A big complaint among freelancers, business owners and consultants is the inability to predict monthly revenue. While inconsistent cash flow is likely in the beginning stages, at some point you start to wonder if you’ll ever figure it out.
The Importance of Monthly Revenue
The reason why you need consistent monthly revenue is pretty obvious: so you can actually plan your finances.
It is very difficult to run a business budget, let alone a personal one, when you cannot predict your monthly revenue. In fact, the inability to predict income is one of the main reasons people give for not wanting to freelance.
Fortunately, with time, you can build predictable revenue over time. It’s taken me a while, but here are some of the strategies I implemented to build monthly revenue.
Use online payment systems.
If you can only make one tweak to your business to support monthly revenue, make it this: Figure out how to use online payment systems.
For example, my coaching and consulting clients sign up for plans that automatically charge their cards. Unless they want to pay for everything up front, this is the only way I will accept payment for this kind of work. This alone has made my monthly revenue far more predictable which allows me to better plan budgets and investments.
Take on long-term projects.
Another way to ensure monthly revenue is to have service contracts that last several months. For example, many of my content marketing clients are on six-month contracts. My private consulting clients have contracts ranging from six months to a year.
By having long term contracts, you can better plan what you’ll be receiving in monthly revenue each month for some time. This also ensures you have work coming in each and every month for the duration of the agreement.
There’s just one caveat. You actually have to enforce the agreement. While this usually isn’t a problem, sometimes you have to remind clients of what they agreed to.
Provide products that renew automatically.
Earlier this year, I said I would focus on building monthly revenue by increasing sales to my membership site. It fell to the wayside a bit as the direction of my business changed toward group coaching, but I can still count on some money coming in each month from it.
Eventually, I’ll get back to making this a bigger part of my overall business plan with the intention of being able to better predict monthly revenue. Bonus points because a membership site wouldn’t require too much of my time so I can scale.
Market yourself consistently.
Several business owners drop the ball on marketing themselves consistently. How are you supposed to create predictable monthly revenue if nobody knows about your business?
A couple of months ago, I began experimenting with emailing my list almost every single day. Each day there was either a linked product or the option to get on the phone with me. It’s no surprise then that I easily had a five figure month.
While it takes time, it is possible to create recurring monthly revenue. Just hang in there while you figure out how this looks like in your own business.