Tag Archives: freelance planning

Your Freelance Business

Joe Wallace freelance social media.jpgby Joe Wallace

I don’t really look like the kind of person who plans on getting out of bed in the morning, let alone mapping out a business. But I’ve found that a bit of the old printed paper and activity projection over the coming month, six months, year, etc. is very useful. In the last two years, any goal I’ve committed to paper has more or less come to fruition.

The goals I didn’t bother to write down? Vapor.

Over at Freelance Folder, Amber Weinberg has a¬†provocative blog post called Why Freelancers Don’t Need a Business Plan. Like many such posts, the advice is pretty solid, just packaged in a controversial idea with an eyeball-yanking headline.

But if you read past that headline you find that she and I pretty much agree on everything–planning is important, real-world goals are key, and crunching the numbers is an effective way to see how attainable your goals really are.

A less interesting headline for her post would be “Don’t Waste Time Pretending to Plan Your Business Like a Fortune 500 Company”. An even more snore-inducing title would be, “Make Some Realistic Goals and Break Them Down To See How Attainable They Really Are”.

And there’s the rub.

Freelancers who set goals can operate more comfortably day to day, knowing they aren’t just spinning their wheels–they actually have a road map and the daily tasks are part of that journey. Freelancers who don’t may find themselves feeling as though they’re just drifting aimlessly from one gig to the next.

The psychological comfort of knowing you have realistic goals to work toward can’t be underestimated. As Amber Weinberg more or less says in her post, you DO NOT need a 20 page report on what you’ll be doing in the next 12 months. You just need to have some solid, attainable goals and move towards them. That can go a long way toward peace of mind in the freelance game.

Jennifer Mattern on Freelance Marketing

Jennifer Mattern has some excellent advice for freelancers in this recent post on freelance marketing. One great point she makes about holiday marketing is not to overlook sending Christmas¬† cards or other holiday-themed communications, even if you don’t personally celebrate that holiday. It’s easy to get tunnel vision about that sort of thing, and this advice is well-timed.

Another great bit of advice in this article; take stock of your accomplishments this year and start thinking ahead to next year. I’ve always started doing this round the end of the year, but earlier is definitely better when it comes to making plans for next year. What I would add to Jennifer’s advice is to start thinking ahead in terms of your budget, especially if you need to get new business cards and other promotional items.

Are you launching any new ventures in 2009? Will you start teaching writing classes or doing seminars? You’re going to need money for promotional materials and supplies. Do you need some extra tax write-offs for 2008? Get those supplies early and count it towards this year’s taxes where it’s legal to do so. A little extra thinking time never hurts. Great advice and food for thought all around in Jennifer’s article, Evaluation Time – Monthly Marketing Mix.