Freelance work is an attractive idea for many people, but when you’re working alone it takes a lot of hard work and commitment to be successful. If freelancing is your dream too and you want to be counted among the success stories, it’s important to put some careful thought and planning into it before you get started. You’ll need to hold onto those purse strings while keeping sight of your goals. That’s where your business plan comes in. Here are a few things for you to think about that you may want to address in your freelance business plan:
Who are your clients and where will you find them?
When you’re first starting out, it’s important to have a clear picture of who your clients are and how you are going to reach them. What kind of service do you provide, and who will benefit from your offering? In your business plan, you can write about this under your Target Market section, and it will also help you to begin shaping your marketing plan and finding your place in the market.
Who are your competitors?
Another part of finding your place in the market is figuring out who your competitors are, what services they are providing, who they are providing them to, and how much they are charging. Are your competitors local to you, or online? How can you differentiate yourself from them, particularly if you are operating in a saturated market? You competitor analysis will play an important part in your business plan and your SWOT analysis, helping you to identify potential threats.
What are your costs?
There are so many things to factor into your costs when you’re a freelancer. But the first question you should ask is “How much money do I need to make?” How much profit will you need to make in order to meet your living costs, and how much profit would be ideal for you? Once you have a clear objective in mind, you can start adding up your costs, and factor those into your finance planning.
For example, you should consider where you will be working from, and what equipment you will need to get started. Many freelancers work from home, and if this applies to you, you may be able to claim back a proportion of your expenses for things like heating, council tax and internet usage. Other costs may include equipment, mileage, advertising, and inventory. Make sure you don’t leave anything out of the finance section of your business plan, so that every cost is accounted for.
How much will you charge?
Now that you know how much money you want to make and how high your costs will be, you can use this to calculate how much you will charge clients for your services. When you’re making these calculations, you should also consider the average rates of your competitors, and once you have a rate in mind, consider how much work you will need to do at this rate in order to meet your revenue goals. How many hours do you want to work, and are your rates in line with this? Will your charges be different at different times, such as during evenings and weekends? Reasonable rates laid out next to realistic costs will make your business plan more credible, both for you as you work from your plan in the future, and for any potential lenders or investors.
If you would like some help with writing a freelance business plan, get in touch. At cbm we are experts in business plan writing – call 01604 420 420 or use the contact form on the right to find out more.