Setting goals and objectives for your freelance business
When it comes to business, goal setting is crucial. Whether you are the CEO of a multinational company or owner of a freelance business, you should know your goals and objectives. It will allow you to boost your efforts and achieve higher results.
If you want to learn how to set the right goals for your freelance business, read this article by Diana Nadim from TrustMyPaper. Here you will find tips that will help you to avoid mistakes.
Why it’s important to outline goals?
There are a few reasons why you should set goals. Firstly, it will make you work harder and motivate you to develop your skills. So, you will keep growing as a professional.
Secondly, it will help you to measure your success by comparing your goals to actual results. You will be able to spot your weaknesses and strengthens, as well as learn lessons from any mistakes you make.
The point is that as a freelancer, you neither have a boss, who controls you, nor colleagues, who compete with you. And as such it's really important to set goals to keep yourself motivated and organised, and to track performance results.
Make your goals SMART
First things first, if you want to make your goals work for you, you should make them SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound. If you don’t know what SMART goals are all about, use the following questions as a guideline:
- Specific. What exactly do you want to achieve? Do you want to increase your after-tax income, work fewer hours per week, land new clients every month, etc.?
- Measurable. Do you want to increase your after-tax income by 10%, 20%, or 30%? Do you want to work 40 or 30 hours per week?
- Attainable. Do you have all the resources necessary to achieve your goal? Do you have enough time, skills, equipment, etc.?
- Realistic. Well, if you want to earn £1,000,000, that’s great. And if you keep working hard, one day you might earn this sum of money. But if you are setting short-term goals, be realistic and think how much money it is possible to make in a short period of time.
- Time-bound. When exactly do you plan to achieve this goal? This month, this year, etc.
So, if you want “to earn more money”, your SMART goal should look like this “to increase the after-tax income by 20% by the end of 2019”.
Focus on your values
You are a unique person, and you have a unique set of values. If you are satisfied with your current income level, don’t force yourself to work more hours or to collaborate with the troublesome clients. If you are not obsessed with making money, then the goal “to increase the after-tax income by 30%” is unsuitable for you.
To set the right goals for your freelance business, you should keep your values in mind. Let’s say you are a creative person, and you feel unhappy working on highly-paid, yet tedious projects. What will your primary goal be? Your goal should look like this: “to increase job satisfaction by landing three interesting projects in the field of AI”.
Priorities your goals
Keep in mind that it’s enough to set from two to five goals. If you set more than ten goals, it’s highly unlikely that you will be able to accomplish them all.
You should prioritise your goals and focus on the most important ones. Otherwise, you will waste your time and energy and will not achieve results.
Know the difference between goals and objectives
Goals and objectives have lots in common, but these two terms cannot be used interchangeably. A goal is what exactly you want to achieve, for instance, “to land a new interesting project”.
An objective is what you should do to achieve this goal. For instance, “to sign up for a paid membership on the Freelance Directory and get more clients”.
Every time you set goals for your freelance business, you should also set objectives. It will help you to understand what steps you should take to achieve what you want. It will allow you to build a comprehensive plan that will lead you to success.
Consider setting a few objectives
Keep in mind that in some cases, you should add more than one objective to every goal you set. Because when you want to achieve high results, you should put more efforts into achieving one specific goal.
Let’s consider an example. If your goal is “to increase the after-tax income by 5%”, it’s enough to set one objective. For instance, “to work every second Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.”
But if you set a higher goal, for example, “to increase the after-tax income by 25%”, you should add a few more objectives. For instance, “to increase the rate from £25 to £30 per hour” and “to create a professional website to attract more clients”.
Set short-term and long-term goals
What do you want to achieve as a freelancer in five years? How much do you want to earn for this period of time? You should answer these questions honestly to set long-term goals.
After that, think about what steps you should take right now to hit these goals. It will help you to set short-term goals and objectives: for one year and one month.
Review your long-term goals on a regular basis and adjust them, if necessary. For instance, if your monthly income is much lower than expected, it may mean that you have set unrealistic expectations, and you should lower them.
Use goal-setting apps
Obviously, you can write your freelancing goals and objectives on a piece of paper. But in a digital age, it's wiser to use a goal-setting app. It will help you to gamify your tasks, track your goals, establish new habits, and stay motivated.
If you want to achieve success in freelancing, you should set goals and objectives. It will help you to track your performance and to advance in your career. Outline the goals and objectives for your freelancing business and take a big step toward your dreams.
More on running your freelance business and how to brand yourself as a freelancer.