What about your New Year’s resolutions, one already put into practice? We at Rompslomp do! We want to make online accounting a lot more fun and clearer for all freelancers in the Netherlands. We therefore know better than anyone that you have to keep up with your field and continue to invest in yourself. You are responsible for that yourself. Moreover: study costs are deductible! That is why in this blog five to do’s for investing in professional knowledge and personal development.
1. Financing study costs
If you really want to follow a paid training, you will have to be able to finance it. A few tips:
Study costs deductible
If you invest in training, you can deduct that investment from your income tax. In short, if you incur business costs as a self-employed person for your company, these costs are (partly) deductible. This also applies if you follow a course or study to better practice your profession. For example, the purchase of professional literature is 100% deductible and seminars, conferences or study trips fall under representation costs that you can deduct for 80%. But unfortunately… can you perform any seminar, course or interesting event? No, you may only deduct these costs if you can clearly demonstrate that you incurred them for your company. Would you like to know more about business deductibility of costs for seminars, study trips or professional literature?
Lifelong learning credit
The government encourages adult education. One of the schemes that you can use is the lifelong learning credit. Anyone up to 55 years old who is not entitled to student finance can borrow money to pay tuition fees with the lifelong learning credit.
Visit the business counter in your municipality. Sometimes municipalities and provinces provide subsidies to entrepreneurs for training.
2. Free knowledge is everywhere
Knowledge galore. Why an expensive study if you can also brush up on your knowledge through, for example, a free webinar? But watch out! Take a good look at what suits you, what are you really looking for? Make choices and be critical. Be selective and look closely at the sender. Follow the right people or companies in your industry. And… don’t try to fit in everywhere on social, then you’ll have a full-time job. A small list of interesting free knowledge:
But be sure to check your trade association, trade journals with interesting websites and the like. They also regularly disseminate professional knowledge for free.
3. Use your network and share your knowledge too
Make use of your network, there is also knowledge there. Investing in a physical network is possible, but not necessary. In any case, it is important to also share your knowledge online, but it can also be useful to join a local network or focused on your industry. Post a relevant article, write a blog or give a lecture or contribute to a workshop.
Events, presentations or a conference are also great moments to meet fellow freelancers or colleagues. Here too you will have to make the right choice. Ask other freelancers where they go and which events they find interesting.
4. Follow a course, training, workshop
Can’t find anything online that suits you? There are countless providers of courses, training courses and workshops. Additionally, in some fields, refresher courses are required to maintain your certification. Usually you learn a lot in a short time during, for example, a workshop. An additional advantage: it also contributes to increasing your network. A course, training or workshop usually comes with a price. But costs for additional training are in most cases deductible for self-employed persons! Read above how this works exactly.
5. Make time
With a full agenda with enough assignments, it is difficult to invest in (professional) knowledge. Moreover, you are not billable for all those hours. It seems that updating knowledge only costs money. But if it’s good, it will get you the right job. Certainly in the future. Always make time for training, education and development. If you don’t do this, the assignments will dry up automatically. For example, set aside at least one hour in your agenda every week. Read professional literature, determine which training you want to follow, or find out where in your network there is knowledge and where you can also contribute.