Are you about starting a freelance writing company? If YES, here is a complete sample freelance writing business plan template & feasibility report you can use for FREE.
Okay, so we have considered all the requirements for starting a freelance writing company. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample freelance writing company marketing plan template backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for freelance writing companies. So let’s proceed to the business planning section.
Table of Content
- Why Start a Freelance Writing Company?
- 1. Industry Overview
- 2. Executive Summary
- 3. Our Products and Services
- 4. Our Mission and Vision Statement
- 5. Job Roles and Responsibilities
- 6. SWOT Analysis
- 7. MARKET ANALYSIS
- 8. Our Target Market
- 9. SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY
- 10. Sales Forecast
- 11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy
- 12. Our Pricing Strategy
- 13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)
- 14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy
Why Start a Freelance Writing Company?
Earning good income from running a freelance writing company or content mill is within the grasp of any intelligent and serious-minded person. It is very possible to become either a full-time freelance writer, or to be a part-time freelancer supplementing a regular paid income. Another way is to simply do it for fun or to build up a broader portfolio of skills. You can indeed turn your writing hobby into a career that doesn’t affect your day job.
Be launching this type of business, you have to make certain that you are comfortable with writing, be certain that you can express yourself with ease and clarity, and that it is something you don’t mind doing almost every single day of your life without respite. If you don’t already have writing qualifications, consider doing a college degree in journalism or English, or taking a workshop so that you are at least aware of the major requirements in writing.
If you are planning on making a career from running a freelance writing company, then you will need to have a good sense of responsibility toward your clients or employers and yourself. There are writing groups and freelance writer associations in many countries and it is a good idea to belong to them so that you can meet other aspiring and established writers, get information and seek career advice from them. A quick search using search engines and social media should find organizations in your local area or country.
Aside from your innate writing skills, you would also need a workable business plan document to be able to run a standard freelance writing company with a good number of freelance writers and full-time employees under your payroll.
The sample freelance writing company business plan template below will guide you towards writing yours.
A Sample Freelance Writing Company Business Plan Template
1. Industry Overview
According to the 2012 Freelance Industry Report compiled primarily about North America freelancing, nearly half of freelancers do writing work, with 18 percent of freelancers listing writing as a primary skill, 10 percent editing/copy-editing, and 10 percent as copy-writing. 20 percent of freelancers listed their primary skills as design.
Next on the list was translating (8 percent), web development (5.5 percent), and marketing (4 percent). Elance, a web platform that connects freelancers with contractors, surveyed its members and 39 percent listed writing and editing as their main skill set.
Depending on the industry, freelance work practices vary and have changed over time. In some industries such as consulting, freelancers may require clients to sign written contracts. While in journalism or writing, freelancers may work voluntarily without payment or do work “on spec” to build their reputations or a relationship with a publication. Some freelancers may provide written estimates of work and request deposits from clients.
Payment for freelance work also depends on industry, skills, and experience. Freelancers may charge by the day, hour, a piece rate, or on a per-project basis. Instead of a flat rate or fee, some freelancers have adopted a value-based pricing method based on the perceived value of the results to the client.
By custom, payment arrangements may be upfront, percentage upfront, or upon completion. For more complex projects, a contract may set a payment schedule based on milestones or outcomes. One of the drawbacks of freelancing is that there is no guaranteed payment, and the work can be highly precarious.
In writing and other artistic fields, “freelance” and its derivative terms are often reserved for workers who create works on their own initiative and then seek a publisher. They typically retain the copyright to their works and sell the rights to publishers in time-limited contracts. Traditionally, works would be submitted to publishers, where they would become part of the slush pile, and would either elicit an offer to buy (an “acceptance letter”) or a rejection slip.
The total number of freelance writers in the united states is inexact and based on estimation, as the most recent governmental report on independent contractors was published in 2005 by the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In 2013, the Freelancers Union estimated that 1 in 3 workers in the United States were self-employed (approx. 42 million), with more than four million (43%) of those self-employed workers members of the creative class, some strata of work specifically associated with freelance industries, such as knowledge workers, technologists, professional writers, artists, entertainers, and media workers.
From all available statistics, it is safer to say the freelance writing business is growing steadily despite the competitive nature of the industry. One thing is certain, if you are well positioned, and have the required business skills, network and good testimonial from your clients, you may likely not have to struggle to compete favorably in the freelance writing services industry.
