When you start on a journey, say a road trip that you have not taken before, you always take out a navigation app to make sure you do not deviate on the way in the wrong direction. Similarly, a business plan acts as a map that helps you reach your final destination.
While a business plan might sound a bit mundane for a freelancer, it forms the cornerstone and bedrock of a freelance practice and has multiple benefits for the freelancer. It is because, due to the nature of the work that freelancing entails, it is nothing but inevitable that such freelancers seek a sense of coherence and structure. Sometimes, having a business plan is a necessity. For example, if your freelance business wants to borrow a sum of money from an investor, you need to show that your business plan is sound and commercially viable.
A freelance business plan gives you a blueprint for your business goals to be carried out in a specific time (usually in the next three to five years). Financial projections and other financial metrics are also a part of the freelance business plan. The business plan is not only goal-oriented but also includes a detailed approach explaining how you will meet the outlined goals.
It is practical to have a business plan.
You might ask yourself, "How to build a freelance business?" While the pointers are not exhaustive, some aspects you must include in your business plans are as follows:
1. Executive Summary and Purpose of the Freelance Business: This aspect explains why you must start a freelance business. Synonymously called the "company summary," it should provide the overview and purpose. It is the first step to introducing your brand to the client. Point out the business uniqueness and distinguishing factors of your business, especially compared to the competitors. For example, as a freelance journalist, you must explain your reasons for choosing freelance journalism, the areas you are extensively experienced in and contribute to as a freelancer, etc.
2. Define your target audience: After explaining your unique brand story, identify the target audience. To determine that, you can think of a specific industry you want to cater to, a category of clients you wish to rope in, among others. It will help you develop a deeper insight into the needs and demands of your target audience.
3. Services that you offer: As a freelancer, you must strive to understand issues and position your skills in a way that can help a prospective client. This section outlines what services you offer, what kind of content you create, what specific niche areas you can offer your services, particularly in, etc.
4. Competitor Differentiation Plan: In this section of your freelance business model, you should identify your competitors and how you differentiate from them, and even better, what makes your output stand out. You can also mention your pricing strategy, unique values, etc.
5. Marketing strategies: We can consider marketing strategies to scale up your business. It also details how you plan to track your marketing success and what type of strategy works best for your business. We scale these business ideas as a freelancer to help in making sure your freelance business is up and performing to its full potential.
6. Financial plan and expenses: Every business should define an initial revenue target. After determining your target amount and client volume, you should also set milestones with timelines. For example, as a social media influencer, you need to consider how you can gain more followers. You can do this by using advertising. So a business needs a budget to cover its expenses.
In the absence of a business plan, Taking it as it comes, might be one of the biggest mistakes you make. As explained, you can use this plan not only to leverage your business but also to hold yourself accountable & manage your business more effectively. Thus, every business, especially a freelance business, needs an engaging business plan that communicates the intention of the freelance business effectively while also making the freelancer revisit the initial inspiration and ethos.
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