Friday, July 11, 2014

Conducting A Mid-Year Assessment (Part 1)

Part of your job as a freelancing professional is to make sure you're always seeking for new or better ways to improve or hone your craft.

Since the first half of 2014 is over, it's time to evaluate your work habits and accurately pinpoint the areas where you need the most improvement as opposed to the ones where you've proven to be the most effective.

Gather any records you may have, like spreadsheets, receipts, or any proof of payment. You may have also kept promissory notes from clients who have requested to extend the deadline you've given them to pay the remaining balance.

Now, set aside an entire day or two for your mid-year assessment, and then do the following:

Take note of the habits that have proven to be the most beneficial to your career.

A very good example of this is reducing the time you spend composing emails by having several email templates ready, or creating a business card that makes you stand out, to the point that potential clients can't help but sit up and take notice of you.

Attending conventions and networking is also an excellent way to meet fellow freelancers and professionals in other fields that may need your services. Keep a record of the clients that you've met in conventions, and see to it that they'd want to be among your stable of repeat clients.

Continually strive to streamline your weekly routine.

One of the keys to being effective is to plan ahead. Freelancing professionals need to schedule large blocks of time throughout their week if they want to make sure that they'll turn in exemplary work on time.

And time management is even more important for freelancers who have a nine-to-five job and treat this career as a sideline to augment their monthly paychecks.

If you've been successful in reducing the time you spend in front of the TV in order to concentrate more on your tasks, congratulations! If you've harnessed social media as a marketing tool rather than a distraction, then give yourself a pat on the back for learning how to build your own platform.

Assess your cash flow.

Did your clients find it easy or convenient to fork over your required flat fee and down payment? Have you provided your clients with a variety of options and payment schemes, like check deposits, bank or wire transfers, PayPal, Xoom, and, locally, Globe Gcash?

And how did you fare when it came to collecting the maintaining balance after a client has expressed that he was satisfied with your job? Usually, your invoice should be enough to do the talking.

Do come back next week for the second part of this post.

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