Lastly, one good thing about freelance writing services is that there are readily available markets for their services. This is because websites and organizations always need contents on a regular basis.
2. Executive Summary
Tapping Brain® Content Mills, LLC is a registered freelance writing services company with strong online presence but with a physical office located in the heart of Albany – New York. We have been able to lease a small but standard office facility in a strategic business location in the heart of town.
Tapping Brain® Content Mills, LLC will offer a wide range of freelance writing and related services. We will be involved in generating contents, medical transcription, dictation services, audio or documental transcription services, editing and proofreading services, letter and Rresume writing services, word processing services and other writing related services. We are set to service a wide range of clientele not just in the Albany – New York, but also in all parts of the United States and the globe at large since we will have a very strong online presence.
We are aware that there are several large and individual freelancers in the online community, which is why we spent time and resources to conduct a thorough feasibility studies and market survey so as to be well positioned to favorably compete with all our competitors.
Tapping Brain® Content Mills, LLC is a client-focused and result driven freelance writing company that provides well – crafted and well-edited original write ups at an affordable fee that won’t in any way put a hole in the pocket of our clients. We will offer a complete range of writing services to our clients and we will ensure that we work hard to provide the required contents needed by our clients to accomplish their goals and objectives.
At Tapping Brain® Content Mills, LLC, our client’s best interest comes first, and everything we do is guided by our values and professional ethics. We will ensure that we hire gifted writers and editors who are well experienced in a wide variety of fields. We will at all times demonstrate our commitment to sustainability, both individually and as a firm, by actively participating in our communities and integrating sustainable business practices wherever possible.
We will ensure that we hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards by meeting our client’s needs precisely and completely.
Tapping Brain® Content Mills, LLC is established by the Massachusetts awarding winning journalist – Cloe Washington. Cloe Washington has a B.A. in English Language, Advance Diploma in Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Harvard Business School.
She has robust experience in both print and online journalism having worked as chief editor for over 5 years with some of the leading magazine publishing companies in the United States of America prior to starting her own business.
3. Our Products and Services
Tapping Brain® Content Mills, LLC is going to offer varieties of freelance writing related services within the scope of the freelance writing industry in the United States of America. Our intention of starting our freelance writing services business is to make profits from the industry and we will do all that is permitted by the law in the US to achieve our aim and objectives.
Our business offerings are listed below;
- Letter and Resume writing
- Medical transcription
- Audio or documental transcription
- Editing and proofreading
- Ghost Writing
- Speech writing
- Report writing
- Technical writing
- Screen writing
- Biography writing
4. Our Mission and Vision Statement
- Our vision is to be amongst the top 5 freelance writing company in the world. Our vision reflects our values: integrity, service, excellence and teamwork.
- Our mission is to provide professional and trusted freelance writing consulting services that assist individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations in meeting up with their content need. We will deliver writing solutions in combination with our own business backgrounds, and deliver valuable services in a timely and cost-effective way.
Our Business Structure
Ordinarily we would have settled for two or three staff members, but as part of our plans to build a standard freelance writing services business in Albany – New York, we have perfected plans to get it right from the beginning which is why we are going the extra mile to ensure that we have competent, creative, qualified, honest and hardworking employees to occupy all the available positions in our firm.
The picture of the kind of freelance writing services business we intend building and the business goals we want to achieve is what informed the amount we are ready to pay for the best hands available in and around Albany – New York as long as they are willing to work with us to achieve our business goals and objectives.
Below is the business structure that we will build Tapping Brain® Content Mills, LLC;
- Chief Executive Officer/Lead Consultant
- Admin and HR Manager
- Business Developer (Marketing and Sales Executive)
- Customer Service Executive
5. Job Roles and Responsibilities
Chief Executive Office/Lead Consultant:
- Increases management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results; developing incentives; developing a climate for offering information and opinions; providing educational opportunities.
