By the time the year ends we all have some work to do. In my case I normally feel the need to see how things evolved at a personal level and at a professional level as well.
I can’t really say which one is easier or faster. I start each year by setting personal objectives and determining when I’d like to achieve them and I do exactly the same with my work. I am a pretty organized person and like to be on top of everything to avoid unwelcomed surprises and to work on changes with time, whenever needed.
When I first started freelancing I didn’t quite know how to measure my performance and what to expect for the year. It was hard to figure out how many projects I’d work on, what my income would be, if I’d reach the estimated amount I had in mind. The reality is this hasn’t changed. Just like when I started off, I have that same uncertainty. It is really hard to figure out what each year will bring on and we are left with pure estimates. The only difference is that now I have the possibility to compare each year with the previous one and base my speculations on those figures. That is why, when I started using Cloudlance, I found that the reports they provide are extremely useful. On top of that, I don’t have to wait until the year is over. I can track this whenever I want.
These reports show which clients I work with, how much I’ve charged them, how long each project lasts, how much I spend on billable and non-billable expenses on each project, how many clients still owe me.
With all that data I can later work on forecasting what to expect the coming year. I have 5 steady clients that have recurrent projects to work on which gives me some stability and the rest, well… it varies. Honestly, at first I attributed the uncertainty and variability to the world of freelancing. Later I realized that was not entirely correct. Every single multinational does the exact same process. They predict what the following year will be like, but they don’t have the certainty to accomplish it. For some reason that made me feel more comfortable.
So after learning that analyzing my yearly results through reports is essential to understand what my profit is, to make changes and adjustments when needed, things began to be simpler. So I guess it is faster and easier to analyze the outcome of my professional objectives rather than my personal ones.
What do you do to evaluate and analyze your loss and profit year by year? How do you measure your performance?