Times are still hard. The worldwide recession rumbles on. Some businesses that have survived so far, against the odds, are finally crumbling under the pressure. And a proportion of the previously-dedicated self-employed are running for the hills, taking on fully-employed roles in a bid to weather the ongoing economic storm.

If you’re self-employed you’ve probably invested a lot of time – and probably money – in building a brand that people recognise, trust and appreciate.  If you find yourself having to take a paid job on an employed basis until things get better, should you let it die or maintain your presence for the future?

Are you a dyed-in-the-wool freelancer?

Some people are natural freelancers. They find it tough working as an employee and much prefer being their own boss. Others are freelance through circumstance or accident rather than design. If you’re one of the former, it’s probably wise to keep your self-employed website and other collateral alive so you can jump back into your preferred way of working at short notice, the minute things start to look up.

 The advantages of keeping your freelance presence alive 

  • If you renew your freelance url when it comes due, it’ll be there waiting for you when you need it. You can let your hosting go, just keeping the domain name itself to re-launch with a new host when you’re ready. If this course of action suits you best, keep a back-up of all your website files so you can instantly upload them to your url via your new host.
  • If you keep your hosting too, it means you maintain a low-key online presence that you can bring back to life even more quickly and easily. If you can write regular posts into your blog it’ll keep your site fresh from a SEO / site visibility perspective, which is invaluable because it takes such a lot of hard work to build up from scratch. Just make a short, factual announcement on your site’s home page so people know you’re not operating as self-employed at the moment.
  • It’s wise to stash your client and prospect databases somewhere safe so you don’t have to start the whole process from the beginning. You can even add fresh prospects in readiness – there’s no harm in planning ahead just in case.
  • If you’re no longer self-employed it probably isn’t a good idea to advertise yourself as freelance. Stash all your advertising and marketing materials somewhere safe so you can resurrect them quickly and easily.
  • You have probably added your self-employed business to all sorts of online directories, local and national. Let them lapse or remove them, but add the details to a spreadsheet so you can set up new entries when you return to self-employment.
  • Whatever happens, keep your accountant in the loop so they can keep HMRC and the VAT man properly informed.