The report findings are presented in two parts: "Part 1: Just the Facts, Ma'am" provides overall results for each of the survey questions asked, and "Part 2: Who's Feeling the Pinch?" reveals what happened when we cross-referenced how you felt about the credit crunch against your industry, how long you'd been in business, and other factors.
We conducted our survey between 20th April and 2nd June 2009, encouraging existing users of FreeAgent and other freelancers and freelance communities to participate. In total 535 people responded.
By virtue of the way we publicised the survey, the majority of respondents lived the UK (55%) or the Netherlands (31%) with the remainder mainly coming from the USA, Belgium, Germany, Spain and India. A total of 25 countries were represented in the results
Most respondents categorized themselves as Freelancers (60%) with the other solo-working descriptions of Consultant (13%) and Contractor (11%) making solo-workers 84% of the total. Small Businesses constituted 15% of the remainder.
IT and Business Consulting (34%), Web design and development (27%) and Programming and Software Development dominated, with a minority of responses from Journalism, Graphic Design and Media. The 'Other' category included industries ranging from Recruitment to Photography.
Over half of you had been in business for no more than 3 years, with 18% from 3-5 years 14% 5-10 years and 12% old-timers with more than 10 years under their belts.
You were fairly evenly split across the client organisation range, with 15-20% working with clients in each of the bands we mentioned.
Perhaps reflecting the predominantly European response to the survey, direct electronic bank transfers were most common.
Perhaps surprisingly, 87% of you had clients that didn't normally require chasing for payment.
About half of you collect money up front before starting work.
More than half of respondents would not normally charge any extra if payment was made late.
43% of you are either really conscientious about the books or actually enjoy doing them! Only 17% try to pretend they're not there.
About 40% of you do not use software to help with managing your business accounts, preferring to leave it to your accountant, or fate.
You'll tend to stick with the system you know, with fewer than 10% planning to make any change at all.
Nearly three-quarters of respondents chose their accounting system based on their own research (on the internet or elsewhere) rather than a recommendation.
Reassuringly for over two thirds of you business levels have not changed, have slowed only a little, or have even increased.
Responses slightly pessimistically leaned towards â€˜Down from last year' (38%) compared to â€˜About the same' (31%) or â€˜Up from last year' (26%).
Responses were evenly distributed between those were planning to grit your teeth and get on with it (49%) compared to those of you were neutral or actually optimistic (48%). Only 5% were very pessimistic.
On to Part 2: Who's Feeling the Pinch? »
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