Having a great freelancing business that you love and supports you financially and emotionally is more than how much profit you make.
You need a business that nourishes you, nurtures you and supports you to be the person you want to be, as well as the person you already are.
Upgrading your business is how you go from Now to There.
Start now and use my top tips to instantly upgrade your business (you’ll love number 5!).
1. Track Your Numbers
Tracking your numbers is key.
Consistently keeping track of the key numbers in your business subtly keeps you anchored to where you want to be in your business, quietly unravels blocks and is an easy way to reform patterns of behaviour that are standing in your way.
It’s your foundation and an essential to upgrade your business.
The numbers to track in your business:
- Track your income, expenses, profits (it’s a basic for everyone and legally required)
- Your email list (how many subscribe, your goals and open and click stats. I update 3 times a week and monthly)
- Your auto responders (how many subscribe, your goals and open and click stats. I update 3 times a week)
- Your website key stats (see below to download for my free tracking sheet)
- Review other areas in your business which are key to your marketing and keep track (My VA tracks my social media numbers and Alexa rank)
These are perfect tasks for your VA and an easy way to start with a VA if you’re new to having one. Give your VA access to your Mailchimp, or similar account, and s/he can do it all or you.
Download my free resources to help you track your numbers:
2. Track Your Invoices
Track your invoices.
Do you do all of these?
- Issue invoices promptly
- Know when invoices are due
- Have reminders scheduled – and send them promptly
- Have a procedure in place if payment is late or isn’t paid
It’s easy enough to do all of these.
Even easier if your accounting software or VA does it for you.
It’s very simple, very easy and the only reason it’s not done are emotional blocks.
So if invoice tracking isn’t already happening in your business, read The Ultimate Guide To Accounting Software and/or ask your VA to do it for you.
Download my free invoice template if you prefer not to use software.
You’ll be amazed how much of an upgrade having professional invoicing makes.
You’ll feel fantastic!
3. Know Your Sweet Spots
Upgrade your business by discovering the areas that make the most difference to how you feel, your profits and your long term vision.
For me, it’s:
- Starting my work day with a visit to the garden cafe at my local Tube station
- Using gorgeous practical stationery that makes me feel good (more on that later)
- Re-structuring my marketing so I gain much more time for creating information products which I LOVE doing (e.g. The Essential Guide To Home Working Expenses)
When you upgrade the areas that make the difference, you feel better and get where you want to be faster.
When I realised I needed to start my work day by being outside with low key human interaction, I struck myself on the forehead in a dramatic motion (duh!). I immediately changed my day to start it with a calm walk through ancient woods to a local garden cafe and a friendly chat with the coffee man. He makes my sage tea (my own home grown sage in my own mug) and I settle down to 10 minutes reading an inspiring book.
Which brings me onto my next tip, as it was by doing this that I realised what made the difference for me.
You need to invest in your business to be emotionally and financially fulfilled:
- You, personally and professionally
- Your business foundations
- Commitment, time and consistency
Time to take yourself to a tea shop for some cake and a magic wand.
1. Invest In You
What transformation do you want in your life?
How do you want your life to be?
What’s fabulous in your life already?
What baby steps can you take to give you your ideal life right now?
Often small changes totally transform how you feel.
It’s YOU running your business.
You know how annoying it is when a fat doctor with nicotine stained fingers tells someone they need to lose weight and quit smoking? I mean, start with yourself right?
It’s the same with you and your business. Look after yourself, personally and professionally. Baby step by baby step do what you need to do and get the help you need.
Ask in online and offline freelance communities for recommendations for resources, articles and 1:1 help. There are trusted private communities (mostly on Facebook in my experience) for areas you feel particularly vulnerable about.
My personal recommendation is to begin with food.
It’s the one thing that makes the most difference the fastest. Laura Agar Wilson’s website is a great place to start.
2. Invest in Your Business Foundations
A business with solid foundations is crucial.
You’d be surprised how many businesses don’t have one. I know businesses with 3 figure incomes which are more solid than businesses with 6 figure incomes.
What is a solid business foundation?
- A legal structure that fits with what you need now (sole trader or limited company)
- Knowing why you have the legal structure you do, when’s the right time to change it, and what that looks like in your business (limited company, what’s the risk?)
- Knowing the nuts and bolts in your business and understanding how your business is going to make the profit you need and want
- Feeling confident in your marketing and sales and your long term vision
- Having a long term vision!
If you’re nodding to yourself knowing this is you, email me about working 1:1 with your legal structure and transforming your profit by really understanding your expenses and what you’re spending.
It was an investment in my business foundation earlier this year that transformed my business.
I took a deep breath and invested in a business retreat and VIP day. I’ll be vulnerable with you and say I wasn’t comfortable with how much I was spending. Before I emailed to say I wanted a place, I didn’t sleep that night. I knew though that I needed to do it.
I am a different person and my business is transformed because I took the leap and invested.
I’m on my way rather than having arrived (that would be a house on my road which are £2m), but the confidence and belief in myself is a 180 degree turnaround.
I’ve been told I appear very confident, and in some ways I am, but I doubt myself too just like you. That’s why I understand and why I make such a difference to the lives and businesses of my clients.
3. Invest In Commitment, Time and Consistency
Upgrade your business is about tiny, baby steps – hanging onto a chair while you wobble if need be 🙂
When you commit to real change, you make the time for the baby steps you need to take.
Schedule 5 minutes a day to your long term vision and create consistent actions.
Actions you can do in 5 minutes:
- Create a recurring tweet offering a free download
- Set up automatic shares of your blog archive
- Be visible in social media where your ideal clients are
- Make a green smoothie
- Actually go outside
- Work on your latest article
- Cross off all the items on your To Do list that don’t really matter
- Update your stats
- Track your invoices
- Read a blog post or download a resource (e.g. free Tax Return Checklist)
It’s consistency that makes the difference.
You wouldn’t be walking now if you hadn’t been consistent learning to walk as a little one. Crawl, wobble, walk, walk faster, run!
5. Get Good Stationery
You’ll LOVE this one.
Stationery is possibly the best indulgence ever invented except for cake.
Upgrade your business by getting good stationery.
It’s simple, it’s easy, it’s inexpensive. Even the most online business uses paper.
Stationery is the nuts and bolts of freelancing:
- Your dream board
- Scribbling and doodling
- Client notes
- Financial records
- Keeping receipts
- Printing your Tax Return Toolkit
It makes sense to use what you love, that makes you feel good, inspired and confident and kick ass.
I use Pukka jottas, Waitrose jotters and A4 pads and my Kikki K planner which is SO good.
There’s also my Paperchase habit, I know you understand.
I’ll admit to a spot of stationery search indulgence (you been there too yes?) and the best part is that I firmly claim it’s for your benefit.
After all, stationery is a tax-deductible expense. THE BEST THING EVER.
Sometimes I love HMRC.
HMRC may not use a unicorn themed jotter but there is no reason why you can’t show them how it’s done (tips in my The Tax-Deductible Stationery Gift Guide).
You can buy ‘I’m Going To Kick Today’s Ass’, ‘Getting Shit Done’ and ‘Today I Will Get My Arse Into Gear’ pads from Ohh Dear.
It all helps you Get. Stuff. Done. and it’s all tax deductible. Perfect upgrade.
Want real transformation? There’s my Tax & Cake Heaven Intensive (with cake).
Please share, upgrades are best together 🙂
What upgrade are you going to make in your business right now?