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As part of the Hurricane Sandy relief effort, freelancers are eligible for the Disaster Unemployment Assistance Program.
So what does this mean? Eligible freelancers may be compensated up to $405/week through New York State’s Department of Labor.
Here is the quick summary of who may be eligible:
You must show lost income from the storm 
You must live/work in the five boroughs or Nassau, Rockland, Suffolk, or Westchester County.
The only way to apply for this program is to call the NYS Department of Labor hotline at 888.209.8124. The deadline to apply is Monday, December 3rd 2012. The NYC Office of the Public Advocate, lead by Bill de Blasio, has created a helpful PDF resource – in this document you can find a summary of eligibility, required documentation, and other important information. (via Hurricane Sandy Disaster Assistance for Freelancers - Pages from Freelancers Union)

As part of the Hurricane Sandy relief effort, freelancers are eligible for the Disaster Unemployment Assistance Program.

So what does this mean? Eligible freelancers may be compensated up to $405/week through New York State’s Department of Labor.

Here is the quick summary of who may be eligible:

  • You must show lost income from the storm 
  • You must live/work in the five boroughs or Nassau, Rockland, Suffolk, or Westchester County.

The only way to apply for this program is to call the NYS Department of Labor hotline at 888.209.8124. The deadline to apply is Monday, December 3rd 2012. The NYC Office of the Public Advocate, lead by Bill de Blasio, has created a helpful PDF resource – in this document you can find a summary of eligibility, required documentation, and other important information. (via Hurricane Sandy Disaster Assistance for Freelancers - Pages from Freelancers Union)

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Freelancer? How About a Three-Month “Working-Vacation?”

luclatulippe:

It’s coming up on a year since Doug and I “wintered” in Buenos Aires (we spent three months there, from mid-January to mid-April), and if any of you freelancers are thinking of doing something like this, it’s a good time to share what we learned from it. 

To refresh your memory: because we’re both self-employed, my husband and I decided we would finally take advantage of this, and spend the worst part of our cold, wet winter somewhere warm and sunny. Besides warmth and sunshine, we had two more criteria: 1) it should be a place we’ve never been before and present some fun challenges, and 2) be gay-friendly. (That last one is pretty damn big, when you consider being gay in many places means imprisonment or even death. Kinda cuts down on options.) Thus, we ended up choosing Buenos Aires. 

If you’re thinking of doing the same, here’s a small list of things I learned which I’d like to pass on to you: 

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luclatulippe:

Is working from home better or worse than commuting to a crowded office? It all depends what aspect of it you’re looking at, but this episode of Freakonomics (one of my favourite podcasts) discusses a few interesting facts about something we freelancers have known for a long time. 

(via Freakonomics » There’s Cake in the Breakroom! A New Marketplace Podcast)

(via luclatulippe-deactivated2013102)

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luclatulippe:

Hey freelancers: have you been keeping track of your monthly expenses like I recommended 18 months ago? 

Well, because at heart I am The Illustrator Who Wanted To Be An Accountant™, and because my site stats claim this was a mighty popular post, here’s an update to our Monthly Revenue & Expense Worksheet as a PDF for you to download. (Also, here’s an Apple Numbers spreadsheet. If anyone can convert this to a prittay Excel version, that would be coooool!)

Here’s how we use it:

  1. Print out a new sheet every month.
  2. Use a sexy magnet (optional) to stick it on our fridge (or front door; somewhere where you’ll see it often each day). 
  3. Jot down every miserable Expense you make during that month. (Round up and drop the cents to keep it simple.)
  4. There’s also a teeny tiny box for Revenue, so jot down every job you get. (Or jot down every cheques you actually receive; whichever works best for you.)
  5. Jot down business expenses too, like HST/GST, software, hardware, paper for your printer, etc… 
  6. Add these up at the end of each month* and see what kind of hot mess your finances are in. FUN! (And if you’re like me, you’re going to want to double-check your calculations; our groceries were $960, not $850. FOR TWO PEOPLE. WTF?)

