The first step in any business should be the formulation of a business plan. Creating a plan helps you to guide your choices today and tomorrow. It should have several key points:
This is a one or two sentence statement that answers the questions about what you are trying to do and how you intend to do it. They are the fundamental principles that will be guiding your work.
"My words will offer a chance for healing and acceptance based on my own experiences and learning."
This is the statement that will outline the goals and objectives you will use to help you reach the point you are aiming to reach. They will help you stick to those great ideas that will push TOWARDS your purpose and not AWAY from your purpose.
"It is my goal to publish a series of non-fiction books designed to help hectic mothers and women find peace and joy. I will write online, in print, and on my own to expand my skills and open opportunities to reach my potential."
Write down those fundamental beliefs that guide who you are and what you do. Writing them down helps solidify them in your mind and in your heart.
"I believe that God has a purpose for my life and that I must act to fulfill that purpose. I believe that persistence is a requirement for success."
Set up a plan that will help you reach your hopes and dreams. Decide where you want to be in five years and in ten years.
"By 2013 I will be syndicated on the internet or in print."
"By 2018 I will be publishing a bible series."
This is what outlines your skills and qualifications for doing what you are doing. Think of it as a mini resume.
"Writing is my passion. I have been blessed to see my words come to life in print and online. Through courses, classes and conferences my skills continue to grow and expand in order to help me reach my potential."
Research your market. It doesn't matter whether you are self-published or with a major publishing company, you still need to know what your market is and how YOU can reach that market.
"The current financial crisis is just one more example that people need help balancing it all. A quick review of the book shelves reveals books on organization, time management, family relationships and finances. It is my goal to weave these subjects together in a way that individual personalities can use to motivate their own lives."
It is extremely important that you set up a budget specific to your goals. Open a separate account where monies from your business can come into and where payments for your business can come out.
- website expenses (hosting, domain name, development)
- travel expenses (in case the fees for appearances or meetings are not covered)
- continuing education and conferences (you will need funding to learn more, meet more people and make more connections).
There is just a jumping off point. You may need some of the aspects of this idea more than others. Always include the mission, vision, and values statement - even if it's only for your own use. A budget is also an element that you should not skip. Get as fancy as you want or keep it simple. The goal is to create a tool that will help guide your freelance writing business.