7 Steps To Write an Effective Freelance Business Plan [Download Free Template]

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“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

Freelancing indeed gives you enough freedom, but without a well-structured business plan, you might end up working hard without a vision in mind.

Well, sometimes you need smart work instead of hard work to reach your goals the quickest.

So, plan out your freelancing business and take it to new heights.

Wondering how?

We have come up with an easy 7 step guide on how to write a freelance business plan for you.

So, let’s start planning now!

7 Steps to Write a Freelance Business Plan

When you want to start a freelancing business, know that you’d have to run a sole proprietorship. Therefore, creating a successful freelancing business with a steady stream of cash flow and profit needs planning and organizing.

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Whether your business is in construction, landscaping, consulting, photography, auto repair, or the medical field, invoicing takes way too long. That’s why we’re here. InvoiceOwl makes your invoicing faster and simpler so you can get paid promptly and without the hassle.

So, if you want to work with ideal clients, here is how you should plan your freelance business.

  1. Write Down Company Summary and Purpose

    Do you know why brands like Apple, Amazon, and Google had such success? One of the most contributing factors to brand success is a clear purpose. Any business can be lost in the journey from a startup to being a brand if they don’t have a clear idea of who they are and where they want to be.

    Every business has its own story. And this is the section where you would want to tell your business story. It helps in setting up the business objectives and the brand image.

    For example, if you are a freelance writer, you should answer questions like:

    • What inspired you to be a writer?
    • Why did you pick writing as your profession?
    • What do you want to achieve as a writer?
    • How do your services make a difference?

    This executive summary will always guide you in choosing the approach to the problem.

  2. Define Your Target Audience

    The previous step helps you understand your brand and this step will help you know your buyers. Your freelance services don’t need to serve all. For example, if you are an iOS app developer, you may exclude Android users from your target market.

    To know your audience, create a buyer persona for your services, and include the groups based on criteria like:

    • geographical location;
    • line of business; &
    • age.

    Knowing your target market helps you run more effective marketing campaigns. Moreover, it helps you enhance your services, which leads us to the next step.

  3. List Out Your Services

    A freelance wedding planner might not help you find a partner. Similarly, you may or may not provide all the niche-related services. However, one thing is for sure, you should list out all the services that you provide.

    Deciding what services you should provide majorly depends on two factors, which are:

    • What is your skillset
    • What customers want

    Being a freelancer, you should know your skillset well. Other than that, if you know your target audience, you would know the problems they face. Therefore, describe your services and how they solve the customer’s problems.

    In doing so, you would find a few services that the majority of your customers expect but, you are not well skilled in. This points out the area for improvement. And if you want to grow your business, you should train yourself to learn that skill and deliver the service as well.

  4. Analyze Your Niche Competitors

    Once you have decided on the services, analyze your niche competitors. Analyzing your competitors is extremely necessary to stay in the business. We live in a highly competitive era for businesses and hence a well-written business plan always includes the competitors’ analysis.

    First of all, let’s make one thing clear.

    Your competitors are not those who sell similar products/services. But, the ones who address the same problems.

    You can make your brand unique by researching your competitors. While looking at your competitors, make sure you keep the following things in mind.

    • Set of services they provide
    • Fee structure
    • Marketing strategies

    Once you have studied your competitors, you need to think about the things that help you create a unique brand. Such as:

    • What makes you a different brand?
    • How differently do you solve the problem?
    • How is your service more valuable than others?
  5. Marketing and Client Acquisition

    Bringing clients on board hugely depends on how you go about marketing strategy. And marketing can only be done perfectly if you have done the market research right. First, you need to understand your targeted audience and their problems to market your brand effectively.

    So, one of the most effective ways of marketing is to pitch your services as the solution for the problem. This way you can acquire more clients.

    Now, getting new clients is one thing and retaining them is another. Therefore, you must improve the experience to boost client loyalty. The chances of getting hired again by the same client increase exponentially if the client was satisfied with the first experience. Not only that, there are high chances that a satisfied client recommends your services to his/her peers.

    So, if you want to ensure long-term business success, keep your clients happy. And here are the quick ways to ensure that.

    • Try to go the extra mile
    • Maintain clear communication with clients
    • Offer clients early bird discounts
    • Create a reward system for loyal clients

    Another great option to market your brand is by being active on social media.

  6. Goals, Targets, and Timelines

    “You can’t hit the target you can’t see, and you cannot see a target you do not have.” – Zig Ziglar

    If you want to reach a goal, you need first to define it. Especially a business in its initial stage must have a milestone to reach. This represents your brand and dictates the entire business planning.

    Now, we all want to share the podium with Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos right away, but remember that Rome wasn’t built in one day.

