1. Organize/Upgrade Bookkeeping Processes
Mitch Solway, Vice President of sales and marketing for online expense-tracking software FreshBooks reminds us to keep the client in mind when fashioning our bookkeeping procedures.
Do your trusted clients have the kind of flex room that creates good-will and speeds up payment?
Will the software you’re considering allow you to create templates for efficiency, integrate time tracking, or even send reminders at a specified period of time?
Always have the client in your thoughts but make a list of pain points from 2016 and see what new softwares can address and solve them.
2. Plan / Org 2017 Workflow & Workload (Time Tracking)
Workflow and workload are two of the most important elements in your approach to time management.
While they each have their own specific requirements, they have one thing in common – communication. Take some time to ensure that element is emphasized in the year to come.
Map out your vacations and provide your self goals per project and a bit of flex time in there for when your workload unexpectedly gets a bit too crazy.
3. Create Income Goals + Freelance KPIs
Ask any freelancer what their business goal is for the upcoming year and the answer is likely to increase their freelance writer rate.
When analyzing your business strategy, here are the four most important KPI factors to consider:
- Money – Sorting out all your money concerns can take take some time but before you spend time on another analytics it is essential to have your financial house in order.
- Clients – Year’s end is a great time to reprioritize your workload. If you identify clients who haven’t been the right fit for you it may be time to let them go to make room for some new ones.
- Visibility – Assess your online presence, make plans to update and upgrade your website and continue to blog about what you’re passionate about; writing!
- Time – If you haven’t been measuring your time, make that priority number one for the New Year. Writers often charge per word, post, or project but don’t know how much they are making per hour.
4. Skill Development / Courses to Further Skills & Increase Rates
Skills development is the process of identifying your skill gaps and then developing those skills.
5. Do a 2016 Performance Audit
The most important step in annual business planning is reviewing your recent history:
- How did you do last year?
- How did you perform at different points of the year, and what was it that influenced each?
- What business analytics did you track throughout the year?
- How have your finances played out month by month?
- What are your current social metrics?
The answers create your business benchmark to guide your coming year.
6. Create a list of dream clients, create SMART goals, implement & go after them
Think big and plan even bigger. If you don’t have a client dream list, start one now.
No, you won’t land every big fish in the sea but you’ll never catch what you don’t fish for.
When creating goals; be sure they’re specific, measurable, achievable, relevant to your business objectives, and time bound.
Organize your time around your goals and check in on them on a consistent basis.
7. Get Social & Get Visible: market yourself in the best channels for your strengths
Have you been casting your lures in the right place? The continued success of your freelance business depends on it.
Getting social and joining the conversation with your fellow writers is not only a great way to network and share tips and tricks of the trade, but get seen by those wishing to hire you.
Tim G is a 4-star writer at WriterAccess with extensive experience as an advanced publicist for several multi-published authors. If you’re looking for content marketing writers, we have the top talent within the industry!