The gig economy as the economist might refer to it, has been a steadily growing segment of the Canadian workforce in recent years. In today’s world most people would rather be self-employed and have control over their income rather than rely on one company or corporation.
One of the benefits of being self-employed is the freedom of choosing your hours, your policies, and your company’s purpose. However, if you are not as disciplined as perhaps you would like to be and don’t have a plan, you may be in danger of having a lower income or even falling into debt.
Since we are getting close to the end of 2019, below are four things you should consider if you are self employed:
Make a plan
2020 is approaching fast and it might be a good idea to sit down and take a look at the past year and how your business performed. Is there anything you can change to increase your output or decrease your expenses? Set up goals for 2020 that are attainable and realistic. The more specific the goals are, the easier it would be to keep track of them and see if you are hitting your goals. The goals also must be measurable and slightly challenging. Most business owners find that having a written business plan makes their workload easier to handle.
Review income and expenses for 2019
Even though 2019 tax owing is due on April 30th, the 2019 calendar year stops at 11:59pm December 31st. Therefore, it might be a good idea to go over your expenses now to see if there if a purchase is better to be made before the year ends and can be deducted as a business expense. Electronics such as computers are great examples since they depreciate quickly and are likely to be replaced with a new model each year. The other part of this is to look at your income to see if any increases need to be made to your contribution of RRSP, or maybe this year you should incorporate, or take other tax planning actions.
Contact your existing clients
If you have a type of business where it is more difficult to acquire new clients or you receive ongoing business from your existing customers, the holidays are a good time to remind them that you value and appreciate their business. A phone call to say happy holidays or a simple greeting card will go a long way.
For most professions, there are minimum education requirements for each year. The number of hours vary between jobs, for instance a lawyer requires 12 CPD annually, but a pharmacist needs 8 CE credits, and a life insurance advisor needs 15 hours a year, while a dentist needs 15. These educational requirements are due either on the day that you renew your license or the date that your certification renews. Whatever the case may be for you, it is a good idea to know where you are standing before January 1st. How many of your educational requirements have you done and how many more do you have to do.
If you have any questions or if you are trying to put a business plan together, I’ll be happy to help. Give me a call at 6476069794 or email at email@example.com.
Amir Karami, CFP