By Laura J. Ninger, ELS, Ninger Medical Communications, LLC
You must understand what your medical communication business has achieved during the past year in order to plan for the future. This blog helps you review your earnings, clients, project mix, and marketing efforts with good record-keeping and some simple tables and graphs.
How Do You Begin the Review?
To conduct an effective review of your freelance medical writing business practices, you must keep good notes on your earnings and projects throughout the year. Specifically, you should do the following:
- Track all projects for all clients
- Hourly rate or project rate for each client
- Earnings for each project
- Total hours for each project, even if payment is on a project rate
- Type of project and subject matter
- Total all your earnings and all hours worked for each client at year-end
- Track all your marketing efforts
Once you have these data at hand, you can review your earnings, clients, projects, and marketing efforts.
How to Review Your Earnings
Let’s say that last year you had 10 clients, A through J. For tax purposes you should already know exactly how much you earned from each client during the whole year. This breakdown can be illustrated in a pie chart of percentage earnings. (To create a simple graphic in Microsoft Word, hit Insert and then Chart; select the type of chart desired, and then enter your data.)
The pie chart suggests that client A is your best client, but this is not necessarily the case. A more detailed table of all earnings for the year including hours worked for all projects shows why. The key piece of data is the dollars per hour that you earned over the entire year for all projects done for that client. This is what you really earned—the effective hourly rate—as shown in the column labeled “$/hour.”
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