- Creates, communicates, and implements the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
- Accountable for fixing prices and signing business deals
- Responsible for providing direction for the business
- In charge for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
- Weighs the success of the organization
- Handles Letter and Resume writing services
- Responsible for handling medical transcription services
- In charge of handling dictation services
- Responsible for handling audio or documental transcription services
- Responsible for handling editing and proofreading services
- In control of handling word processing services
- Responsible for handling report writing, technical writing, translation, screen writing and biography writing
Admin and HR Manager
- Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for the organization
- Responsible for drawing up contracts and other legal documents for the company
- Designs job descriptions with KPI to drive performance management for clients
- Regularly hold meetings with key stakeholders to review the effectiveness of HR Policies, Procedures and Processes
- Maintains office supplies by checking stocks; placing and expediting orders; evaluating new products.
- Certifies operation of equipment by completing preventive maintenance requirements; calling for repairs.
- Defining job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
- Carries out staff induction for new team members
- Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
- Responsible for arranging travel, meetings and appointments
- Oversees the smooth running of the daily office activities
Business Developer (Marketing and Sales Executive)
- Manages external research and coordinate all the internal sources of information to retain the organizations’ best customers and attract new ones
- Models demographic information and analyze the volumes of transactional data generated by customer purchases
- Identifies, prioritizes, and reaches new partners, and business opportunities et al
- Identifies development opportunities; follows up on development leads and contacts; participates in the structuring and financing of projects; assures the completion of development projects.
- Responsible for supervising implementation, advocate for the customer’s needs, and communicate with clients
- Develops, executes and evaluates new plans for expanding sales
- Document all customer contact and information
- Represent the company in strategic meetings
- Help increase sales and growth for the company
- Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
- Provides managements with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports; analyzes financial feasibility for the most complex proposed projects; conducts market research to forecast trends and business conditions.
- Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
- Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting for one or more properties.
- Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
- Responsible for administering payrolls
- Ensures compliance with taxation legislation
- Handles all financial transactions for the company
- Serves as internal auditor for the company
Client Service Executive
- Ensures that all contacts with clients (e-mail, walk-In center, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level
- Through interaction with clients on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the company’s products and services
- Manages administrative duties assigned by the manager in an effective and timely manner
- Consistently stays abreast of any new information on the company’s products, promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to clients when they make enquiries
- Distribute mails in the organization
- Handles any other duties as assigned by the line manager
6. SWOT Analysis
Tapping Brain® Content Mills, LLC engaged the services of a core professional in the area of business consulting and structuring to assist the firm in building a solid freelance writing firm that can favorably compete in the highly competitive freelance services industry.
Part of what the team of business consultant did was to work with the management of our firm in conducting a SWOT analysis for Tapping Brain® Content Mills, LLC. Here is a summary from the result of the SWOT analysis that was conducted on behalf of Tapping Brain® Content Mills, LLC;
Our core strength lies in the power of our workforce. We have a team that are considered experts in the industry, a team with excellent qualifications and experience in freelance writing. Aside from the synergy that exists in our carefully selected workforce and our strong online presence, Tapping Brain® Content Mills, LLC is well positioned in a business district with the right demography and we know we will attract loads of corporate clients from the first day we open our doors for business.
As a new freelance writing firm, it might take some time for our organization to break into the market; that is perhaps our major weakness.
No doubt, the opportunities in the freelance writing industry are indeed massive and we are ready to take advantage of any opportunity that comes our way.
Every business faces a threat or challenge at any part of its life cycle. These threats can be external or internal. This shows the importance of a business plan, because most threats or challenges are to be anticipated and plans put in place to cushion their effects.
7. MARKET ANALYSIS
- Market Trends
Hundreds of thousands of writing opportunities exist today. Making the most of them is where the art of the freelancer really comes into play. A freelance writer is someone who writes without belonging to any single company or entity but acts like a small business or an independent contractor. Freelancing does not relate only to writing but also to issues such as web development, graphic designing, data analysis and many other fields.
Another common trend in the freelance writing services line of business is that most players in this industry do not just settle for clients within their immediate environment; they now have strong online presence hence they are able to work for clients in other parts of the world.
Lastly, it is now becoming trendy in the freelance writing services industry for operators to have their own platform where freelance writers and clients can interact and get or give out writing gigs.
8. Our Target Market
Our target market cuts across different classes and people from all walks of life. We are coming into the industry with a business concept that will enable us work with highly placed people and companies as well as lowly placed people and smaller businesses. In other words, our target market is the whole of the United States of America and subsequently other parts of the world.
