We received 1-year self-employed visas for living in Germany. That year will expire in September. We have begun what I hope will not be a traumatizing process of renewing our visas, hoping for a longer-than-one-year time frame. As with any business, it's difficult to plan for the future if you don't know how far out "the future" extends.
One of the things that Peter & I are doing in preparation for the renewal process is formalizing the "business plans" for our respective consulting businesses. He had already created a draft for his back in January, and just needs to review it and make adjustments now that his official venture -- Geyer Global Partners -- has been operating for the past five months, making contacts, and networking his heart out. But, although I have been operating as a freelancer since January 2006, this will be my first-ever "business plan" for my business.
As Peter remarked, there's nothing like having to create a business plan to help you understand what you are really proposing to do. As I am drafting my plan, I am going between my Bernadette Geyer: Freelance Editor/Writer web site and resume, LinkedIn and web site, web site and business plan, then back to LinkedIn, tweaking and adjusting, to make sure everything is consistent.
It's a long and tedious process but, ultimately, worth every minute.
Especially when it comes time to present our plans to the folks at the visa renewal office.