Why Freelancers Get Stifled Without Processes (And What To Do)
As a solopreneur, you wear many hats. It’s just a fact. On any given day you might be juggling a client relationship, another client’s project, invoicing, networking, and keeping up with miscellaneous calls and emails.
It can sometimes feel like a never-ending loop of “the hustle.”
You start seeing your to-do list in your sleep (when you’re actually able to cat a few hours.)
And you start to think burnout is just an inevitable part of your future.
I mean that’s logical right? We all have an exhaustion breaking point!
But burnout isn’t the only option for your future. There can be light at the end of that hustle tunnel.
So why do freelancers get stifled?
They’ve failed to implement any processes into their business.
The concept of processes and the advantage to having them might be more apparent in large companies, but they’re equally as important for you, the solopreneur or freelancer.
Not long ago I worked with a writer, (who was absolutely brilliant I might add.) She loved her work and had her eyes set on growing her business bigger. The only problem was that as business began to pick up, she felt the crunch. She felt like things were devolving into chaos around her. Spending hours on the proposal over here, and hours responding to emails, and “oh shoot, I forgot to send that invoice,” you see where I’m going here. She just wasn’t sure she could keep up with it all.
When we spoke, I realized pretty quickly that the problem was definitely not her ability. Clearly, she was in demand for a reason!
The problem was that she never put processes and systems into place.
It took a bit of time, but within 3 months she reshaped her entire business. Putting processes and tools into place, and went from burnout bedlam to relaxed and in control.
You see, having processes in place helps to avoid chaos.
They provide clarity for what the next step should always be. (And that goes for both you and the client.)
They also make it much easier to outsource work or hire someone to help when you grow, as you already have directions written out.
Another benefit is that processes improve efficiency. Anything that’s made into a standard, repeatable process can speed up that task. Anytime you can save time and money it’s a must-do.
Now the only question is: how do you put these processes into place in your freelancing?
- Define the goals. Think you’re wasting valuable time writing long proposals? Feel like you spend more time arranging client meetings than actually with the clients? Write those things down. Along with how fixing that will improve business.
- Next, write down what it typically looks like when you do that task. Really break it down.
- Now analyze if there are ways to improve it or streamline it. In the case of proposals, you could use a template, or get rid of them altogether and have set, standard packages. In the case of client scheduling, you might use a scheduling tool for people to book their own calls and meetings.
- Write down a step-by-step process for how you will handle those tasks every time in the future.
- Go through every task that you do regularly, and follow the same steps from above.
You’ve now identified and written new business processes for yourself. All that’s left is for you to consistently do those steps from here on out!
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Kelli Koladish is a freelance coach at Kelli Koladish, The Growth Catalyst
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