There are a lot of great things about running your own business. You get to design your working life, be your own boss and work on the things that interest you. But sadly, there are some downsides, and that includes what happens when you’re ill or are unable to work. Dealing with a lack of pay or letting your clients down can be one of the toughest parts of working for yourself, but if you have a plan in place, there should be no reason why you can’t take it in your stride.
Learn about some of the ways you can keep on top of your business when you’re unwell to protect against one of the biggest challenges of working for yourself.
Build sick pay into your finances
When you work for yourself, you become responsible for your finances. While this can mean you receive more money for your work than you would working for a company, it also means you have to manage your taxes, national insurance and other things yourself. With no automatic sick pay in place, it’s up to you to make sure there’s a way to cover yourself should illness or injury prevent you from working. Building sick pay into your finances can help you protect yourself should you need it, helping you manage your finances or business costs until you’re back on your feet.
Maintain good communication with clients
Effective communication is an essential part of maintaining strong relationships with your clients. Letting them know when you’re unwell or need time off is important to help manage expectations and maintain levels of transparency. Let your clients know as soon as possible if you need to take some unplanned time off, and there are some amazing sick-day email templates you can use to help draft this. Keep them updated on your condition and when you return, communicate your plan for catching up to help your clients understand when they can expect to receive goods or services.
Get insurance in place
Having various types of insurance in place can support you should you need it. Income protection or critical illness insurance are some of the plans that can provide you with financial support if you find yourself unable to work. You may never need these policies, but it’s better to protect yourself than to be caught short.
You may also want to look at other forms of protection to provide financial help if you ever need it. If you’re unable to work because of an accident that wasn’t your fault, a personal injury lawyer could help you make a compensation claim that can cover your loss of earnings, giving you some breathing space to recover. There are various forms of support out there, so make sure you know what help is available should you need it.
Adapt some of your working practices
An illness or injury may mean you need to change the way you work to help you keep on top of things. Setting up a home office can help you work from home if you’re unable to travel or go to your usual work location, and gives you the chance to work when you’re feeling up to it. Adjusting your hours can also help you work around your energy levels, allowing you to carry on with some of your usual tasks. Remember, if you need a complete break from work – take it. It’s important to put yourself and your health first.
Coping with illness is one of the most difficult things about working for yourself, but thinking about it in advance can help make things easier. Be honest and fair to yourself about what you can do while you’re not at your best, and be sure to give yourself plenty of time to rest and recover.