How to Predict What You Will Earn from Your Creative Business Each Month

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Business / Clients / Money

Imagine what it would be like if you could predict your income every month.

What am I talking about? How could anyone predict their income. Don’t be silly. Right?

I’m not talking about receiving a paycheque from your employer.

I mean being able to know, within a few hundred quid or bucks, what you will earn next month, and eight months from now.

You’ve taken the bold step of running your own business. The least you can do for yourself is to be able to plan for how much you want to earn from taking that step.

Working for yourself, or running a business, should not be based on an assumption that income is unpredictable. If your income is not predictable, you are not in control.

If you have no idea how much you might earn from your skills this month, running the business becomes a source of stress. And we don’t want that. We want to be working on engaging projects that we know will pay us well beyond our expenses.

You can get in control. If you have opted to get into business for your own, or with a team, you must understand how to plan for the income you want to bring in.

Imagine you could predict, and know with a high amount of confidence that you will bring in $10,000 next month with your creative craft?

How would that affect your life?

Here’s how you can gain control, and be in a position to predict what you earn each month:

1. Decide on exactly how much monthly revenue you need and want

You need to get excited about what you’re aiming for.

A lot of freelance businesses fail because freelance income is sub-standard, mediocre, and ultimately hugely un-motivating. It’s self-fulfilling that you’d continue to earn nothing to little.

The amount of money your business brings in each month should greatly exceed how much you spend each month on your business.

This is profit, and you want to aim high, rather than low. No point fretting every month about the risk of dipping below break even.

Expenses at $2,000? Decide on revenue of $10,000 or more for next month. Aiming high will get you thinking creatively about how you can make it possible. Aiming big means your motivation goes up, and your likelihood of actually hitting the target improves drastically.

Earn $1,000 last month? Aim for $4,000 next month, and keep it consistent.

Be a little unreasonable. A reasonable goal makes for a boring marketing strategy. Aim for what feels just out of reach. Be a little unrealistic, but obviously don’t be stupid.

If you’re a one-person operation just starting out, keep the million-a-month target in your strategy for future goals, but do work towards it.

2. Get educated on what you need to do

A huge problem we see with anyone either in a business, or planning to start their own one is lack of action, often owing to a lack of clarity and fear.

This fear is really a result of not having certainty. And certainty comes from understanding and learning.

“To succeed, we must first believe that we can”

Michael Korda

You need to educate yourself as well as you can on everything that is required in order to actually earn the amount of money that gets you excited.

Learn how to go out and acquire clients and customers. Learn how to identify a target market. Learn about your customers and where they are. Learn how to negotiate and settle on a price that you are truly worth.

When you know, then action becomes more fluid, because you know what needs to be done in order to get what you want.

3. Break down your income goal into steps

Write out your income goal for the month at the top of the page. Then work backwards, writing down the step that will get you to the one above it until you get to the very first step at the bottom.

RLC_predict_income

The stuff you’ve been learning will help with this process, as will your experiences and past successes.

Bear in mind, that the actions you need to take in order to secure clients in the future, need to happen well before you aim to seal the deal. That’s the relationship-building nature of securing clients.

It is a process. But the step break downs will show you what needs to be done. Then it’s a case of working out when to take action on them.

4. Work the steps into your goals and tasks

You now need to take action on those steps you just broke down. This is done by building them into your daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly tasks and goals.

Work out how long each step needs, assign a deadline to that task, and put it in your schedule. Set alerts for the deadlines in your calendar.

If you don’t yet plan ahead up to at least the next three months, you should.

Now you have a plan of attack. You have the clarity you need. With clarity comes motivation.

You’re now in at least the top 5%.

You know what you need to do in order to predict your income, and grow your business.

QUESTION: Do you break down any of your goals? Has this post helped you?

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The Author

Alex is a project starter, sometimes finisher, writer and illustrator. He started Red Lemon Club in 2009 with the aim of helping talented creative people leave their mark.

6 Comments

  1. This is a great way to break it down. I used to go from “ok, If I want to earn x amount then I need x clients” and that’s pretty much it. It’s so interesting to know how specific you can get or what is the next action to take from a big goal.

    • Alex Mathers says

      Thanks Maria – yes too often we think we can handle a task, and don’t, because we didn’t break it up and open it out in full!

  2. I tend to fully book one month and need a month to recover with just a few projects, unfortunately being solo means when a client over-runs on feedback, even by a day or two it really screws with scheduling. Which in turn damages work for my other clients as I’m left playing catch up.

    It’s looking like it will happen twice this month, and I’ve got a very big client booked for mid Feb so already panicking. I’ve started taking on freelancers to cover some work but feel like I could deal with the workload if it all went exactly to plan.

    • Alex Mathers says

      Great comment. The solution to this is working with fewer, higher-paying clients over the more work intensive clients. That comes down to your own research, intention and marketing strategy. Send me an email if you want to know more.

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