drop her off and pick her up after school. If she was sick, no problem – I was there to both watch her AND get my work done. After being employed as a Virtual Administrator for about a year, I was told by my employer that things were slow and that she was thinking about having to let me go. Although she was still trying to grow her business, there were changes afoot in some of the products she offered which could mean even more potential loss financially for her. I thought fast and offered my services on a contract basis.
What did this mean?
It meant that she would no longer be stuck with the overhead a full-time employee brings. Having a bookkeeper to administer my payroll, paying source deductions, paid vacation time, sick days, Worker’s Compensation, EI, CPP, and benefits – the list goes on. She now would have a contractor who would be responsible for those costs, and she would be able to keep her overhead low. This was a win-win for both her and myself. After some time the workload and contracting of services from this person dropped right off. It meant that now I really was on my own. That is a scary position when you are a single parent, who just recently moved up north where full-time administrative positions are very few and far between, and being so the sole bread-winner, self-employed, having to start from scratch and with zero time to get clients on board.
Did I panic? Heck YA!
But when you are given no choice but to succeed, well – that is just what you do. Amazingly, when you really put your heart and soul into it – things just start to happen. When you network and mingle clients start coming from the most unexpected places. And then you realize – yes, you are going to make it, because really – you just have no other choice. I encourage you if you are trying to make it, on your own, be it as a Virtual Assistant or another kind of entrepreneur, hang in there. There is light just ahead.