Gearing up for Rainy Days Ahead

Fanny Tham

Fanny Tham

by Fanny Tham of CreativePeople@Work

Grab an umbrella. We are no economist or business people. But since the whole world is speculating and predicting gloomy days ahead, what we can do is to grab that umbrella, buckle our seatbelt and get ready for a wet and bumpy ride ahead. Here are some tips for you to weather the storms.

Diversify
Dr Scholl’s, a leading brand in footcare products has diversified into shoewear. Diversification for established companies like Dr Scholl is often met with more success due to brand spill-over effect. For some, a diversification strategy arises out of opportunities, others arises out of need. While focusing on a particularly product or service will have a stronger impact on brand awareness, in this economic climate, this may be time for you to diversify.

If you are a producer with knowledge in camerawork and post-production, this may be time for you to diversify into these other areas. With lesser projects due to the economy, we may have to secure any jobs for us to get through this downturn.

Discounted Price and not Discounted Work
Securing any projects to get past the downturn may be the topmost thing on our mind, but at the same time, professionalism has to be on the top of our list. In the process of securing projects, there will be times when we will give discounts to our clients. By offering them discounts on the quoted costs, we must remember we are not giving them discounts on the quality of our service. The service provided must still reflect the quality of our work. Quote your clients your usual rate, and on top of them, let them know the percentage (or flat rate) of the discount that you are offering just for this project. In this way, they will know your true value. When the economy recovers, not only will they return to you due to your professionalism and quality work, you will also be in a better position to quote your original rate.

Clear Your Debts
As freelancers, we have certainly tasted days, weeks or even months when our next paycheck is uncertain. When the economy is bad, it is even more challenging to secure high-paying or long-duration jobs. Clear your debts, if you have any, now. It may be harder in the months ahead.

Branding Exercise
With lesser projects, you may have more free time. Take this as a chance for you to kickstart your own branding exercise. Some branding exercise may require little or no costs. Clean up your resume, edit new screeners, engage in online discussions, form new online groups. All these will help you to expand your own brand name and you may be able to reap the rewards once the sun shines again.

Opportunities
Keep your eyes open for opportunities. Economic downturn is an opportunity in disguise. Companies will downsize, merge or fold. People’s habits will change. Each economic downturn brings with it a string of change and effect. Keep your eyes open to them. In every problem is an opportunity waiting to be discovered

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