Freelance 101: The Business Plan!

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Wow guys! I just want to say thank you for all the positive feedback I’ve been getting in response to the series, Freelance 101. So very encouraging! Last week we talked about Them ‘Dollar Bills’, and the week before on ‘How to get Started’. I’ve never seen myself as a wordy blogger type of person, but to my surprise my words are making a difference, so thank you all.

This week we’re going tap into some of the more practical parts of freelancing, the real nitty gritty parts which are so very crucial. 

Get Dreaming and Planning
First off, whether you’re opening a shop, restaurant or you’re choosing to go freelance. One thing in common across all these start-ups is that you need a business plan. You’re probably thinking, “damn, you did not just get all academic on me.”

Trust me, I use hate all forms of business plans/ goals, bullshit academic like things, just the word ‘business plan’ itself seems so daunting. But what changed my mind to actually being excited about making a business plan, was when I started thinking of it in a different light. Think of a business plan as just ‘dreaming’ and planning how to achieve those dreams. At least for me, my mind suddenly makes the switch of doing something seemingly tedious into something fun; dreaming is easy! 

A business plan is really important because it helps get your dreams from your mind on to paper- giving you an overall map as to which direction to head towards with the actions and steps to get there. It doesn’t need to look like a 5 page essay, mine simply looks like scribbles and a brainstorming map.

A couple of quick questions that come to mind are: What’s your mission statement? What services will you provide? What clients are you targeting? Who’s your niche? Where do you want to be in 3 months, 2 years, 5 years, down the line? Find out what defines you, and what doesn’t define you.

For me, my clients are start-up business, young couples, creatives alike (bloggers, food stylist, etc) from 20-55 young, trendy individuals that like quirky, minimal, illustrative designs. I want for them to not have a carbon copy logo, but a logo that really speaks to their personality. So it is in my very concern to get to know them and their business well! In 3 months time, I want to continue building my cliental and gaining recognition online but also in publications. Something I want to aim for is to get more hand lettering and illustrations into magazines, books and such. 2 years down the line, I want to have a stationary store of some sort running online (or better yet in the physical) where I can sell my own line of products, while still building my repertoire as a great design studio influencing the design world around me. Something that isn’t what I aimming or planning to do, is have my business turn into an agency. I don’t plan on hiring other people to work under me. Why? Simply because of preference, I just don’t want to see myself growing as an agency but more so as an independent designer. That is just the tiniest glimpse into my business plan but I thought it’d be helpful to share!

Fellow freelancer and internet friend, Brent Galloway, has a great breakdown of more in-depth questions to ask yourself to form your own business plan. Head on over there to get started!

Read More, Internet Less

1.  'Creative, Inc.' by Ilasco & Cho 
Chapter 2 of Creative Inc. has all the begins of setting up shop to writing a business plan. 

2. The Freelance Handbook by Computer Arts
This magazine-book was on sell early January 2012 in the UK alongside with the other magazine-book I suggested last week from Computer Arts, it’s not print anymore but you can get it online. It’s great, because it’s short and easy to read, bullet-point form kind of writing with step to steps to freelancing!

What are your thoughts on your business plan? Let me know what you think because I would love to hear them!

x. Bee