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Drought-Proof Your Farming Business – Become A Freelancer For A Consistent Income To Help Survive Tough Times

Australia is in the grip of the worst drought in more than 20 years, affecting much of the country and farmers. In some areas, it is the worst drought in living memory. Left in dire straits, farmers are living on the edge. 

No money or feed for stock means no money to pay the bank mortgage or to feed their families. All this causes insurmountable pressure and only limited emergency government help for farming families through these tough times. 

No one knows when the drought will break and when it does, it takes immense resilience to bounce back. 

Both Federal and State governments are giving the best support they can to drought-affected farmers and rural communities impacted. 

However, building family and farm budget resilience needs looking outside the traditional channels in the longer term. The digital economy presents ever-expanding opportunities that have not existed in the past. 

Drought-proof your farming business – become a freelancer for a consistent income to help survive tough times

There has to be a way another answer for farmers to subsidize their finances to survive. And, there is – freelancing in the digital economy. Everyone has transferable skills they can use to bring in extra money to support their farm and families. 

It is a matter of knowing what you have to offer, how to market them and where. There may even be an industry you would like to get into and there is cost-effective training online that can help you get there. 

Freelancing is Revolutionizing the Way We Work

According to a CX global report, 4.1 million Australians were freelancing in 2015 and growing in 2018. This is the fastest growing area of employment in the country. It gives you work-life balance and control of your finances. There is no shortage of work when you can work with people from across the world and put in the time. 

Why Companies Outsource Work

Why companies outsource work

Companies outsource work for many reasons. More and more companies are doing this because of the benefits. It is a sustainable way to get work done without paying for permanent full or part-time staff. 

With times tough for businesses, outsourcing means there are no ongoing costs. They do not have to pay holiday pay, public holiday loading, training costs or down times with staff sitting around with nothing to do.

It is more sustainable for companies to access the workers they need when they need them for a fixed cost. Using freelance staff allows for:

  • better productivity, 
  • flexibility, 
  • access to the best talent available when they need it, 
  • cost-effective labor on short notice, 
  • access to new opportunities with worldwide exposure, 
  • the ability to access the latest technologies without the upfront costs.

In a tough economy and with the effects of the drought it is tougher than ever to earn a stable income. It is time to take control and take advantage of the outsourcing trend. 

Getting Started – Evaluate The Skills To Use As a Freelancer

You may think you have nothing to offer or not know where to start. But there is plenty of guidance to help you begin your freelancing journey from home. This eBook is specially designed step by step guide to starting out as a freelancer: 

All farmers have marketable skills. Consider how many of the following you use in the course of a day:

  • resilience to changing markets, 
  • agricultural subject matter experts, 
  • analytical and problem-solving, 
  • the ability to react in a proactive way to events, 
  • mental agility to quickly grasp the problem and come up with unique solutions, 
  • balanced learning both on the job and in advancing personal knowledge. 
Getting started – evaluate the skills to use as a freelancer

The first thing you need to do is write a list of your current skills. Then evaluate how to use them to make money freelancing online. Here are a few jobs in demand most farming families can use their skills to market online: 

  • Book keeping. Farms are a business. The efficient running of the farm’s finances requires good bookkeeping. Bookkeepers are in high demand working from remote locations. 
  • Office management. It takes an organized, efficient person to keep up with the paperwork a farm generates. Offer your skills online by tapping into a whole new world of virtual assistants. 
  • Writers and editors. When you have a talent for the English language and can string words together in a creative way to consider using your skills to write original work for clients or edit others’ writing online. Writers and editors are in high demand. 
  • Information technology. The world is currently undergoing the third industrial revolution with the fast evolution of technology. When you have a talent for or an interest in IT, you can find your skills in high demand. 
  • Graphic design. Turn a creative talent into original graphics for online clients. This is a sought-after skill. Many businesses want original graphics for their websites and marketing material. 
  • Marketing. All farmers have marketing skills of some kind. Turn this into a marketable skill online. With the explosion of technology, there is a huge demand for marketing which you can do from a remote location. 

These are just a few of the skills in demand online. As a farmer, you are a subject matter expert in your field. You can even write a book or magazine articles using your specialist knowledge. Even writing about the effects of the drought. When planning to write a book there are free tools available to help you before you even start. The best place to begin is to do your research. 

Cost-Effective Online Training

Cost-effective online training

When you lack confidence in your current skills or want to learn new skills, access cost-effective training to help you get started. There are unlimited courses online that will polish your skills.

One of the fastest growing online areas is technology according to Upwork. This area is vast and if you have an interest in it there are many courses available to get you started in your online business. There are about 5,000 skills that are listed on Upwork. The eBook advertised above walks you through a process to locate the right skill for you.

Your training choices matter and training online gives you access to the course of your choice any time of the day. This leaves you free to meet other commitments on the farm.

Udemy is one of the best places to find courses to help you brush up on your skills or to upskill. There are thousands of courses run by industry professionals. These cost little money and help to move your freelancing business forward.

This drought may be more severe than all others in living memory in some areas of Australia, but it will end. The time to start to build resilience into your budget is now, the first step is by looking at outside sources of income to help your farm budget.

Investigate freelancing – it can help you take control of your life and finances. It is a multi-billion dollar industry in Australia.

If you have any doubts about this change to the new economy and the future of work this article by Michael Bailey entitled The gig economy is growing whether you like it or not which appeared in the Australian Financial Review and can be read here

This is an international trend that is unstoppable and Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director of The International Monetary Fund has been conducting seminars on The New Economy and The Future of Work which you can watch here

The IMF’s invitation to join the conversation is there. Accept it because it is about your future and helping you build resilience in your budget. 

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