No matter how small, your business should receive the same attention and treatment a large business would. The main objective of starting any business is usually to grow effectively and eventually step into a wider (and often more demanding) market. Whether you run a small business and have employees or you do it on the side in your basement, a plan is a must if you want to grow and get more business.
Being a business student myself, I have learned a few things through textbooks and some while I ran my own business. Here are some things that I think will help create an effective plan that will guide you through the success of your freelancing business:
Know Your Market – What’s Your USP?
The first thing to do is find out if there is demand for the services or products you offer. What is it that sets it apart from other similar services? Why should I get service from you and not from the guy next door (who’s offering the same thing)? What’s your USP (unique selling point)?
Make sure that your plan is crystal clear. The marketing plan is for you to analyze and build your business upon in terms of exposing your service. Build an effective strategy to target your clients. Keep a chart of your current clients and make a list of prospective clients as well. Having a clear picture of when and who will serve as a roadmap for you to garner future business from current clients and get new business from the prospective clients.
Ahh, The Goals!
Set attainable goals and write them down. Where do you want to be after a year? Your goals are the building blocks of your business and the foundation as this is what the whole plan lays on. Whether you are starting from your basement or have a reputed firm don’t ever stop brainstorming.
Manage Your Money Well
Set a budget. As we know, money pulls in money. To be an effective marketer you need to analyze how to get the bang for your buck. Build a strategy so you pay less to market yourself and get more out of it. There is always a way, we just need to look for it. Put ideas into action.
If it is not of absolute importance, chances are you don’t need it. Spend money on things that will get you more in return.
Set deadlines for each of your goals. Having multiple goals only for the sake of having them is not a good idea. “I will get this and this and this done“… great, but the question is “when”. So set a timeline on when you plan to achieve your goals or seal the deal.
People want to pay either for the services you provide or because they put their trust in you (and it’s usually both), you do need to give what you initially stated you would. Never promise something you cannot deliver.
Know Your Limits – Outsource
Do not try and take on too much. If there are things that are keeping you from getting something done on time, do not hesitate to hire other freelancers, outsource what you cannot do, or what you don’t enjoy doing. Have you ever considered getting a VA (virtual assistant)? You know your business is growing when you need to hire people. It’s a good thing!
Is The Customer Always Right?
And finally, get out of the age old saying “the customer is always right!” You can disagree with me but the customer isn’t always right, there are blog posts all over the net on this topic. Stand your ground when you know the client/customer is wrong. If you fulfilled your part of the deal, the client needs to fulfill his or her part as well. Communication is a 2-way street, but a contract is always a good thing to have.
Hope you enjoyed these simple tips on giving your freelancing career a little boost. I’ve been blogging for some time and have been contemplating a freelance career for a while now (I’m still ‘on the side’). I would appreciate if you could share some tips with me and help me out on how I can start and boost my freelancing career.
Hope you enjoyed this post. Share your thoughts and add your own tips and tricks for all of us to enjoy and apply.
Until next time,
About the author: If you like what Ritu writes, check out Work N Play, a blog about blogging, technology and a lot of other things. ;)