    Set practical marketing goals that your freelancing business can achieve with all the given resources. Break the end goal into small targets and bind them with a defined timeline. For example:

    • Pitching project proposals to ‘X number of potential clients daily
    • Getting ‘X number of clients in the first month
    • Learning a new skill in three weeks to provide better services
  7. Financial Plan

    Financial planning is the core of business planning. Without planning your revenue model, how much money is enough money for you to sustain, how many clients would you need to make a profit, how you would raise money from investors.

    Financial planning does not only include the income but expenses as well. Of course, generating an income is good, but what you spend money on should be planned.

    The financial business plan needs detailed accounting for accurate financial projections. This is why you need to track every expense and income. It helps you set a realistic financial business plan for your actual business.

    If you want to automate the accounting and invoicing tasks, having appropriate accounting software is a great investment. This will help you with precise accounting without any fat-finger errors.

Download Freelance Business Plan Template

To work efficiently and in the right direction, you need to have a business plan.

Now, most freelancers think this is too much work and would take a long time to write a business plan independently. Thus, we have designed a freelance business plan template that you can download, edit and make yours.

Unlike a traditional business plan, it will help you summarize the entire plan in just a single page.

It has all the criteria required to make a business plan that works. Moreover, it is available in PDF file format. So, what are you waiting for? Just download the freelance business plan template for free and never go off the track.

Benefits of Freelance Business Plan

A perfect freelance business plan can take your freelance business to new heights. Writing a business plan can help a new business to acquire the first client. It also helps already established businesses to excel and be on top of all the competitors.

So, if you want to know how a perfect business plan can do such wonders, let’s discuss a few benefits of writing a freelance business plan.

  • A Clear Line of Sight

    A freelancer business plan sets a clear line of sight for your target. It helps you put the end goal at the core and work towards it. Once you have defined your business goals, you won’t run around aimlessly and pick only the businesses in line with your target. This provides you with valid reasons to say no to irrelevant endeavors.

  • Priorities

    The freelance business plan forces the business to set priorities and act on them. Without a structured business plan, a freelancer might do everything and get nothing done. To avoid such a situation, you need to have the vision and mission statement embossed.

    For example, it helps you quickly decide between pitching your services to prospective clients or focusing more on the old clients and boosting client retention.

  • Right Marketing Strategy For Your Business

    Marketing and sales strategy can only work when you have the right business plan. Business plans let your business make data-driven sales strategies and meet the sales goals in the desired timeline.

  • Wise Financial Decisions

    If you want to own success as a freelancer, a business plan lets you make better decisions. In addition, the business plan reminds you of your spending limits and stops you from spending unnecessarily.

    It lets you decide the rates for your services and the right fee structure that works for you and your clients.

Now that we have discussed how to write a freelancer business plan in-depth, you must be eager to go make it right away. However, before jumping to it, let’s read some frequently asked questions so that you never have to stop once you have begun.

Frequently Asked Questions
  1. How do I start my own freelance business?

    To start a freelance business of your demands a skillset. Other than that, here are the quick steps you would have to follow.

    • Know Your Goals
    • Look for a Profitable Niche
    • Identify Your Target Audience
    • Set Strategic Rates for Your Services
    • Put up the Best-Quality Portfolio
    • Be Picky while Choosing the First Client
    • Learn to Market Yourself Strategically

  2. Can a beginner do freelancing?

    Yes, freelancing is a great option for starting their career and knowing the industry. This gives beginners the experience of the industry and helps them build confidence too.

  3. Does a business owner need to know to account?

    A business owner must know the basics of accounting and bookkeeping because most major business decisions are influenced by the accounting of your business.

  4. Can I hire someone to write a business plan?

    Yes, you can! But, it is not advisable. A business plan is good or bad based on the content and not on the format. A good writer may help you make your business plan, but only you know your business the best. Thus, you should write the business plan yourself.

Put into Execution

Now that we know about writing the business plan, it’s time to get started with writing it. The business plan will make you answer vital questions that define your business. Thus, you might need to write it before you pick your first client.

This blog summarises all the steps you need to write an intact freelancers’ business plan and the benefits of writing a business plan. We also provided a freelancers’ business plan template as a bonus.

We know it takes time to figure out your business goals, and you should take all the time as well. So, you need to manage time and automate repetitive business tasks such as invoicing, collect insightful client feedback, and generating stunning sales reports.

To make invoicing and estimates & quotes process easier, you can download the InvoiceOwl app and never bother about such tasks. Instead, refer to our blog to get invoicing tips that are exclusive for freelancers. So, what are you waiting for? Plan your basic business strategy right now!

Author Bio
Jeel Patel
Jeel Patel

Jeel Patel is the founder of InvoiceOwl, a top-rated estimating and invoicing software that simplifies the invoicing and estimating processes for contractor businesses. Jeel holds a degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Toronto, which has provided him with a strong foundation in business principles and practices. With understanding of the challenges faced by contractors, he conducted extensive research and developed a tool to streamline the invoicing and estimating processes for contractors. Read More

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