Setting goals is essential to any project, even running a freelance business. Running and growing your business can be challenging if you don’t have clear goals, aims, or a purpose. You should set realistic goals for your business, no matter what you want to do with it. This will help you with strategy, planning, and making decisions.
These goals will change and grow over time; that’s a given. Things could change for you, your interests could shift, or you could be presented with a chance you can’t pass up. Because the business is getting better, you might even need to change the goals you set for it. For instance, if you reach a destination faster than you thought, you might be able to set higher goals in that area. On the other hand, failing to reach a goal can show you where to spend more time, money, or skills.
What Are Macro And Micro Goals?
Setting goals for your business is an essential part of writing a business plan. Often, they can be broken down into “macro” and “micro” goals. For your business to succeed in the long run, you must set “big picture” macro goals. In this group are the more significant choices and goals that will require more time and money to reach, like:
- Keeping clients over time
- Making more money each year and building a more stable and long-term future for the business
Setting and reviewing macro goals is usually done less often, like once or twice a year, or even as part of a five-year plan. But micro goals are smaller, more attainable steps that can be considered quick wins. As the name suggests, these goals can be reached soon, usually with less time and money spent.
Various Types Of Business Goals For Freelancers
You can set many different business goals, many of which will depend on your specific situation. Are you working from home at your kitchen table for a long time? You might want to start renting a desk at your favorite co-working space once or twice a week. Another goal could be to pay off all your debts by the beginning of the next tax year. Setting business goals means deciding where you want to go and how you will get there. And so on. If you wish your freelance business to do well, you should work toward some general goals and KPIs.
Setting Financial Targets For Freelancers
Setting goals for your freelance business will, of course, help you stay on track. Here are some ideas that will help you find the right way.
- Revenue: Determine how much money you want to make by a specific date, every three months, or once a year. You can use this to determine how many sales you need to make to reach your goal.
- Net profit: It’s great to have a lot of sales, but if your costs are too high, you might not be able to make a profit. Look over your numbers and make a plan to make a certain amount of net profit after all the necessary deductions. This should guide your strategy.
- Saving money: Savings goals are essential for all businesses, whether big or small and can be maintained on both significant and trim levels.
- Investments and funding: If you want to put your money into the business or get financing, you should include this in your financial goals. Any lender or investor will want to know what you want to use the funds for and how you plan to do it.
Successful Customers And Keeping Them
Keeping an eye on customer success and retention is another way to guide your business strategy and set goals to show you how well you’re doing. This just means making a goal for how many clients or customers you want to get and then making more goals for how you will work with and keep all of them. Most of the time, your marketing goals and goals for getting new customers will be the same. It might sound a bit business-like for a freelancer working alone, but the idea is still the same!
Suppose you use marketing to get the word out about your business and keep an online presence. In that case, you can check your digital performance against several marketing key performance indicators (KPIs). Things like these are standard marketing metrics:
- How many people go to your website, profile, page
- click-through rates and conversion rates can help you determine what people do when they visit your page or profile.
- How many people follow you on social media and how many times people interact with specific posts
And a lot more! As part of your marketing goals, you should also set some goals for networking. Please don’t go to too many networking events; only go to the ones that will help your business, whether online or off.
When you work as a freelancer, your skills are your business. You don’t have a team of people with different skills who can help you diversify and expand what you offer. This is why it’s essential to put personal and professional development goals at the top of your list when running a freelance business.
It will depend on what you do and how you go about this. Getting better as a private chef is very different from getting better at your job as a freelance photographer. No matter your niche, make regular goals to improve and broaden your skills and stick to them. This will keep you current and ahead of the competition, which are two essential things for success and growth.
It’s also essential to think about goals you have outside of work. Besides, you can only do your best work and make the most of your freelance business if you’re happy. Here are some examples of reasonable personal goals you could make:
- Start a new hobby that isn’t related to work.
- Spend more time with family and friends.
- Do things you enjoy that take you outside and away from your computer or workshop more often.
- To enhance your physical and mental health, work out regularly.
- Take a vacation or a break from work to recharge and start over.
- Make a plan to deal with stress and strain if you’re feeling burned out. For example, think about how to work fewer hours and still get things done.
Setting these personal goals will help you balance your work and personal life well and keep up with your relationships outside of work.
How A Freelancer Can Measure KPIs
The next step after setting goals is learning to keep track of them. It would help if you kept very close tabs on your KPIs and goals so that you can use their performance or progress to guide your next move. Here are some great ways to see if your freelance business goals have been met:
- Track your progress against your planned timeline using your business plan.
- Keeping customers and finding out how happy they are (qualitative) and how many new customers you get (quantitative)
- Profit, sales, and your overall financial situation
- Metrics used in marketing, like return on ad spend (ROAS), website traffic, or social media followers
- List of skills, credentials, and certifications