How to Set Effective Business Goals as a Freelancer

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As a freelancer, you are your own boss. Unfortunately for some, this translates into just going with the flow instead of setting effective business goals. This is particularly prevalent in recent times following the trend of working from home.

Setting goals and planning for the future will make it possible for you to work for the betterment of your freelancing business. 

In this article, we will explain the benefits of goal setting as a freelancer, and how you can expand your business and scale it exponentially. 

Ready? Let’s dive in.

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Benefits of Setting Goals as a Freelancer

You may have regular clients and decent earnings now, but, if you want to save money, you will have to think about growing your business. For that, you need to set practical goals.

Once you have set goals for your freelancing business, you can:

  • Strategically grow your business
  • Hold yourself accountable and stay on track
  • Stop your attention from getting diverted and stay focused on important tasks

How to Set Effective Business Goals as a Freelancer

If you don’t do your homework before setting your business goals, you could end up going down the path of failure.

That’s why it is important to understand exactly how to set these goals.

Define Your Key Points

First of all, define your key points.

Goals are based on your priorities, so before you make your five-year plan, make a list of the areas that you wish to cover. You will be tempted to include everything in your plan, but that is not realistic at all. Focus on making a manageable and practical list of your key points. 

Your key points should cover both your personal and professional life. Your goals for your personal life will also help you figure out which direction your business must take, i.e:

  • Where do you see yourself living in five years? 
  • Do you wish to be settled down with a family in the next five years?
  • What health and fitness goals do you want to achieve in the next five years? 
  • What do you wish to achieve in your career?
  • Which education assets are required for you to excel in your field?
  • Which soft skills you must develop to be successful in your personal and professional life?

Form Clear Goals

Once you have listed down your key points, you should be ready to set specific, but clear goals.

One way to come up with clear and effective goals is to adopt the SMART method. According to this method, your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound (SMART)

You can break your SMART goals into monthly and weekly goals so they can be easily managed. If you set specific milestones for your business to cross, you can keep working on short-term and long-term goals at the same time. 

SMART goals help you avoid thinking in terms of increasing your income and instead help you figure out how much of an increase should you aim for. 

Focus on present goals while working towards future goals 

Oh, and it’s important to remember that you will have urgent tasks on a daily basis whilst managing your long-term goals.

So, make sure that your schedule is designed in a way that you don’t end up neglecting any of your goals, regardless of their importance in the long term.

Another thing to remember is that your goals should be exciting!

You need to be able to work happily to achieve them, so make sure they give you purpose. Let your desires dictate some of your long-term goals, so when you are working on boring tasks, you know that something amazing is waiting for you in the near future… 

Create Strategies

Goals are what you wish to achieve, whilst strategies are how you can achieve them. When setting up your goals, you should also define the strategies that would help your business get on the right track. 

For instance, if your goal is to increase your after-tax income by 20%, you will need to create a strategy for increasing your overall income.

Your strategies will depend on your business model and the services you offer. In order to increase your after-tax income, you should start looking for more clients, or, start charging existing clients higher rates

Strategies are important because they help make sure that your goals don’t just stay on paper. Your strategy will allow you to figure out exactly what steps are needed to accomplish your goals and make them your reality.

Keep Track 

The most important part of planning your future business is keeping track of your progress.

Companies with hundreds of employees let managers keep track of everyone’s progress. If you’re a freelancer, you will have to hold yourself accountable

Thanks to modern technology, you can easily keep track of your progress. You could try making a worksheet, and filling it with your daily, weekly, and monthly goals. With the use of technology, your computer can do the archiving for you, allowing you to mark your progress. 

You can also conduct a thorough review of your progress every 3 to 6 months, to further ensure you’re on track. 

Apps for Measuring Your Progress

Not everyone is a fan of a simple to-do list. If they just aren’t cutting it for you, you can try integrating apps and other software, designed specifically for businesses.

Luckily for you, we’ve created the ultimate freelancer secret weapon.

Our Freelancer Toolkit boasts categories for productivity, time-tracking, business management, and dozens more. The majority of these nifty little tools are free, so adding these into your workflow will ensure you’re getting the upper hand on all freelance businesses. You’re welcome!

Leave Room for Change

No plan is foolproof, which is why you might find out, upon review, that certain strategies didn’t work for you. If that happens, you can make changes to your plan when you revisit it. This will help you eliminate the mistakes of your past and ensure that you get better results in the future. 

It is important to keep notes of your work throughout so you can find the problems easily during the review. Otherwise, you will have to spend a long time figuring out what went wrong and how to fix it. Always keep working on improving, polishing, and advancing your skillset, so that you remain relevant to the industry. 

Most freelancers fear making a change in their skillset, as they worry about whether or not they will be able to make a good income. However, it’s a great idea to look for some of the rising industries (and skills) in demand.

For example, if you are a freelance coder or software engineer, you can switch to data science or data engineering, as both of these skills are in high demand.

Final Thoughts

Setting up effective goals for your freelance business may sound like a hassle, but, it will be worth every second. Focus on the above-mentioned strategies and you will create a win-win situation for both yourself and your business.

Consistency is the key. As you achieve your first set of targets, you can then hire a team of talented individuals to expand it further. Take advantage of the Freelancer Toolkit, strategies, and expert tips as you grow your freelance business and achieve your business goals. 

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