This is a rough worksheet rather than a typed-in-the-computer spreadsheet for tax purposes. It’s meant to encourage you to quickly jot things down so you can get a bird’s eye view of your “money in/money out” situation. It lets you see right away if you are in the red or in the black, and if you have any money left at the end of the year to put away and invest.

  • Where are you over-spending? Restaurants? Clothes? 
  • Are you not bringing in enough money? 
  • Did you bring in more than usual last month? Good job!
  • Do you have some left over each month you could be putting into tax-free savings account, or a retirement fund? (Are you even doing this?)

Yes, you can use an app (there are literally hundreds out there, and you may be able more easily to track them as they happen), but for me good ol’ paper-and-pencil works best. 

When you’re done, you can type all the totals into a proper spreadsheet and have a

I round up a little each time, because I know there are small items I forget here and there.

Freelancers, young and old: How do you keep track of your expenses? Paper or App? How accurate/disciplined are you about it? You run a business after all, so if you’re not doing this somehow or other, you’re only cheating yourself in the long run. Hop to it! :)

(via luclatulippe-deactivated2013102)

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Vancouver to convert two industrial buildings into 26,000 square feet of arts space | OpenFile

Really wonderful news for Vancouver artists this week: 

As part of a move to increase studio space in Vancouver, the City will be issuing a request for proposals for the use of 26,300 sq. ft. of new artists’ space at two city-owned industrial warehouses: 16,000 sq. ft. at 251 & 281 Industrial and 10,300 sq. ft. at 2625 & 2629 Kaslo. The leases will be for 3-5 years, with the aim to have tenants in place this winter. The buildings will then be broken up and rented to individual artists, meaning a 100-square-foot space will cost the artist between $70 and $150 per month.

The usual price for a 100 sq. ft. work space in the city is usually around $1000, more than 6 times what these will be offered at. There’s more: 

Meanwhile, the Vancouver Park Board will make six more field houses available to artists for studio space in: Elm ParkFalaise ParkHadden Park, Slocan Park, and Strathcona Park. The board is already accepting applications for those spaces.

That’s not all! 

…an additional 13,000 square feet of studio space will become available over the next few years at three recently approved developments, including 20 studios in a 10,000-square-foot space at 1265 Howe Street.

I can’t tell you how great it is to read this news, in a city that’s so expensive that artists have been leaving in droves. Nothing is ready to view yet, but I’ll be keeping an eye on this to see how it develops. I am really impressed with the city for doing this, and anxious to see what happens next. 

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luclatulippe:

This week I tweeted a question that’s been on my mind lately, as my husband and I have been drafting our wills recently (ghoulish, but necessary!):
Hey web designers, creepy thought: If you die, have you thought about who’ll take over your clients’ sites?
I am LOADS of fun at parties. 
And this doesn’t just apply to web designers, but to any freelancer with multiple regular clients, who has ongoing projects with them, yet has no staff who can take over during a crisis… or worse. DA DA DAAAAAHH!!
Anyhoo, because Twitter is the best place for asking questions aloud and getting great answers back (thanks Simon!), I was sent a link to Crisis Cover. For £5/month (CDN$8, or US$7) you can get the most basic service that covers 50 clients. Hey it’s cheaper than life insurance, hiring staff, and having a lawyer. Click the image to see the basics of how it works. 
I think of these things so you don’t have to. 
(via Crisis Cover - How would your clients cope if something happened to you?)

luclatulippe:

This week I tweeted a question that’s been on my mind lately, as my husband and I have been drafting our wills recently (ghoulish, but necessary!):

Hey web designers, creepy thought: If you die, have you thought about who’ll take over your clients’ sites?

I am LOADS of fun at parties. 

And this doesn’t just apply to web designers, but to any freelancer with multiple regular clients, who has ongoing projects with them, yet has no staff who can take over during a crisis… or worse. DA DA DAAAAAHH!!

