A good business plan is a strong foundation and an excellent road map for the growth of your freelance business.
As a freelancer, a business plan enables you to prepare for whatever obstacles come your way, making your business resilient and flexible. It provides a layout that you can refer to when building your clientele, which forms a steady revenue in the long term.
Freelancing provides freedom, and without a clear structure and well-thought business plan, all your hard work might go up in smoke.
Here are crucial steps to follow when writing a business plan for your freelance work:
Create Your Freelance Business Framework
Having a clear direction for your freelance work contributes to its success. You don’t want to set out without a clear framework.
Your services are probably top-notch, but it won’t make much difference if you are not sure where you’re taking your new business. When creating a business framework, you want to be able to answer questions like:
- What inspires you?
- What are your goals as a freelancer?
- How do your products and services impact others?
The information you provide in the business summary tells your story, outlines your goals, and gives you clear direction when you come across bumps along the way.
Services You Offer
Freelancers offer skills as services, but first, you need to understand the problems your clients face and use your skills to solve these problems. This insight will be a foundation of how you provide your skills as a service.
When preparing the list of the services and products you offer, have two things in mind:
- Your skills
- What customers need
You want to treat your skills like any product. Perfect your skills, and you’ll be able to scale up demand for what you have to offer.
Understand Your Target Market
Any business, whatever it is, has to get its target audience right. That’s where the market lies. The same still applies to freelance work, however small scale it may be. You know the services you’re offering, but to whom are you offering them?
Such questions allow you to figure out your audience and tailor your services to fit their needs.
For instance, if you’re a freelance marketer, you need to come up with an audience or client profile. This profile allows you to narrow down your niche market and find businesses that may need your assistance.
The gig economy is crawling with top talent in every niche. These are your competitors.
Remember, your competitors aren’t just those who sell similar services but also those who address the same problems that you do. It would help if you stood out to attract clients. Keep the following in mind when researching your competition:
- Services they provide
- How much they charge
- How are they marketing themselves
- Things you can do differently
Marketing and Acquiring Clients
You may know your audience and are ready to offer services that address their pain points. But you still need to convince your prospects and get them to hire you.
One strategy in marketing that helps bring in clients is pitching your services to them. Once you get clients, you need to know how to maintain them.
To retain clients, continue improving their experiences, listen to their problems, communicate and tailor solutions to every situation.
Set Clear Goals
When setting up a business, define the goals you need to achieve. Set small targets for your business in its initial stage and progress to larger ones once you complete the smaller milestones.
For instance, how many clients do you target to have at the end of the first week or month?
As a freelancer, you’re vulnerable in ways someone in the traditional workforce wouldn’t be. You do enjoy the freedom to work at your pace, from anywhere you want.
However, you’re left out of certain benefits that come with the conventional job settings, such as health insurance, financial planning, retirement fund, and legal advice.
Your freelance business should afford you these resources, which may mean joining certain unions or programs. As Gigly points out, the gig economy is growing fast, making these resources necessary for freelancers.
Your freelance business requires clear direction and goals, so a business plan comes in handy. A good business plan gets you off the ground fast, brings in clients, and sets you up for success.