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Setting Goals for Your Freelance Business


Any of you who read my other blog know that I am a big believer in setting goals.  It’s really hard to get what you want if you haven’t even defined it for yourself.  I believe that setting a few goals for your freelance business is definitely one of the first steps you can take toward making it successful.  Fortunately, I have a partner who agrees with me, and very early on in this endeavor, we sat down and agreed upon some goals we would like to reach. 

We actually set these goals as a part of creating our business plan.  Writing your own business plan is something we intend to talk about a lot more in-depth here on Freelance Parent.  For now, though, let’s just stick with the subject at hand. 

Tamara and I got together at a local bagel shop to discuss how we envisioned our freelance business growing through the future.  Basically, we ended up brainstorming together and then refined the list so it reflected both of our views.  Again, it’s fortunate that most things didn’t take a whole lot of compromise, as we tend to be on the same page when it comes to what we’d like to do with our business. 

Here are a few examples of what we came up with to help get your own creative juices flowing.  Yeah, this is another one of those posts where we kind of go out on a limb and expose ourselves.  The hope is that you can get a sense of the types of things we were looking at and use them to help define your own goals and plans. 

Three Month Goals

  • Create an LLC
  • Set up our new bank accounts
  • Have our promotional materials ready for clients
  • Earn at least $1,000 each month
  • Have our basic web site up and running
  • Introduce our husbands

Six Month Goals

  • Have five clients outside of the web
  • Polish our web site
  • Earn at least $1,600 each month
  • Set our writers’ standards for subcontracting
  • Create a typical bidding process
  • Become part of the BBB and the Chamber of Commerce

One Year Goals

  • Have set policies and procedures
  • Hire Travis to the company
  • Create a standard delegation process for assignments
  • Regular salaries for Lorna, Tamara, and Travis
  • Review business plan and goals (annually)
  • Feel confident with a stable of writers to subcontract

Two Year Goals

  • Create a sustainable savings plan for our personal futures
  • Annual raises
  • All work received through personal contact
  • Include graphic design services
  • Have a graphic designer on board

Three Year Goals

  • Have our own storefront
  • Take a group vacation with our families

Five Year Goals

  • Have a staff to run the various departments
  • Pay a living wage to employees
  • Have benefits available to employees
  • Have a philanthropic program in place

Seven Year Goals

  • Lorna and Tamara have personal assistants (it’s a “thing” with us)

Ten Year Goals

  • If desired, we could realistically step away and the business would be sustainable

As you can tell, Tamara and I are attempting to set the business up for the long haul.  Having a partner does mean adjusting your own plans, of course.  For example, the idea of having a storefront really wasn’t something I’d envisioned at first.  It was an area of growth that was really important to Tamara, and I suspect that as I have more children at home, I’ll understand her desire to have an office to visit a few hours a week if I don’t feel like working from home. 

Another good idea is to visit these goals often.  Just reviewing them to write this post has helped remind me that we don’t have to do everything at once.  We are right on track with where we intended to be, and it’s only been a month since we wrote these.  I have a tendency to think I need to sprint to the finish line, and looking over these reminds me that I’m already running pretty hard.  I need to pace myself and keep an eye on the plan we already created. 

So, do you have any thoughts about setting goals for your own freelancing business?  What types of things are important to you? 

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    On September 28th, 2007 at 3:37 pm, Melissa Garrett said:

    WOW! Good for you two.

    I have to admit that I don’t have any goals in place nearly as substantial as yours, but it’s definitely something on which I need to work. I am reminded that the contract I currently have won’t last forever and that I should be ever vigilant about seeking new work. But there is also a part of me who would just love nothing more to write articles and query magazines. I don’t have a background in English, so I am reluctant to branch out and offer any type of services beyond writing (editing, etc). Reading this, however, has given me the swift kick in the arse that I needed to stop doubting myself and just get busy. Thanks!

    On September 28th, 2007 at 10:37 pm, holli jo said:

    THANKS for sharing some of your goals! I am currently trying to set up my own business plan and I’m really in the dark trying to figure a lot of things all out at once.

    This post is giving me a good idea of the kinds of things I need to brainstorm about and goals I want to work toward.

    It takes guts for you guys to start a business with people “watching” as you share your experiences. So kudos to you guys for taking this chance (and opportunity, I’m sure).

    Thanks again!

    On September 29th, 2007 at 4:00 pm, Lorna Doone Brewer said:

    Melissa - Good for you for already having a few goals and for deciding this is the time to set some more. If writing articles and querying magazines is what you really want to do, maybe you should set a goal of senidn out a certain number of queries each week in addition to the contract work you’re already doing.

    By the way, happy birthday last week!

    holli jo - It is definitely a strange experience to allow people to watch us start this business. Some days we’re not entirely sure it’s a great idea, but usually we’re just really excited about it all! We’ll be talking about business plans soon, so hopefully that will be helpful to you (and to us)!

    On September 29th, 2007 at 4:01 pm, Lorna Doone Brewer said:

    Um . . . that should be “sending.”

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