I want to freelance but…
“But how do I price my services?”
“How do I budget for my business expenses?”
Yeah I hear those 2 things a lot from beginning freelancers. Most of them don’t have business degrees or 10 years experience running a business for someone else. They are awesome designers or developers or photographers and want to work for themselves.
- How many hours will you really bill each day?
- Should you be answering emails and phone calls at all hours?
- How should you set your payment terms?
- How do you know what projects are profitable?
- What type of business do you really run? (hint: it’s customer service)
The truth is that I almost failed (as in I almost missed a mortgage payment) at running my freelance business in the first two years because I couldn’t answer these questions.
One weekend I convinced my wife that we should go for a drive and we just ‘happened’ to end up near a client’s house who just happened to owe me money and have a cheque. The truth was that I wouldn’t have been able to pay myself if we hadn’t picked up the money that day.
Just wanted to say Hi and thank you for your latest book – Don’t be an Idiot: Learn to run a viable business. I really enjoyed it! It was short and to the point without the unnecessary talks looking through pink glasses. I also like when people use real numbers when talking about money – it definitely helps me understand the value. – Uģis Ozols
That doesn’t have to be your story
“Don’t be an Idiot: Learn to run a viable business” is all about passing on my answers to those questions to you.
2 years ago I really learned how to budget properly. That meant that when I made a few thousand dollars more in a year it really felt like 3X that amount since I wasn’t wasting my money. I ended the year with $10k more ‘laying around’ while only making $3k extra compared to the year before. And I bought a $3k new computer.
Last year I started setting proper boundaries and you know what, my ‘bad’ clients evaporated. I started treating myself like a business and so did they.
This year I really dug in to business goals and after 6 months of intentional work to hit my goals I had made all of last year’s income. Yes at 6 months I had 100% of the income from 2012.
I want you to have the story of my last 3 years this year. I don’t want you to have to struggle along for 2 years before you really start running a proper business.
The book includes answers to:
- How do I budget
- How do I set proper boundaries
- Am I ready to jump out on my own
- Am I anticipating my time realistically
- Am I setting proper payment terms (and what are bad terms)
- What types of goals should I be setting
- How do I figure out what projects are most profitable
- Am I focused on the right things day to day
- What type of business do I really run
If you want just a bit more I’ve done interviews with over 10 business owners totalling over 6 hours of video that have succeeded. They answer questions like:
- What is the best advice to give someone getting ready to leave ‘work’
- How do you define success in your business
- What made your first year successful
- After the first year – what next
- What changes did you make that made your business really start ‘winning’
- Where do you see your business going over the next 5 – 10 years