Are you an independent contractor or freelancer looking to reduce your work expenses? Below are a few tips on how you can save money as a contractor or freelancer.
Shop around for supplies
Supplies can be a big cost for independent contractors. It’s important that when you’re buying supplies, you shop around. When it comes to construction and repair jobs, make sure that you’re not just using a general building supplies distributor – you may be able to find specific parts like metal pipe and fittings by trying piping specialists. Try to stick to suppliers that have a good reputation so that you know you’re getting good quality supplies.
Do your own marketing
Most independent contractors and freelancers can get away with doing most of their own marketing. When it comes to things like web design, there are lots of cheap tools out there that can allow you to build your own website using drag and drop functions. This could save you huge amounts of money spent hiring a web designer. Social media marketing is meanwhile easy to handle yourself and can be a great way to attract customers. You can also handle tasks like email marketing and PPC advertising yourself.
Take advantage of free online tools and applications
There are many free tools and applications out there aimed at small businesses and freelancers. This includes free accounting applications, free logo generators, free legal advice and free SEOtools. This post has a great list of free tools that can help you get started as a freelancer. Don’t pay for tools and software that you can get for free.
Use your network
It’s worth considering whether you have any useful connections that may be able to help with various business tasks ranging from photography to web design. Many people who you know will be able to offer discount services, saving you money on what you might pay for a professional service. You can also use your network to find clients by asking friends and family to recommend you. If you don’t have a large social network, make an effort to go out and meet people.
Know when to hire equipment
Equipment can be a big expense for many contractors and freelancers. Only ever buy equipment that you’re going to get good use out of. If you need a specialist tool for a one-off job and you’re unlikely to use that tool again, save money by hiring that tool. You can even hire equipment like printers and scanners if you rarely ever use these.
Know which expenses are tax-deductible
A lot of independent contractors and freelancers aren’t aware of the extent of the expenses they can claim. For example, you can claim part of your energy bills and rent as expenses if you work from home. This could save you money when filing your tax each year. Just be careful which expenses you do claim as business expenses – if you start claiming most of your personal expenses are business expenses, you could end up getting found out and charged with tax evasion.