Business Plans for Freelance Workers
Many freelance workers feel that because they do not have retail outlets, employees and warehouses full of products they do not require a business plan. Usually these are the same freelancers who flail around looking for new clients and then can't figure out why don't have enough money to pay their bills, have no professional support and no one in their industry has ever heard of them.
Freelancers can avoid these negative conclusions with a little bit of forethought. Business plans can help them set their goals, devise ways to meet their goals, track their professional growth and may even be needed when applying for loans or funding.
Freelance Business Plans: Setting GoalsOne of the primary functions of a freelance business plan is to allow the freelancer to focus on their goals for a set period of time. This may be six months, one year, three years or more. It may even be all of those increments in one document. But more than just a list of what a freelancer would like to accomplish, these goals should be written so that a freelance worker knows when they are accomplished.
Instead of general goals such as "take on more clients" a goal should be specific such as "take one new client each month for six months". This makes it easy for a freelancer to look back, know if (s)he has accomplished that goal and revise as necessary.
Freelance Business Plans: Meeting GoalsBut business plans are not just a list of goals, they should also include a road map for meeting the goals. For example, freelancers who want to take on new clients would then include a section on how to find new clients, such as by investing in reference books of new markets, answering online ads, marketing themselves in local publications and/or networking with others who might have tips. These road maps will, in the end, tell freelancers exactly how they will produce with their businesses including which tasks are most important for reaching their own goals.
Freelance Business Plans: Tracking Professional GrowthBusiness plans are brilliant for helping freelance workers track their professional growth. Not only are the blueprints for how a freelancer will grow or sustain a business, but they allow freelancers to look back and immediately spot which actions were helpful and which were not. Those that were not can be taken out or amended until a freelancer knows that every step (s)he takes is helping to meet his or her goals. Business plans that are revised at regular intervals can then tell the story of the freelancer's career and allow him or her to easily see how far (s)he has come.
Freelance Business Plans: Applying For Loans Or FundingBusiness plans can do more than just allow a freelancer to make a plan for his or her business, often some form of business plan is required if a freelancer applies for a loan or funding source. While each application will be different, being able to produce a document that lists out where the business is headed and how it proposes to get there often helps immeasurably in convincing others that they should help a freelancer get where (s)he wants to go.
Business plans for freelancers are not always formal, indexed documents but even an informal plan should help freelancers focus on their career and how best to grow or sustain it. Freelancers without current business plans should make it a priority to draw one up and stick to it.