What’s your biggest freelance money worry, and how do you deal with it?
GRANT BURKE Freelance designer and illustrator www.grantburke.com
“As a freelancer, your next pay cheque is never guaranteed, and maintaining a full schedule can be challenging for even the most seasoned designers. It only takes a few slow weeks to cause panic, and multiple slow months could mean financial ruin. To avoid this, I focus on securing my next project before the last one has ended. Even when up against a deadline, I make time to track down leads and pitch to potential clients. During hectic weeks, this strategy can feel like self-inflicted pain, but it ensures that I rarely find myself at my computer asking: ‘What’s next?’”
HEATHER SHAW WILLIS Freelance graphic designer www.heathershaw.com
“Staying organised! I’m the worst at keeping track of income, expenses and receipts, and it leads to a lot of headaches and wasted time (even a penalty, once) at tax time. This past year, I created a simple Google Sheet with a tab for profits and a tab for expenses. Then I used OCR to capture, upload and label my receipts, tax forms and documents with the year and a logical title. That made it easy to quickly search and share with my tax guy. This year I’m using QuickBooks for the first time.”
COLM MCCARTHY Freelance graphic and web designer www.colm-mccarthy.com
“Getting paid on time. I always agree payment details before proceeding with a project – that way there are no grey areas. For all new clients, I take a 50 per cent deposit upfront. This usually eliminates the shady ones. When working with large clients, I ask them how their payroll system works; otherwise I could be left waiting for up to two months. And the most obvious but all-too-often overlooked thing I do is try to send my invoice out immediately after a project is signed off. Any delay here welcomes a nonchalant response.”