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Chapter
8

Set timelines and milestones

You’re at the final step of filling out your business plan.

Up until now, you’ve gone introspective to determine what you value most. You’ve designed your offerings and targeted clients to help you pursue that kind of work. And you’ve attached a price tag to how much your rates are. By the end of this step, you’ll have a timeline studded with milestones to add to your business plan.

Build a timeline to accomplish your goals and financial goals

Go through your goals from Step 3 and attach a timeline. Add timelines and milestones to your business plan to accomplish your goals.

SMART Goal

Timeline

Milestones

Cap my hours at 35/week

Share changes with my clients and cut back my hours over next three months

February: share my working hours updates with clients

March: Scale back hours on Thursday and Friday

April: Scale back hours on Monday - Wednesday

Goal 2

Timeline

Milestones

Goal 3

Timeline

Milestones

Goal 4

Timeline

Milestones

For example, if you wanted to get four new clients in two additional services, you could reach out to a certain number of potential clients per week. You could commit to offering a new service to an existing client once per month. You could join communities online that post freelance opportunities and pitch yourself a certain number of times.

Build a plan for the next year

When does it make sense to review? Most freelancers choose either every six months, or every year. 

Every freelancer is a little different. As a rough rule of thumb, I’d say that if you’ve been in business less than three years, do it every six months. If more, then every year. The longer you freelance, the better and easier this process will get.

Go ahead and schedule your review in your calendar so you can get into a good habit of doing this. Tick it off once that’s done.

You’ve looked at:

  • Your true values.

  • Who you want to work with.

  • What services you should offer.

  • How much money you should charge.

  • What goals you should set and how to meet them.

  • How to update your client roster.

Congrats on completing this playbook and filling in your business plan! Being thoughtful about your business plan will allow you to live a meaningful life full of whatever you value, be that learning, financial stability, flexibility, or anything else on your list. 

Now you have the knowledge you need to shape your business. You have all the tools and templates to make that a reality. In short, you have a business plan for the year ahead. Congratulations! 

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