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The National - News - - BUSINESS MONEY & MARKETS -

Eve­lyn Hester-Wyne, a di­rec­tor/pro­ducer, has a dream that one day it will be stan­dard to pay free­lancers 50 per cent of their fee up-front. For now, she ad­vises choos­ing clients wisely.

“Do not be des­per­ate enough that you take any work that’s of­fered from peo­ple who seem like they might re­nege on that pay­ment,” she says. “Get­ting sad­dled with bad debt can be dis­as­trous and a lot of peo­ple have suf­fered in the pro­duc­tion in­dus­try be­cause they haven’t been paid.” Pho­tog­ra­pher Paul Emous is adamant about in­sur­ance: busi­ness and per­sonal li­a­bil­ity in­sur­ance to pro­tect him at work and health in­sur­ance that will pro­tect him as an ex­pa­tri­ate should he get ill or hurt. Not only does that in­sur­ance pre­vent fu­ture fi­nan­cial ruin, but it gives peace of mind in the present.

“If you don’t have that, you will be con­stantly run­ning around with this in the back of your head,” he says. “You might have to go back to your own coun­try, it might lead to mas­sive debt.”

Makeup artist Toni Malt says new free­lancers may have to do some jobs for free to prove what they are ca­pa­ble of.

Com­bined with the al­ways-ex­pected is­sue of slow pay­ments and un­ex­pected costs, she be­lieves any­one con­sid­er­ing free­lanc­ing full time must have six months’ sav­ings be­fore strik­ing out on their own.

“You can’t go free­lance with no sav­ings,” she says. “You won’t be able to pay your bills at all.”

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