How to Write a Freelance Business Plan for Your Proofreading Business
Becoming a freelance proofreader can bring many joys to your daily life, including the freedom to choose your own working hours and pay. However, a freelance career is not exempt from challenges like organising your own taxes or coming up with a business plan. And yes, you should consider writing a freelance business plan if you’re a proofreader! In this post, we’ll cover the basics.
Why Are Business Plans Important for Freelancers?
Many freelancers assume they don’t need a business plan, but that’s far from the truth. Essentially, a business plan helps you:
- Grow and professionalise your business.
- Determine marketing strategies that work for you.
- Identify competitors (and learn from them).
- Identify your target clients.
- Estimate your ideal income (and set goals to get there).
- Be adaptable in unforeseen circumstances.
Most importantly, having a freelance business plan will help you define what your business does and keep yourself on track for future career development.
And while there is no one perfect way to write a freelance business plan, we suggest keeping it simple. We’ll outline the essential elements below.
It’s important to include a company summary in your business plan. This is where you develop your business overview and its purpose. What’s your business’ story? When writing your plan, you could try to include the following subsections under Company Summary:
- Business values: These are words and phrases that communicate your business’ beliefs. For a proofreader, they could be ‘thoughtfulness’ and ‘expertise’, for example.
- Service descriptions: What do you have to offer? Describe what services you provide (i.e. the kinds of proofreading, editing, formatting, etc., you do). Putting your services in writing will also give you an idea of whether you’re trying to do too much or too little.
- Mission statement: This is one sentence that describes what your business does and for whom. Your mission statement will draw on your identified values and services. Use some famous examples to inspire you if you’re stuck.
- Competitor comparison: It’s crucial to review the similarities and differences between you and your competitors. This way, you can position yourself better and promote your expertise where your competitors might be lacking.
- Target clients: Write down some of your target client personas. This will help you to know exactly who your target clients are. Once you have this, you can develop a plan for how you will reach them.
- Budget: How much money do you have to invest in your business? Write down an estimate. This amount should cover not only marketing expenses but also professional development (e.g. additional training) and an emergency fund.
Business Goals and Projection Targets
What would you like to accomplish with your business? Here, you can list your goals and set a timeframe to achieve them.
When it comes to setting and achieving business goals, the more structured the better. When setting goals for the next quarter, for example, you can write one task per week to complete over 12 weeks. Then, just like magic, you have a plan for the next three months!
By the time you’ve completed these tasks, you can evaluate your progress and adjust your goals accordingly.
And when you’re setting your goals, don’t forget you can include the things you’d like to stop doing too (e.g. cut down on the number of free samples you offer by 50%).
Marketing and Sales Strategies
Marketing and sales strategies are related to how you promote yourself and reach your target clients (i.e. how you will achieve the business goals and projection targets previously set up).
In this area of your business plan, decide on the sales and marketing strategies you will carry out to achieve the goals you’ve set. These strategies will likely include ways of reaching out to prospective clients (e.g. cold email, social media, blogging).
Tips for Creating Your Business Plan
Although writing a business plan sounds daunting, it’s something you’ll have to do from scratch only once. Here are a couple more tips to keep in mind:
- Be flexible about your plan. Adapt it to your changing needs and add in contingency plans for if things don’t work out as expected.
- Update it and review it quarterly. What’s working? What needs changing? Make sure to keep setting yourself new goals.
And be aware there are plenty of free freelance business plan templates online to choose from, too.
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