A self-employed pandemic survival guide

As a result of covid-19, we have all seen changes in people’s spending habits. Generally, belts are being tightened, and with non-essential business having been shut, the usual economic flow has been interrupted. If you are self-employed, you are likely to have stopped operating for the safety of yourself and your clients, and even if you have not, you are likely to have seen a significant reduction in business.

We’ve put together some suggestions to try and point you in the right direction, if you are self-employed, so your earnings won’t take such a big hit, and so you can still feel useful.

1 – Government Grants

The government is giving grants of up to 80% of your maximum monthly profits, up to £2500.

You’ll be eligible for this if you’re self-employed or a member of a partnership.

Your self-employed profits must not exceed £50,000 per year and they must comprise more than half of your total income. To check your eligibility, the government will look at your tax returns from the last 3 years – if you’re not sure whether you qualify or not, check the rules on GOV.UK.

To qualify for the grant you’ll also have to:

  • Have lost profits due to coronavirus
  • Have submitted your tax return for the tax year 2018-19 – the deadline for this was 23rd of April 2020
  • Have earned self-employed income in the tax year 2019-20

2 – Diversifying your services

You are likely to have transferable skills as a freelancer. Why not try to put those to use and get creative? If you’re a freelance designer who usually works with businesses, why not offer to take commissions from customers directly?

If you’re a dogwalker, you could help supermarkets with deliveries so they can keep up with the demands of online ordering.

Tutors and therapists can bring their skills to the online sphere, offering lessons and sessions via zoom or skype.

There is also translation work and subtitling, as well as copywriting for marketing agencies available for filmmakers.

3 – Help to Feed the Nation

As a result of the lockdown, farms have lost a huge proportion of their EU seasonal workers. This means that throughout the months of lockdown, there will be a great demand for workers to help on farms in a variety of positions, with many farms paying national living wage. Check out www.concordiavolunteers.org.uk/Appeal/supporting-those-feeding-the-nation for more information on applying and what to expect from working there. It’ll be a good opportunity to keep yourself earning money and get a taste of outdoor life, as a self-employed person.

We hope that our suggestions help you a little through these times. If you are in need of further advice you are always welcome to give us a ring, and one of our specialists will be glad to assist you.