How to Start a Freelance Business Part 8

31 Mar How to Start a Freelance Business Part 8

Starting a Freelance Business – Part 8 Freelance Process

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Welcome to post eight of ten of the post series ‘How to Start a Freelance business”.

The purpose of this post series is to give freelancers thinking about starting their careers the tools they need to take the first steps towards their goals and break away from the traditional work environment.

This post series will take you through the first steps to develop your service, identify your market and get your first clients.

Freelance Processes

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Having a system to run, manage and grow you business as a freelancer can have a huge impact on your success levels and the time spent on administrative duties.

Do you find yourself doing repetitive tasks that you know could be improved?

We all get caught up in these deadlines but ignoring these tasks and continuing to complete them with no structure will cost you money. These tasks will take up your valuable time and reduce the amount of clients you can serve.

Continually doing these tasks will often mean freelancers will be stuck working week to week without having a strategy to get the most from their time either reach a point of burnout or reach their freelance glass ceiling.

Time is the most valuable asset you have as a freelancer it’s important to make the most of it.

I knew it was important to understand where my time was going so I was achieving the highest possible output. By streamlining my processes, I can be sure to get the most from projects giving me the most return for my time. It took some time and a commitment to track where my time but it allowed me to determine the way I could get the most from my business.

Are you focusing on the right things for your business?

Or

Are you working endless hours and not getting through your backlog ?

ARE YOU FOCUSING ON THE RIGHT THINGS FOR YOUR FREELANCE BUSINESS-Freelancers should consider these questions every day and decide what you should be focusing on. You need to understand what is working well for your business and what you need to improve. If you understand that some activities are time consuming and add little value to your business output it’s time to start seeing where your time is going. If you invest the time to work out the activities that add the most value to your business, you can reduce the time and money wasting activities.

A large part of refining your processes is the ability to prioritise what you should be focusing on at your current business stage and what should be left until later or put to the side. New businesses need cash flow and finding the balance between business growth and income-producing activities is something a lot of freelancers struggle with.

I used a couple of strategies to streamline my service offerings and cut down on time spent on tasks away from my core business e.g. Admin activities. The strategies I used to review my process included

Time Tracking

Time tracking requires you to be disciplined with monitoring where your time is spent, but the insights it will give you into your freelance business is invaluable. I practised strict time tracking for a couple of months and this insight allowed me to see where my time was spent and highlighted some areas that were taking up too much for my time like email management.

Now I have refined my processes, I don’t practise the structured time tracking anymore and now just track billable hours for specific clients. The four key take-aways I from this strict period of time tracking for my business are:

  • Scope creep and time taken to complete activities and deliver projects.
  • More accurate quoting.
  • Identify gaps in my work flow.

Automation and Productivity

As your freelance business grows, there are three main areas where you can increase or implement automation. Having a system of automation and growth can free up your time to focus on income producing activities.

Engagement

How and where you are attracting attention from potential clients. Think about your marketing activities and observe what is working for your niche and what is gaining traction. As a freelancer there is no point talking to a large market as you probably won’t have the capacity to take on the work. You are better of reaching out to a small targeted number of highly qualified prospects.

Conversion

Conversion is about how you handle the contact up until a potential client commits to your service. This part of your freelancer business system is all about managing this process from initial enquiry, quoting, follow up, to the on-boarding of a new client. Depending on your business type, size, time frames and value of the service, this process may be as simple as a phone call, or email or may be more in-depth, involving information gathering, research and assessment.

Service Delivery

Service delivery automation is about streamlining the delivery of your service and managing your clients through the project process. Consider the standard ways you complete projects and manage clients through the project process. How can you achieve the highest output for the least amount of time?

Do you have a Freelance Business Question?

Freelancing FAQDon’t forget to include your Freelancing FAQ by commenting on this post at the bottom of the page or send me an email alycej@newstability.com.

To learn more about freelancing and to stay updated on the How to Start a Freelance Business Series please sign up to get access to the free manifesto that will act as your mantra as you grow your freelance business. If you missed part 1 be sure to give it a read.

Read the Next Part in the Series Freelance FAQ

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