So, you’ve decided to start a freelance writing business of your very own. Regardless of whether you’re going to make this a part-time or full-time venture (I started part-time while working two other part-time jobs), you may be wondering one thing (well, lots of things…but I’m only answering one thing). Is a freelance writing business plan necessary or is it bullshit?
Look, as I’ve said in my book Kill Something and Drag It Home, proper preparation prevents piss poor performance. And, yes, I recognize that a lot of you think I’m raining on your merry creativity parade, but hear me out (or read me out?).
I’ve Worked from Home for Seven Years – And It’s Not Been Luck
Working from home is not a picnic. A lot of people found that out in the early part of the pandemic. Of course, a lot of people (and businesses) found out that working from home is where it’s at…and many people found out exactly what I’ve said since the inception of this blog: working from home IS NOT FOR EVERYONE. And that’s okay. It’s just like college isn’t for everyone and homeschooling isn’t for everyone and rap isn’t for everyone and country music isn’t for everyone and metal isn’t for everyone and so on and so forth.
But look…I didn’t last seven years (going on eight) from luck. I mean, there were probably some lucky guesses in there, but there were also the 6Ps along with persistence. I am a rebel at heart. I am a flat out asshole, frankly. I don’t like to be told what I can’t do. My parents (and most of the adults on my mother’s side of the family when I was child) said I would not succeed. So I did. And I continue to do so.
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The only way that success is possible in any venture (for the long-term) is either being infinitely rich (and I sure ain’t that…in fact, over the last seven years, I’ve been what is referred to as a lifestyle freelancer meaning my work revolves around my family: my sons and my husband along with my own peculiar needs) or having a fucking plan.
I’m a planner. It’s just my nature.
But a Freelance Writing Business Plan Sounds Like It Sucks All the Fun Out of Writing
I mean, I guess you can look at it that way if you want. You have some choices to make in business…and the first choice to make is whether you’re going to run your business or if you’re going to let your business run you. Of course, I have the neapolitan pack of anxiety happening which, by the way, isn’t nearly as delicious as the neapolitan pack of ice cream.
I have severe CPTSD, GAD, and OCD. I take one medication (it’s also great for nerve pain caused by systemic lupus). The med does help limit certain symptoms (to a degree). There are very few meds that I can take because they do change how I think which would limit my ability to work as a writer. So, believe me when I say I understand your concern about sucking all the fun out of writing.
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However, there are some crucial things you need to understand about writing as a business:
- Freelance writing IS a business. You need to treat it as a business. Yes, it is a creative endeavor. But it is still a business.
- At some point, you will eventually experience projects and days (and clients) that (who) suck. So, if you think writing a freelance business plan sucks? Aren’t you in for a giant surprise. Sorry, sunshine. Even great clients will have bad days and you will be on the receiving end at some point.
- A freelance writing business plan can make the process of writing for clients more fun because it takes the stress out of writing. Yes, that’s right. A business plan is a map on how to run your business. Since you took the time to put in some thought in how to identify clients (maybe – I know this part can be hard initially), market to your clients, what your social media plan is, and how you plan to operate your business, you can spend more time actually working. You’ll spend less time freaking the fuck out over the business aspect because you’ll have something you can follow.
Creating a Freelancing Writing Business Plan Doesn’t Have to Be Long or Complicated
Even if you ultimately start a giant digital marketing agency, it’s more than likely that you’re starting out solo. So, you don’t need to create a long or complicated freelancing writing business plan. You don’t have to write it in technical jargon or even professional jargon. You can write it broadly and narrow it down as you go. You can do research. You can look online for examples of freelance writing business plans to begin writing your own. In my book (which is free if you have Kindle Unlimited…and yes, that cover is different than the paperback version – I had one hell of a time with the conversion. It was before I hired Jami.), I include all of the traditional sections found in a business plan. But again, your business plan does not need every section unless you just want to include them.
Unless you plan to seek funding for expansion in the future, you won’t need something so in-depth. I love having an in-depth plan. I revisit mine and update it as we grow because the purpose of a business plan is to guide the business. And we have big goals this year so we have plans to sit down soon and rewrite the freelance writing business plan again since we’ve added more services.