Freelancer website is a platform where freelance writers, researchers, designers, and other freelancers meet the clients and complete their projects against pre-decided compensation. The business plan constitutes an analysis of the business operations, business environment, financial appraisal, and marketing strategies of a company. The business plan presented in this paper discusses all these elements in the light of research papers, books, and internet sources related to the freelance writing and services industry.
The freelancer website primarily aims to serve the Middle East customers by taking the services of freelancers from the local and international regions. In the future, the company will expand its operations to the Global scale and target the customers from all over the world. In its initial phase of business operations, the freelancer website will have to design its marketing and promotional strategies which are just focused on establishing its brand image and strengthen its customer base. With the passage of time, it will strive to achieve high market share, superior financial performance, and market dominance by beating the industry rivals in a competitive fashion.
The financial appraisal of the freelancer website gives an estimate of the expected revenues for the initial 12 months period along with the major costs which it will have to incur during this period. The major financial burden on the website's profitability will be put by the software licensing and website development expenses. These are the heaviest investments which the company will make in the course of its business. The marketing strategies presented in this paper will help it in offering its freelancing services in an effective way. The freelancer website will provide the most efficient, reliable, and the highest quality of writing services, charge a competitive price for these services, and ensure that its marketing messages are being delivered to the potential target audience.
This paper presents a comprehensive business plan for a freelancer website that aims to provide a platform to the freelance workers to get their abilities and talent remunerated by working on the projects of their choice. This business plan constitutes all those elements which are essential to be analyzed before setting up a freelance business on the Internet platform. The paper is divided into eight major sections: the first section draws a complete portrait of the freelance business by explaining the services which its owners are going to sell at their freelancer website; the nature, scale of operations, corporate values, customers, management structure, employees, and other aspects of the business. After describing the business in a detailed fashion; the paper proceeds by highlighting the major environmental impacts which the owners may have to face in the course of their freelance business operations.
The 'Operational Procedures' section gives a detailed explanation of how this freelancer website is going to operate, i.e. order bidding and pricing comparison procedure, assignment of orders, payment mechanisms, etc. The next section suggests some useful strategies which can be used by the owners to market their freelance website to its most potential customers in an effective way. This section takes into account the marketing objectives; service-related strategies, promotional, pricing, and place strategies; and marketing budget in order to give directions to the owners in designing the best marketing strategies for their freelance website. The Financial projections are made by making assessment of business start-up costs, day-to-day operational costs, sources of revenues, and sales forecast for the short run.
One of the most important sections of the paper, 'Website Developing method' presents the method of acquiring the freelance website. For this purpose, the evaluation of software vendors is done in order to screen the best and the most cost-effective vendor for developing the website. The business plan ends with explaining the evaluation and control techniques which can be used to keep a check and balance over the performance of the business over time as well as the effectiveness of the website design and functions.
1. Description of the Business
Nature, Services, and Scale of Operations:
Freelancer website is a platform where customers from all over the world or from a specific region post their projects and invite freelancers to complete them within the assigned time and against a pre-decided compensation (Allen, 2012). The business plan presented in this paper is designed for a new freelancer website that aims to serve its clients in the Gulf region, i.e. The customers from all over the world may post their projects on this website and ask its active and registered freelancers from the Middle Eastern countries to bid and select the projects which best suit their abilities, skills, and time schedules (Scott, 2011). Thus, the nature of the business is purely service-oriented with no physical products or goods being transferred from sellers to buyers (Entrepreneur magazine, 2012).
As mentioned earlier, this freelancer website will serve the customers from all over the world; but take the services of freelance writers, designers, and researchers from the Gulf countries only. Therefore, this freelancer website will operate at the international level and compete with other freelancer websites in its own region as well as in the Global market (Freelance UK, 2007).
Mission and Vision for the Freelancer Website:
The freelancer website is a purely profit-motive business with an aim to continuously strengthen its customer base and market position with the passage of time (Ilasco & Cho, 2010). However, the mission statement for this website entails its concern for the primary stakeholders; by proving reliable and high quality contents to the customers, attractive compensation and growth opportunities to the freelancers, and contribution to the existing freelancing industry through superior services (Entrepreneur magazine, 2012). The vision of this new freelancer website is to become the most reliable, competitive, and fastest-growing business entity in the long run (Liem, 2008). The strategic objectives of the company are largely focused on gaining high market share in a short period of time, strengthening customer base, and give superior financial performance and attractive returns to the investors (Bangs & Henricks, 2005).
Managers and Employees (Organizational Structure)
The freelancer website will be managed and operated by a number of professionals. First of all, the company's Management will consist of major shareholders/investors that have initiated this business project (Freelance UK, 2007). The Management team will constitute professionals who have vast experience in the freelance writing and service industry and who possess exceptional skills, academic qualification, and expertise in dealing similar businesses (Entrepreneur magazine, 2012). The members of the Management team will include Operations Manager, Sales Managers, Marketing and Brand Manager, Finance Manager, Information Technology Manager, Human Resource Manager, Quality Assurance Manager, Academic and Research Manager, and Customer Relationship Manager (Ilasco & Cho, 2010). All these managers will report to the General Manager about the performance of their respective departments and the issues which they will face during the normal course of the business (Allen, 2012).
The freelancer website will have to hire a large workforce consisting of writers from different fields of studies and professions; including Business Management, Medical and health sciences, Administrative sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities, Engineering, Computers and Information Technology, Law and Political Sciences, Commerce and Industry, Aeronautics, Automobiles, etc. (Liem, 2008). In addition to this diverse workforce of writers, the company will also hire graphics and web designers who will take the orders of developing websites, completing graphics designing assignments and projects, providing technical solutions, and other services. The company will also use motivational techniques to retain its talented and capable freelancers through promotions and financial bonuses and rewards.
The customers of the freelancer website will consist of professionals and students who have to get their academic and professional assignments and projects done through professional and experienced writers, analysts, researchers, and designers (Ilasco & Cho, 2010). The freelancer website will provide a wide range of writing, designing, and research services to its clients from every kind of profession and area of studies (Bangs & Henricks, 2005). Thus, the company's potential customers include the students from medical, engineering, business management, commerce, social sciences and humanities, and IT colleges and institutions from the local and international regions (Freelance UK, 2007). The freelancer website will be connected to the international websites database which will make its access to the potential customers from all the operating regions of the world (Entrepreneur magazine, 2012).
In addition to the investors, employees (freelance writers, designers, and researchers), and customers, the freelancer website will have to manage the interest of some other parties which have a direct stake in its operational performance and profitability (Liem, 2008). These stakeholders include software vendors, third party technicians, legal advisors, business development firms, and digital marketing firms. The company has to show progressive growth over the years in order to keep its primary and secondary stakeholders happy and satisfied (Longenecker, 2012).
Environmental Scan for Freelancer Website
Environmental scan consists of an analysis of all those forces and factors which affect an organization's operations and profitability in one way or another. These forces are present in…