Businesses of any size take goal setting seriously. They dedicate a significant amount of time setting their goals and objectives every year—for the company as a whole down to every employee. Towards the end of the year, the organization’s performance and progress are measured against those goals. Unfortunately, many freelance businesses don’t spend as much energy on goal setting compared to their traditional counterparts.
If you’re a freelancer who’s ready to change that this 2020, then this short guide is for you.
Goal Setting: The SMART Way
A popular goal setting framework is SMART, which is an acronym for:
- Specific. A goal must be well-defined and express exactly what you want to accomplish.
- Measurable. Ask how much you want to improve or increase with your goal.
- Attainable. Your goal must be realistic based on your level of expertise and resources.
- Relevant. Focus your goals on what matters to you, especially your core values and principles.
- Time-Bound. A goal must have an end date or a timeline.
The idea is when you write your business goals, you have to keep these aspects in mind so you’ll be able to quantify and qualify your progress in achieving those goals. With a SMART goal, you can clearly tell if you were able to achieve a milestone.
To further illustrate what this looks like, below are examples of broad business goals and how to apply the SMART framework. Take note of how each big goal needs an outline of several subgoals or specific action points in order to achieve the overall objective.
Business Goal: I Want To Become A Freelance Photographer
- Specific: I will start a freelance photography business. I will register my business name and gather the necessary permits to operate as a legitimate sole proprietor.
- Measurable: I will acquire at least 2 clients per month, and aim to increase that to at least 4 clients per month in 6 months.
- Attainable: I will promote my new business by putting up a website and creating Facebook and Instagram pages. I will invite friends and family to like/follow my pages and pay for advertising to reach my target audience.
- Relevant: Pursuing photography will allow me to turn my experience as a hobbyist into a financially-rewarding venture.
- Time-Bound: My website and social media pages will be up in 2 months with content scheduled to publish at least thrice a week for 6 months.
Business Goal: I WantTo Increase My Rate
- Specific: I will increase my rate by $2 per 500 words with current clients.
- Measurable: I will measure my progress on what percentage of my current client base agrees with the increase.
- Attainable: I will email my current clients stating that my rate has been the same since 2018 and there is planned increase of $2 per 500 words.
- Relevant: My rate has been the same since 2018 and an increase of $1 for clients who have expressed their satisfaction with my work is fair, especially considering inflation rate.
- Time-Bound: I will send out my email notice in 3 days, and state that the increase will be effective March 2020 (about 6 months down the line to allow for budget adjustments).
Business Goal: I Want To Acquire New Clients
- Specific: I will acquire three new projects per month.
- Measurable: In order to acquire three new projects per month, I will need to have at least 12 prospects and pitch to at least 6 of them every month.
- Attainable: I will acquire my prospects by doing research on clients looking for freelancers on professional platforms.
- Relevant: I can grow my business and my income further by acquiring new projects every month.
- Time-Bound: My goal performance will be measured monthly.
With 2020 right around the corner, now is the best time to start setting goals for your freelance business. Consider using SMART goals to have a clear objective and measure for success. They will enable you to evaluate whether you’re on track to achieve your goal, or if you need to make adjustments in order to reach it.
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