Crystal Clayton blogs at Big Bright Bulb, a blog with some of the juiciest tidbits of advice for very small businesses with even smaller budgets. She really got me thinking after reading yesterday's post when she asked, "How long can your business last without you?" What would happen to your income?
It's something I've been thinking about on and off lately. What happens if you can't work? Do you have a system set up to generate some sort of income? If you're lucky enough to have a significant other or someone else kick in funds when the going gets tough, that's great. Really. But the thought of something happening to me before I get some residual income coming in through other sources is pretty scary.
I am a writer. I write a lot. Right now my business is set up so that if I don't write I don't get paid which means the family doesn't eat. And ladies and gentlemen, that's not good business. I need to make a change.
After I had my twins, I decided to quit my advertising sales position. My husband was running his own business and it was doing well enough that we could do it. About a month later he was involved in a serious car accident while returning home from a business trip. He was hospitalized with a neck fracture, broken back and two of his fingers were severed and had to be reattached. Needless to say we weren't prepared. It took him over six months to recover, and during that time we lived off my 401k.
The moral of this story: Start thinking of ways you can create multiple streams of income for your business. You're a freelance writer, and you love it, but if you depend on it for your livelihood you have to treat it like a business, not a hobby. That means be on the look out for opportunities to grow and expand it. For some that might mean creating products like ecourses, ebooks and ongoing subscriptions for continuing services – possibilities are everywhere. It might take some research (yeah, I know. There are only 24 hours in the day. Tell me about it), but it will not only increase your profits, it will increase your security too.