When starting your business, big or small, you begin with a vision. You understand what service, information or product you will offer your customers or target audience. However, to realize your vision you must set clear and specific goals. This is particularly important for freelancers and self-entrepreneurs trying to work on their own and achieve independent success. These 8 tips to reach your freelancing goals will help you be successful as a self-employed entrepreneur.
Set Long Term and Short Term Goals
The first step to setting your freelancing business plan is to brainstorm your short term and long term goals. Write these down! Break up your goals into weekly, monthly, 6 month and yearly goals. This is a crucial step. You need to visualize where you want to go with your business plan. Keep in mind that your long term goals (those that will take 3-5 years to achieve) will guide you in identifying the important short term goals that you need to take first.
Prioritize Goals For Your Freelancing Business
Once you’ve broken down the goals into short and long term goals, you can begin to prioritize them. What are the most important and immediate actions that you will need to take in order to create a foundation for your business. For instance, if you want to be a lifestyle blogger than you need to research how to set up a blog and take actionable steps, ie: picking a domain name, hosting site, and web theme, first in order to get started.
The key here is to identify goals that are specific and targeted. This means that you can identify actionable steps to achieve the goals and the goals have a time frame that not only holds you more accountable in reaching the goal, but allows you to review your own progress. Remember, the more specific you make your goal, the more clarity you have around your business plan.
Do Research or Ask For Help
You also need to be sufficiently able to achieve your business goals. They need to be possible. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the goals will be easy and quick to achieve. Some are long-terms goals and may take several years to accomplish. However, if you are missing some information or need support, ie: tech support to set up your web design, then take time to do research or take a course or reach out to an expert for support or advice.
Create a Backward Design
Once you identify your short term and long terms goals and you’ve prioritized them in order of urgency and time, you then need to create a visual checklist. You can use the old fashioned pen and paper method, create a template on your computer or maybe you like the idea of a calendar. Whatever method you choose, record all the steps that you need to take to achieve your different goals. What you’re doing here is creating a checklist to help you stay on track with your goals and keep you focused on your end-goal. This keeps you accountable and motivated as you make your business plan a reality!
Stop, Start, Continue
Freelancers must build into their goal setting, periodic times to reflect on your goals and your achievements. Periodically, you will need to reflect on your progress in reaching your set timelines towards your goals. How are things going? How are you feeling? What’s working or not working? This is crucial because you may need to make some adjustments with your plan. If you’re not honest with yourself and take this step, especially with long-term goals, then you may end up feeling burnt-out and unmotivated. Therefore, consider what you need to stop, what to start and hooray…what to continue!
Share Your Goals
When you share your goals with others, even one other person, it holds you a little bit more accountable to achieve the goals that you’ve set out for yourself. Communicating your goals also helps you to stay motivated and committed to your plan. This is particularly important during those times that you’re feeling a bit burnt out or questioning whether or not you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur. This step helps you to not give up!
Come on…it’s so important to celebrate your successes big or small! One reason I love to use checklists is because I can physically check items off my goals’ lists and feel a sense of accomplishment as I reach a new milestone. So, make sure to take a moment to appreciate your successes and to stay positive. Is freelancing easy? Will you succeed immediately? Most of us will not. So stay focused on your goals, one at a time and be proud of your achievements.
So get going! Put these 8 goal-setting strategies to work and soon you will make your freelancing business plan vision a reality.
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