Protecting Yourself as a Freelancer
When you think about the majority of large organisations, they all invest a fair amount of energy in protecting their interests, for instance, most retailers will have a loss prevention strategy that reduces theft from consumers (and employees) whilst the majority of professional companies will have professional indemnity insurance to protect their interests in the event of a claim being made against them.
Freelancers, on the other hand, tend to have a more amateur paradigm when it comes to protecting themselves which is perfectly reasonable, yet they leave themselves wide open to the same risks many large companies do – such as the risk of a negligence lawsuit being filed for work they’ve undertaken which is not considered up to scratch.
The majority of freelancers tend to learn from their mistakes, in receipt of reasonably tough experiential lessons – yet as with most things in life, prevention is often better than cure, and therefore it pays to have some prophylactic measures in place to protect yourself as a freelancer.
- PROTECT YOUR COMPUTER
There are a number of risks you must protect your computer from, which is likely the engine room of your entire freelance set-up… risks such as virus attack, data loss, theft and accidental damage – all of which could render you unable to work and/or losing substantial digital assets you’ve poured sweat, blood and tears into creating, to just vanish.
The best antivirus software for windows 7, for instance, is in high dispute whereas protection for Mac computers tends to be a less debated topic on the basis they are known for being more resilient to viruses and the like.
When it comes to protecting your computer, one of the most sensible things you can do is insure it against all risks, yet this won’t usually result in the precious data being recovered, which is often what people value the most.
Therefore, it’s imperative you back-up regularly, and whilst everyone screams this from the rooftops, it’s interesting how many people have not backed up their computer for ages, and kick themselves if their device is taken.
With regard to damage, people always imagine it wouldn’t happen to them, as they are too careful – yet, accidents do happen and sometimes they aren’t even our fault. It’s therefore important to rely on insurance and regular back-ups to protect your computer, rather than a misplaced faith that nothing can go wrong.
- PROTECT YOUR HEALTH
The most important aspect of your freelance organisation is not your marketing, your equipment, your service or product – it’s you. As a freelancer you are at the heart of your organisation and therefore, looking after yourself is imperative to protecting your business.
The challenge, unlike employment is that if you get sick, you aren’t usually able to make money as most freelancers are trading units of their time in return for money – meaning if they stop trading units of time, they stop receiving money.
Therefore, as a freelancer, it’s much more imperative you look after your health, as there is no safety net to fall back on unlike employment which tends to pay sick pay.
- PROTECT YOUR SERVICE WITH INSURANCE
You might not feel you need insurance, as a freelancer, yet if you are providing a product or service then it’s a good idea to look into relevant insurance such as public liability and professional indemnity protection.