One of the most popular reasons for starting a freelance business is to “have more freedom.” The freedom to spend more time with your family, work when you want, charge as much as you want, or travel as much as you want. Or something else entirely. The point is, with a freelance business, you can do that.
Take a hard look at your freelance business right now. Are you making great money, but working all the time? Worse, are you working all the time but making little money? Either way, you’re in a tough spot. Sounds like you’re working IN your business and not ON it.
There’s good news, however. We can turn your situation around and start to develop a freelance business that gives you all the freedom you need and desire. If you’re ready to change your freelance business mindset and take consistent, forward action for it, you’ll have more freedom without sacrificing income or sanity.
Here are three steps you can use to bring more freedom to your B2B writing business.
Identify where you should be spending your time
Stop wasting your time on activities that drain you of energy and do nothing to move your business forward. Everything you do should be in the service of your business, whether it’s client work or business-building activities.
- Keep track of your schedule for one week. Write down everything you do and how long it takes you to do it.
- Then, look at each activity to see if it brought income into your business.
- Rank each activity from most to least income.
Look at the bottom three items on your list. Do you really need to do those activities? They’re not bringing any extra income into your business, so you can probably stop doing them and not impact your bottom line. But you’ll free up time for more of your money-makers.
Look at the top three items on your list. These are your top money-makers and are activities you should be doing more of. Since you’ve gotten rid of the non-money-makers, you have more time to work on these activities.
Only work with ideal clients
An ideal client is one that understands and values what you do, respects your process and work, and happily pays you what you’re worth.
They’re also clients that need the service or product you provide and are willing to pay whatever you ask. Chances are, your cheapest clients are the ones that cause you the most grief. It’s time to kick them to the curb and fire them. And you should not feel badly for doing so.
Now that you’ve gotten rid of the bad clients, it’s time to find more of your ideal ones. Start by creating an ideal client profile and be on the lookout for those kinds of clients. They may come to you or you may find them. Either way, you know the experience will be a positive one that brings you a good income, giving you the freedom to turn down future bad clients.
Outsource what you can afford to
This is a challenge for any freelance business owner. At some point, you just won’t have the time to handle certain tasks any more. These are usually low-value tasks that are necessary for your business, but don’t necessarily bring you any income.
Take some time and list all of the activities you do on a regular basis (daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly). Include everything you do, from your writing work to advertising, accounting, and invoicing to website management.
Next, put a checkmark next to the ones you are not good at and the ones you hate doing. Consider outsourcing all of those things you hate doing. Just like you are doing something you love, chances are, someone out there loves doing the things you hate.
Many Virtual Assistants (VAs) love sorting through emails or running through a blog post publication checklist, so why not pay them to do that for you? You’ll free yourself for your best talents and likes, while still ensuring all of your work is done (by someone else).
Or maybe you hire a website maintenance company to handle all the updates and backups for your site. Or a bookkeeper to handle all of the receipts you collect as you travel around doing your work. You get the idea.
What if you can’t afford to outsource?
If your business is just starting you, you probably can’t afford to outsource to someone else just yet. And that’s okay. By going through this exercise, you’ll know exactly who to work with when the time comes.
You also don’t have to outsource ALL THE THINGS at once. It’s just a matter of finding someone to handle that one thing for you right now. You can always find more people later on, when you can afford it. You might offload more to your VA or you might hire a few more specialists to handle your work.
Freedom means different things to each of us, but it’s usually a combination of working with ideal clients that value us enough to pay us well. We use the income and time to work on our businesses, create new products, and/or spend time with friends and family. That’s what freedom looks like.
We can generate more freedom in our B2B writing businesses not simply by working more, but by working smarter. Creating a framework that brings us the right kind of work that generates a good income and nourishes us in a variety of ways.
Have you used these three steps to create more freedom in your business? Tell us how in the comments; we’d love to hear your stories.