Below is a list of the people and organizations that we have specifically design our services for;
- Television stations
- Radio stations
- Freelance Market space
- Consulting firms
- Private individuals
The Tapping Brain® Content Mills, LLC might be a new entrant into the freelance writing industry in the United States of America, but we have a strong online presence that will help us work for clients all across the world.
Our competitive advantage also lies in the power of our team workforce. Aside from the synergy that exists in our carefully selected workforce and our strong online presence, Tapping Brain® Content Mills, LLC is well positioned in a business district with the right demography and we know we will attract loads of corporate clients from the first day we open our doors for business. These are part of what will count as a competitive advantage for us.
Lastly, our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category in the industry meaning that they will be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and achieve all our aims and objectives.
9. SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY
- Sources of Income
Tapping Brain® Content Mills, LLC is established with the aim of maximizing profits in the freelance writing services industry and we are going to go all the way to ensure that we do all it takes to attract clients on a regular basis.
Tapping Brain® Content Mills, LLC will generate income by offering the following writing services for individuals and for organizations;
- Letter and Resume writing
- Medical transcription
- Dictation services
- Audio or documental transcription
- Editing and proofreading services
- Word processing services
- Ghost Writing
- Speech writing
- Report writing
- Technical writing
- Screen writing
- Resume writing
- Biography writing
10. Sales Forecast
The opportunities in the freelance writing industry is indeed massive and we are ready to take advantage of any opportunity that comes our way.
We have been able to critically examine the freelance writing services market, we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast. The sales projections are based on information gathered on the field and some assumptions that are peculiar to startups in Albany – New York.
Below are the sales projection for Tapping Brain® Content Mills, LLC, it is based on the location of our business and the wide range of freelance writing services that we will be offering;
- First Fiscal Year: $120,000
- Second Fiscal Year: $300,000
- Third Fiscal Year: $450,000
N.B: This projection was done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown and there won’t be any major competitor offering same services as we do within the same location. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.
- Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy
We are mindful of the fact that there are stiff competitions amongst freelance writing companies in the United States of America; hence we have been able to hire some of the best business developers to handle our sales and marketing.
Our sales and marketing team will be recruited base on their vast experience in the industry and they will be trained on a regular basis so as to be well equipped to meet their targets and the overall goal of the organization. We will also ensure that our excellent job deliveries speak for us in the market place; we want to build a standard freelance writing services business that will leverage on word of mouth advertisement from satisfied clients.
Our goal is to grow our business to become one of the top 5 freelance writing services agencies in the United States of America which is why we have mapped out strategy that will help us take advantage of the available market and grow to become a major force to reckon with not only in the U.S but in the world as well.
The Tapping Brain® Content Mills, LLC is set to make use of the following marketing and sales strategies to attract clients;
- Introduce our business by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to organizations and key stakeholders in Albany – New York and other parts of the U.S.
- Promptness in bidding for freelance writing or editing contracts
- Advertise our business in relevant business magazines, newspapers, TV and radio stations
- List our business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Attend relevant international and local expos, seminars, and business fairs et al
- Create different packages for different category of clients in order to work with their budgets and still deliver quality contents
- Leverage on the internet to promote our business
- Engage in direct marketing approach
- Encourage word of mouth marketing from loyal and satisfied clients
11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy
We have been able to work with our in – house consultants and other brand and publicity specialists to help us map out publicity and advertising strategies that will help us penetrate our target market. We are set to take the freelance writing services industry by storm which is why we have made provisions for effective publicity and advertisement of our organization.
Below are the platforms we intend to leverage on to promote and advertise Tapping Brain® Content Mills, LLC;
- Place adverts on both print (community based newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community programs
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, twitter, et al to promote our brand
12. Our Pricing Strategy
Usually, freelance writers charge their clients per word written or the volume of the editing jobs to be done. At Tapping Brain® Content Mills, LLC we will keep our fees below the average market rate by keeping our overhead low and by collecting payment in advance. In addition, we will also offer special discounted rates to startups, nonprofits, cooperatives, and small social enterprises.
We are aware that there are some clients that would need regular supply of contents and editing services, we will offer them flat rate for such services.
