As a freelancer, the responsibility of forging the career you want falls entirely on your shoulders. You don’t have a supervisor or boss tracking your progress and encouraging professional growth. That’s why it’s important to develop a basic freelance business plan that gives your career a trajectory.
Creating business goals, analyzing key metrics, and utilizing time-tracking or project management software for freelancers can help you both celebrate your accomplishments and identify room for improvement.
In this blog, we explore the steps you can take and the tools you can use to track your progress and forge the freelance career of your dreams.
Business goals can help ensure that you're:
In this section, we'll discuss the different aspects of tracking your business goals and how project management software and time-tracking apps can help with your freelance business plan.
By monitoring your income and expenses, you can determine whether you're meeting your revenue targets and identify areas where you can cut costs. Lucky for you, Lunafi makes tracking your finances easy.
On the Lunafi app, you can set an annual target and track your progress toward that financial goal. Lunafi also helps you track income by client, categorize business and personal expenses, estimate tax savings, generate profit and loss (P&L) statements, calculate quarterly tax payments, and much more.
Acquiring new clients and retaining existing ones is essential for the growth of your freelance business plan. Project management software such as Toggl, Freshbooks, Everhour, and Todoist can help you manage your client relationships by providing you with tools to schedule meetings, communicate with clients, and track billable hours. You can also use these tools to create customized workflows for each client and automate repetitive tasks.
As a freelancer, you might take on the additional work of managing your client project. Project management software can help make this much more efficient by providing you with tools to schedule tasks, collaborate with team members, and track progress. ClickUp, Jira, Monday.com, Basecamp, and Notion are some of the most popular project management tools for freelancers. All of them are customizable and allow you to create tasks, subtasks, and milestones. You can also use them to manage files, set deadlines, and assign tasks to team members.
Time tracking for freelancers is a big part of effective project management. Time-tracking apps such as Clockify, Upwork, nTask, TickTick, and Time Doctor can help you track your time and billable hours. You can use these tools to track your time by project, task, or client. Then, when you’re ready to bill, simply go into Lunafi and create an invoice for a new or existing client. We’ll even send you reminders to make sure payments don’t slip through the cracks.
Of course, not all career goals can be tracked with numbers. Setting personal goals can help you maintain a healthy work/life balance, develop new skills, and acknowledge your growth so that you can celebrate your achievements.
One of the biggest challenges for freelancers is maintaining a healthy work/life balance. It's easy to get caught up in work and forget about personal responsibilities or self-care. Blocking time out on your calendar can help ensure you're making time for yourself and your loved ones. Many of the productivity tracking tools above can be used for personal to-do lists as well.
To remain competitive in your field, it's important to continuously develop new skills. Setting aside time for professional development, networking, and continuing education not only enhances your authority; it also gives fresh perspective that can make your work more engaging. Browse online platforms like Teachable or Udemyto find online courses in your field or join professional networks, which often host skill-building events.
Since you don’t have an office to throw you a promotion party, it’s important to recognize and celebrate your wins when you can. Whether it's completing a big project or learning a new skill, taking the time to acknowledge your accomplishments can give you a sense of reward that motivates you to advance your career.
As you gain more experience and your goals change, you may need to adjust your plan accordingly. So put your CEO hat on and set quarterly meetings so you can review and adjust your growth strategies to ensure you're meeting your goals and staying on track with your freelance business plan.
Staying up-to-date with industry trends, joining professional groups, attending conferences, and reading industry publications can help you stay informed and identify new opportunities for growth and success. By regularly reviewing and adjusting your strategies, you can ensure you're always moving forward and building the freelance life you deserve.
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