What’s the point in having a freelance business plan? Can’t I just fly by the seat of my pants and see how it goes? Well, yes to an extent. We can never predict every minute detail of our career and if we could, then all the spontaneity would be removed and therefore all the joy. However, by creating a freelance business plan, you can prepare for whatever comes your way while helping your business become more flexible and resilient. Much like a traditional business plan, a freelance business plan forces you to take an in-depth look at the viability of your business. It outlines strategies that you can reference to build your client base and grow your revenue. It’s a roadmap.

Here are the essential elements to include in a strong business plan

A Company Summary

The company summary also called an executive summary, should include an overview and the purpose of your business. The information in this summary provides an outline for the main points covered throughout the rest of your freelance business plan. Your company summary should focus on offering a short introduction to your brand, what you’ll achieve, and why you want to do it. This establishes the priorities of your business and sets the foundation for your business.

The Target Audience

After detailing your unique brand story, your next step is to identify the target market for the services you offer. If you’re unsure about who your target audience is, you can start by thinking about potential clients. Are they in a specific industry? As you think about these potential clients, create a list of their similar characteristics. This will allow you to develop a buyer persona for deeper insight into who they are, their problems, and how you can solve those problems.

What are you offering?

The answer is your skills but you need to outline how your skills are a service worth paying for.

Do you create content, or are you a freelance writer?

Are you a mobile developer, web developer, or programmer?

Are you in graphic design, or do you do product design?

In your freelance business plan, develop a brief description of each service you plan to offer clients. Try to concisely explain what you’ll do and outline the process you’ll use to execute that service.

It would be beneficial to your plan if you also talked about how you’ll offer your services to clients. Will you have packages? Would you only do work on a per-project basis? You can also include other details, such as if you’ll have rush fees or how many free revisions you’re willing to do.

Outline your Niche

This is how you stand out from the competition.

How will I be different?

What will make my freelance services stand out?

How can I provide more value than my competitors?

What are my competitors charging, and how is their pricing structured?

What unique value do I bring to my clients that my competitors can’t offer?

How to keep clients and grow your business

Long-term growth will usually depend on how well you can keep clients happy so that they’ll keep coming back for more projects. After all, clients tend to stick around to those who consistently provide good results. How often do you reach out to companies you’ve worked within the past? Satisfied clients can bring tremendous value to your business: a study on the ROI of customer experience found happy customers are at least 75% more likely to purchase again, as well as more likely to refer someone. To determine how you can keep clients happy, ask yourself questions such as:

– How often can I go the extra mile?

– What are the most effective ways to communicate with clients?

– Should I engage clients in a certain way?

– How well can I simplify things and make it easier for them?

– How can I reward those who are loyal? 

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