How Freelancers Can Survive (And Thrive) in Bad Economic TimesPosted: December 3, 2008
An enterprising freelance writer that I know is a good example of how to survive, and even thrive, in tough economic times. When the large company that she worked for downsized, my friend negotiated with the company to continue doing her job on a contract basis.
It was a win/win situation. The former employer continued to benefit from the services of a highly skilled writer without having to pay for vacations and health care or for training, office space, utilities, and other overhead costs. My friend used those points to negotiate a contract that provided very good compensation that covered her former salary and benefits, and more.
I used some of those same points successfully when discussing freelance jobs with prospective clients (although they weren’t former employers) during the economic downturn of the 1980s. I’m sure my friend could offer her former employer additional cost-saving reasons to contract for her services during their negotiations.
Several talking points come to mind (especially useful when negotiating with former employers):
- 1. Employers reap the benefits of working with highly motivated individuals (most freelancers are extremely motivated or they wouldn’t become freelancers in the first place).
- 2. As freelancers, they don’t have to attend time-wasting meetings not directly associated with their jobs.
- 3. They already know the company structure, its goals, its corporate culture, and its politics and they know how to work within that environment.
- 4. They know the company clients and the clients are used to working with them–in fact, clients may not even need to know that freelancer are no longer company employees.
- 5. With fewer distractions, freelancers in home offices can be more productive than some office employees. No time-wasting chats while visiting the cubicles of other workers; no showers and office parties during work hours.
- 6. Freelancers don’t require overtime pay because they are not limited to a 9 to 5 schedule to get the job done. They can work after hours, holidays and weekends if they prefer.
Other freelancers, I am sure, can come up with additional selling points to promote their services. My freelancing friend knew exactly how to use those points to turn hard times to her advantage. Savvy employers like her former bosses knew that it makes sound business sense to hire experienced freelancers to help them through economic downtimes.
© 2008 Laverne Daley