It was 6 months before my quit date when I made the decision that I was going to try out freelancing. During this time, my husband told me that I needed to put a business plan together. I think he was a little bit freaked out and wanted me to have a realistic idea of what I was getting myself into. I don’t blame him, it was a great idea and I’m so happy that I put this together before I made the leap. We reviewed the plan together and were both on the same page. It makes a big difference when you have someone who is rooting for your success, yet also holding you accountable to produce and deliver.
I think having a business plan as a freelancer is important because it makes you think about every aspect of your business from the small details to the big picture. While having a plan is important, I also want to mention that the plan you initially write doesn’t have to be perfect. Things are going to change as your business grows and that’s a good thing!
It’s also important to note that you shouldn’t let having a great business plan hold you back from starting your business. There is no “right time” to get started, so do your best and get out there!
There are a few things to answer about your business that are critical to the first steps in making your plan:
- What will your business offer?
- What is your mission or motto?
- What are your main goals for the first 6 months-1 year?
- Do you have a website/portfolio/social media ready to go?
Here are a few other areas that your business plan should focus on if you’re looking at starting a freelance business:
Running a business is hard work. Your mind will be occupied, and your time will be eaten up. You don’t want to add money stress to that list.
- Set up a separate bank account for your freelance work
- Estimate your expenses
- Forecast your sales by month
- Set up a pricing structure for your services
- Estimate how much you want to pay yourself per month
- STAY OUT OF DEBT
Create a Schedule
You’ll be your own boss, so you can do what you want with your time. It’s critical to schedule your time so you stay focused. Self-employment is a 24/7 commitment- especially in the beginning!
- Where will you work?
- What days a week will you work
- What will your hours be?
Know your Market
Be specific about who you’re going to be selling to. This will be helpful information when you are creating marketing content and talking to your potential clients.
- What are examples of your perfect client?
- Set up a buyer persona- where do they work, shop, what are their hobbies, etc..
- How will you market your business?
- Research your competition
- Research networking opportunities in your community
Your plan should be unique to your business. It might not include everything that you see online in an article for “what should my business plan include.” (Yes, I’ve Googled that before.) Especially as a freelancer, you want to make it specific to you and what you want to accomplish.
My business plan is 14 pages long and is very detailed. I wrote down everything about my business and how it will function along with monthly goals for the first year for sales, project types, and networking. I wanted this document to act as a roadmap. Now that it’s been 1 year, I’ll be updating my plan to reflect changes and new goals I want to hit. Personally, my plan is a working document that will shift as time goes on.
I’m all about having a plan of action, but don’t get too caught up in the little details. Get out there and start making things happen! Do you have any tips for writing a successful business plan? comment below =)
“A goal without a plan is just a wish” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Thanks for Reading,