I hope this is the right piace to ask my question. I'm an electronic developer with knowledge in hardware, firmware and a bit of software.
Ten years ago I began my own freelance activity. I never thought about the business plan. Until now it's pretty straight:
I wait until a customer ask me for something to do, I offer him a quote, if he agrees I do the job.
This was ok at beginning. Now I want to improve it because it has several disadvantages:
it relies on customer needs: if one is not going to develop something new he wouldn't call me
it cannot grow: after I use all my available time, and learned enough to work at reasonable speed, I can't accept more work.
it's hard to get rid of the limit above hiring someone or even outsourcing some parts of the projects. Hiring someone requires almost to double the activity, while outsourcing a single part require a lot of effort to make clear specifications due to the high level of integration about different aspects of the projects.
By the way, some customers in the agreement explicitly wrote that I cannot give my job to a third person/company, for various reasons.
I kindly ask an help to brainstorming about how to change my business model in order to allow it to grow.
As final note currently my jobs have these characteristics:
custom needs: they fit a specific need. Most of the time they require a single shot. Problem solved, no more activities to do.
develop and prototype, but the production is handled by the customer. This is usually explicitly stated in the requests. And they don't accept a commissioni o the sold units because "they've already paid me for the job".