Tips for the self-employed on how to thrive during Coronavirus

A Shropshire-based bookkeeper has put together some helpful advice for the self-employed during the lock down created by the spread of Coronavirus.

Julie Williams of the Hollies Bookkeeping Services, based in Pontesbury, is one of the almost 5 million people in Britain who are self-employed.

Like the rest of the 15% of the UK self-employed workforce, Julie is working from home with some of her team furloughed, to adhere to social distancing rules while continuing to look after her clients, most of whom are facing complicated or worrying financial times.

Currently, they may also lose income as companies start to cut costs and stop using freelance help.

Julie said: “After the Government faced criticism over announcing significant help for businesses and employees impacted by the coronavirus, last week it also unveiled a scheme for the self-employed.

“The scheme allows around 95% of freelancers and partnerships to apply for a grant of up to £2,500 a month.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has shone a light on the difficulties faced by freelancers so here at The Hollies want to provide some tips for the self-employed on things they can do to keep going during this time.

Check savings

“We have no idea how long the measures that have been put into place to limit the spread of the coronavirus will last, nor how effective they will prove for businesses in the medium to long term. The good news for many freelancers is that they may be more prepared for the uncertainty due to the nature of their work.

“But now is the time to get extra prepared. By checking savings and investments, you know how much money you have available should the work dry up for any length of time. It’s always recommended to have a savings buffer equal to three months of your outgoings. Obviously, this may be too late for some, but if you still have regular work, it is worth putting some money aside now.

Take a look at your budget

“This is something we should all do regularly. If you know where your money is going and how much is coming in, you will have a better idea of where you can cut or reduce your outgoings.

Speak to your creditors

“Whether it’s your landlord, mortgage provider, bank or energy supplier, call them to find out what help is available if you’re struggling. It might be that you can reduce some of your outgoings this way, but if you don’t ask, you won’t get.

Consider income protection

“While all insurers have now pulled out of providing unemployment cover for new applicants, some are still offering income protection. This insurance pays out if you can’t do your work because you are ill or injured.

Polish your CV

“Now is a great time to make sure your CV and LinkedIn profile are up-to-date. If you want to stand out from the crowd then consider getting a professional service that can help you, like the CV Centre, though always check the prices and reviews.

Don’t panic

“Nobody knows what will happen and these are unprecedented, uncertain times for everyone. Talk to as many people as you can, including those in your industry to see what they are doing but also your friends and family for support. Try to carry on doing your job, or finding work, as best you can,” said Julie.

Please speak to us at the Hollies Bookkeeping if you require clarity, guidance or help with any of the above.

Now is the perfect time to get on top your accounts and make sure you keep it up. Contact us on 07981 849571 or email [email protected]