Eggs in a basket (diversify)Don’t you almost hate to watch the news, open a newspaper or check your stocks these days? The bad news is unrelenting. Formerly solid companies going bust. Layoffs. Gasoline prices through the roof. Catastrophic weather. It’s definitely an uncertain world we live in. But is it time for independents to worry?

It may not be time to cheer, but being solo is less dangerous than you think.

We’re already used to relying on ourselves, unlike the person in a so-called “secure” job.  We generally have more than one client among which to spread the risks. In a home office, our expenses are generally less than someone who has to commute to work and buy a more extensive corporate wardrobe that often needs dry cleaning. We don’t buy lunch at a restaurant or take-out joint as often.

Still, if you’re an indie, there’s much you can do to make sure you can continue to pay the rent or the mortgage:

  1. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. If you notice one client taking up most of your time, try to diversify. Actively look for or accept work in different industries.
  2. Keep marketing yourself. Oh sure, that’s good advice I often don’t follow, so if you don’t either, make sure you do something else to get your name out there.
  3. Get out there and network. Join associations and groups relevant to your business. Get to know people. Build relationships.
  4. Volunteer in an area that showcases your expertise. Pay just as much attention to the work you turn in as you would paying jobs. Meet deadlines. Do good work.
  5. Keep delivering value to your clients. Be reliable. Deliver on time or early. Turn projects around quickly. Be responsive. Pull a rabbit out of a hat on occasion (maybe by pulling out all the stops to do an unexpected rush job).

In rough economic times, the communications people on the inside of a company are most at risk. Those able to ride out the uneven economy will likely need our help to do more work with fewer people.

Image: Eggs by “jill111” and Pixabay.