Do you have a sustainable business model?
Your business model is your statement of what income you want and expect your business to bring in and how you are going to get it.
Many new freelance trainers are totally unrealistic when they first start out about what they are going to earn. As someone who has spent many years on the ‘other side’ in the corporate world, I can guess where this inflated earnings picture comes from. We have all seen freelance trainers’ invoices, looked at their daily rate, done the maths, and thought to ourselves, ‘Hmm, it’s alright for some!’
The reality is somewhat different. Most freelancers don’t train four or five days a week. They couldn’t do this even if they wanted to because if they spent all that time in the training room, they wouldn’t have a business at all. If you take out all the days you need to spend on marketing activity and the other things you need to do to run a business, you only have about 100 to 120 fee-earning days in any one year.
Your numbers should include
And what about the costs of running a business? Here are just some of the things you will need to pay for:
- Tax liability
- Stationery – pens/paper/envelopes/diaries/folders/ink cartridges/flip chart pens
- Anti-virus software
- Computer hardware
- Software subscriptions
- Website, e.g. annual hosting fee
- Training material and resources, e.g. books, training manuals, downloads
- Professional subscriptions
- Networking events
- Membership of online forums and communities
- Professional indemnity and public liability insurance
- Marketing and advertising costs
So make sure that any business model you work out is realistic and sustainable, otherwise you will be driven back to corporate life before you’ve barely begun.