The perks that come with freelancing are undeniable – flexible hours, being your own boss, choosing your own clients, and developing your career at your own pace. But, being a freelancer can also come with its fair share of challenges. You have to market your own services, manage client expectations, stay on top of bookkeeping, and file taxes as a self-employed professional. As a freelance fitness trainer, what can you do to make sure you don’t drop the ball on being financially healthy?
- Get organized
Being a freelance professional can be a bit of a juggling act. If you don’t lay down an organized foundation for how you’re doing business, things can get messy, fast. Start with your very first fitness client. Collect important information from them – like name, email, phone number, date of birth – and catalogue the data in a safe and secure place online. Using online tools to keep things accessible and standardized can be very helpful.
- Log important business records
It’s absolutely critical to keep records of your freelance business so you understand exactly how cash is flowing in and out. It will also help tremendously in the case of an audit or if you ever apply for a loan. Document the hours you’ve spent working with each client or completing specific projects for each client – like putting together meal plans or going over baseline body metrics and health scores. Make sure you communicate the cost per hour or per job with each client and record it accordingly. Most importantly, be sure you’re tracking:
- all of your business expenses – hold onto receipts for them, even for purchases that are less than $75.
- all payments you make, including bank transfers and other forms of digital payments
- all payments you receive from your clients
- Know what you can deduct from expenses
As a freelance fitness trainer, there are several expense that can be tax deductible. If you have a training area set up in your home or garage, you can write off a portion of your rent. Other deductible expenses include exercise equipment, health and wellness certification or education costs, certain travel expenses (like traveling to fitness expos, conventions, or seminars). Check with an accountant or bookkeeper to see what other expenses can be offset against taxes.
- Keep your tax bill in mind
On the flip side of being able to write off certain expenses, freelancers must account for the taxes that are not automatically deducted from paychecks as they normally would be when employed by a company. This means that you need to plan ahead for taxes you may owe to the IRS. Be sure you understand which tax bracket you fall into, and what percentage of taxes you should expect to pay from your total income.
Understanding the value of bookkeeping as a freelancer
Basic bookkeeping is so essential when you’re a freelance professional. You’ll be able to stay on top of any outstanding invoices and make sense of cashflow much easier. Working with a bookkeeper who’s an expert in the health and wellness industry can reveal even deeper insights into how you can grow your freelance business.
See how BKE can help. Chat with one of our friendly industry experts today: call us at 844-629-8797 or click below to request your free consultation.