- Payment Options
The payment policy adopted by Tapping Brain® Content Mills, LLC is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different customers prefer different payment options, but at the same time, we will ensure that we abide by the financial rules and regulation of the United States of America.
Here are the payment options that Tapping Brain® Content Mills, LLC will make available to her clients;
- Payment via bank transfer
- Payment with cash
- Payment via Point of Sale Machine (POS)
- Payment via online bank transfer
- Payment via check
- Payment via bank draft
In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will enable our client make payment for services rendered without any stress on their part. Our bank account numbers will be made available on our website and promotional materials.
13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)
In setting up any business, the amount or cost will depend on the approach and scale you want to undertake. If you intend to go big by renting/leasing a big facility, then you would need a good amount of capital as you would need to ensure that your employees are well taken care of, and that your facility is conducive enough for workers to be creative and productive.
This means that the startup can either be low or high depending on your goals, vision and aspirations for your business.
On the average, starting a standard freelance writing services company can be cost effective because you are not expected to acquire expensive machines and equipment. Basically, what you should be concerned with is the amount needed to secure a standard office facility in a good and busy business district, the amount needed to equip the office, pay bills, promote the business and obtain the appropriate business license and certifications.
These are the areas we are looking towards spending our startup capital on;
- The total fee for incorporating the Business in the United States of America – $750
- Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits as well as the accounting services (software, P.O.S machines and other software) – $3,300
- The total cost for payment of insurance policy covers (general liability, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $9,400
- The amount needed to acquire a suitable Office facility in a business district (Re – Construction of the facility inclusive) – $40,000
- Marketing promotion expenses for the grand opening of Tapping Brain® Content Mills, LLC in the amount of $3,500 and as well as flyer printing (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of $3,580
- The total cost for hiring Business Consultant – $2,500
- The cost for equipping the office (computers, printers, fax machines, furniture, telephones, filing cabins, safety gadgets and electronics et al) – $2,000
- The cost of launching our official Website – $600
- Budget for paying at least two full-time employees for 3 months and utility bills – $30,000
- Additional expenditure (Business cards, Signage, Adverts and Promotions et al) – $2,500
- Miscellaneous – $1,000
Going by the report from the research and feasibility studies, we will need about $150,000 to set up a medium scale but standard freelance writing services company in the United States of America.
Generating Startup Capital for Tapping Brain® Content Mills, LLC
Tapping Brain® Content Mills, LLC is going to start as a private business that will be solely owned by Cloe Washington and her immediate family members. The family will be the sole financier of the firm, but may likely welcome partners later which is why they have decided to restrict the sourcing of startup capital to 3 major sources.
These are the areas we intend generating our startup capital;
- Generate part of the startup capital from personal savings
- Source for soft loans from family members and friends
- Apply for loan from the Bank
N.B: We have been able to generate about $50,000 (Personal savings $40,000 and soft loan from family members $10,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $100,000 from our bank. All the papers and documents have been duly signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited.
14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy
The future of a business lies in the number of loyal customers they have, the capacity and competence of the employees, their investment strategy and the business structure. If all of these factors are missing from a business, then it won’t be too long before the business closes shop.
One of our major goals of starting Tapping Brain® Content Mills, LLC is to build a business that will survive off its own cash flow without the need for injecting finance from external sources once the business is officially running. We know that one of the ways of gaining approval and winning customers over is to offer nothing short of excellent contents at highly affordable prices.
Tapping Brain® Content Mills, LLC will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and re training of our workforce is at the top burner.
We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry; they will be more committed to help us build the business of our dreams.
- Business Name Availability Check: Completed
- Business Incorporation: Completed
- Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts various banks in the United States: Completed
- Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
- Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
- Application for business license and permit: Completed
- Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
- Leasing a standard office facility (renovation of the office facility inclusive): Completed
- Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
- Generating part of the startup capital from the founder: Completed
- Applications for Loan from our Bankers: In Progress
- Writing of Business Plan: Completed
- Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
- Drafting of Contract Documents: In Progress
- Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
- Graphic Designs and Printing of Promotional Materials: Completed
- Recruitment of employees: In Progress
- Purchase of the needed furniture, office equipment, electronic appliances and facility facelift: In progress
- Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
- Creating Awareness for the business (Business PR): In Progress
- Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement: In Progress
- Establishing business relationship with key players in the industry: In Progress
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