Anyhoo, because Twitter is the best place for asking questions aloud and getting great answers back (thanks Simon!), I was sent a link to Crisis Cover. For £5/month (CDN$8, or US$7) you can get the most basic service that covers 50 clients. Hey it’s cheaper than life insurance, hiring staff, and having a lawyer. Click the image to see the basics of how it works. 

I think of these things so you don’t have to. 

(via Crisis Cover - How would your clients cope if something happened to you?)

(via luclatulippe-deactivated2013102)

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Jessica Hische - The Dark Art of Pricing

Jessica Hische on how she prices herself to clients, and why not to quote an hourly rate.

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Blinksale Moves To One-Plan Business Model

Are you a freelancer? Need a way to keep track of all your invoices and expenses and estimates? Read on:

Starting today, May 1st, we are making a big change here at Blinksale. The perennial “tiered” plans model—the one that offers Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum plans—is being put out to pasture. In its place, Blinksale is introducing a new model offering just one plan: Blinksale Unlimited. This plan is just $15 a month and offers unlimited everything: invoices, estimates, users, clients, support and more. No limits!

Blinksale was the first invoicing web app I ever used (in 2007). I really loved the service, especially because it allowed for multi-currency invoicing, a must for freelance illustrators! (I’ve since moved on to Harvest, only because at the time it was more full-featured and priced better.)

Since the new owners took over Blinksale a few years ago, they’ve really beefed up the features, and this bold move to a one-price-only model isn’t anything I’ve seen before. 

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luclatulippe:

The New Harvest Time Report – Completely Redesigned
Sweet Jiminy Cricket I love Harvest! Not only is it THE best invoicing, time-tracking, and expense-tracking app I’ve ever used (and I’ve tested MANY), but they are constantly improving the product, they listen to users, the app is gorgeous and smartly designed, and they’re truly committed to what they do. They recently redesigned the “Reports” tab and it’s marvelous. You should totally go sign up!

Agreed! I’ve used a number of invoicing web apps as well, and no one beats the elegance and price-to-feature ratio of Harvest. I’ve been using it for a few years now, and I keep track of all my invoices and incoming payments with it.
As a freelancer and a one-person business, Harvest lets me invoice unlimited clients for $12/month. The ability to manage unlimited clients is key for someone who does countless one-off jobs throughout the year.
People seem to love FreshBooks, but their cheapest plan is not only $20/month, it also limits the amount of clients you can manage to 25. What kind of small business limits itself to 25 clients? To get unlimited clients, I’d have to upgrade to their $30/month plan. That’s more than twice the price of Harvest.
So, I echo Luc — if you’re a freelancer struggling with keeping track of your invoicing, I strongly encourage you to sign up with Harvest.

luclatulippe:

The New Harvest Time Report – Completely Redesigned

Sweet Jiminy Cricket I love Harvest! Not only is it THE best invoicing, time-tracking, and expense-tracking app I’ve ever used (and I’ve tested MANY), but they are constantly improving the product, they listen to users, the app is gorgeous and smartly designed, and they’re truly committed to what they do. They recently redesigned the “Reports” tab and it’s marvelous. You should totally go sign up!

Agreed! I’ve used a number of invoicing web apps as well, and no one beats the elegance and price-to-feature ratio of Harvest. I’ve been using it for a few years now, and I keep track of all my invoices and incoming payments with it.

As a freelancer and a one-person business, Harvest lets me invoice unlimited clients for $12/month. The ability to manage unlimited clients is key for someone who does countless one-off jobs throughout the year.

People seem to love FreshBooks, but their cheapest plan is not only $20/month, it also limits the amount of clients you can manage to 25. What kind of small business limits itself to 25 clients? To get unlimited clients, I’d have to upgrade to their $30/month plan. That’s more than twice the price of Harvest.

So, I echo Luc — if you’re a freelancer struggling with keeping track of your invoicing, I strongly encourage you to sign up with Harvest.

(via luclatulippe-deactivated2013102)