The life of a sole trader is at once liberating and difficult. You’ll enjoy the fact that you’re in charge of your own life and that your destiny is in your hands. Yet, you’ll also have to handle all the administration that comes with running a business on your own. In times of crisis, when the economy isn’t looking so rosy, these responsibilities can bite harder than usual. This article is about how you can not only survive but thrive over the coming months, but also use smart strategies to continue generating good money during uncertain economic times.
If you don’t already have one, a fuel card is now an essential item for a sole trader. It’s by using this that you’ll be able to enjoy discounts on your fuel, VAT tracking, and an overall single place for you to track your spending on fuel, and how it’s increasing. There are several different fuel card for sole trader options – you should research them to find the one that suits you best.
This isn’t just something that’ll help you save cash and keep tabs on what you’re spending. Since prices are going up, it helps to be able to tell your customers just how much more you’re paying for your fuel – and why you’re passing that cost on to them as the consumer.
There will be many consumers who would usually contact you to do a job, but they’re holding back because of the cost-of-living crisis. That means that you may have to work a little harder to find the people who are still willing to pay for your services. That shouldn’t be a problem, though, as wages in the professional service sector are keeping pace and even exceeding inflation – meaning that there are still consumers out there with cash in their pockets.
To access these customers, make sure you’re getting your name out there. Print cards to give to affluent customers and clients, and make sure you’re doing all you can to market yourself on social media and via your website.
When times get tough, people usually come together to help one another out. This is often the case with sole traders, who tend to look out for one another when they know there’s not a huge amount of business going around. If you make the effort to get to know other sole traders in your area, they may well contact you with a job that they’re working on, but which requires your skills.
That means that if you’re an electrician, you should certainly try to get to know a plumber, plasterer, surveyor, builder – and the rest. These networks can be a great safety net in difficult times. More than that, though, it can also mean that you’re always in touch with people who can introduce you to work, ensuring you have access to more jobs when you need them the most.
Make the rest of 2022 a profitable and pleasant time to be a sole trader with the tips shared above.