If you’re a freelancer you’re a business owner. And as such, any time you can improve your business by streamlining or adding processes, the better you’ll do.
Freelance writers and entrepreneurs have to play all the roles in a business. But if we’re not careful, we can get bogged down in the day to day and neglect the business building part of things.
Systems and processes are the secret to scaling but they take time and planning. And when you’re in the midst of just trying to keep up with your workload, these business improvement practices can easily fall by the wayside.
But if you want to improve your business, you must find time for this important groundwork.
5 strategies to improve your business performance
Business building is a daunting task, especially when you’re also responsible for every other aspect of your company. Over time you’ll figure out which tactics and practices serve you and contribute to growth and which ones only distract.
There is definitely some trial and error for finding strategies that work for you. Here are five suggestions for places to start to improve the performance of your business.
One of the quickest ways to increase your profitability and productivity is to identify and resolve bottlenecks. It’s difficult to notice these chokepoints when you’re zoomed into the details of your business and day-to-day work so take time to back up and look at the big picture.
To find where you can improve processes look at these areas.
If you aren’t tracking your time, start. This feels like extra work, I know, but knowing how long it takes you to complete work is the only real way to understand where your bottlenecks are.
Look at how long projects take to complete and compare them to one another. Pay attention to the ones that are taking longer than they should.
When you look at your prices versus how long it takes you to complete a project, does your hourly rate make sense?
If you’re unsure, here’s more about how to price your work properly.
Type of work
Look at your current clients and the type of work you’re doing. Is this the work you want to be doing? Are these the clients you want to have?
Here’s more about identifying your ideal reader or client.
Once you have identified the areas that need improvement you can develop strategies to address these areas.
Technology is rapidly transforming the business landscape through processes like automation.
And these advancements are available for freelancers too!
Look at what’s available. Talk to your network and ask what other entrepreneurs are doing to automate their processes. Consider implementing the tools that make sense.
This may feel like it will take more time to set up and optimize than simply doing things the way you’ve always done them but automating and systemizing will allow you to scale down the road. The value cannot be overstated.
Here’s a real life example to help drive this point home. Stakeholders in the food and beverage industry can utilize text message marketing for restaurants to communicate with customers and staff. This also helps minimize errors, improve efficiency and reduce staff workload. There was a learning curve and initial setup costs but look at what they’ve gained as a result.
Want to improve your business? Ask for feedback
It’s easy to see your business through rose-coloured glasses. Or to only see issues from your point of view. Ask your existing customers for feedback. Ask trusted colleagues for honest advice. The truth may be scary to face but this is one of the fastest ways to learn where your weak points are.
Of course you may not choose to address every point that comes back to you, but there will be some feedback that you can and should act upon. There’s always something you can improve.
Marketing improves brand awareness, increases client acquisition and adds to your overall authority within your industry. You will never regret doing more marketing, just make sure it’s the right kind of marketing for you and your business.
Setting aside time each quarter to plan your marketing will allow you to focus your energy on achieving your goals and improving your business. And don’t take your foot off the gas if you’re full for clients. Your business will still benefit from marketing, even if your main focus shifts from acquisition to another area for a while. Keep marketing.
How much time do you set aside for continuing education? Whether you’re a solo business owner or you have contractors or staff, equipping your employees with the right skills will only benefit your business. Look at your skillls. Where could you use some training? Consider your employee’s skills and identify gaps. Invest in education and you’ll not only keep up with the changing business landscape but you’ll see improvements in other areas too.
If you’ve been in business for any amount of time then you know the landscape is constantly changing. You can count on that! But if you pay attention to areas where you can continue improving then you’re positioning your business for continued relevance and profitability.
One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.
This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.