In this day and age more and more people are taking the plunge into Freelancing, allured by the various perks it offers and the thought of being your own boss. Unfortunately not everyone succeeds, especially in today’s financial climate, either struggling to find enough work to secure a stable income or being muscled out by larger agencies and organisations.
Thankfully, the internet is full to the brim with useful resources to help get your freelance business off the ground. Whether you’re looking for financial guidance or design inspiration, you can be sure to find a useful resource created by someone who has been in your position in the past.
One distinct advantage of the internet is the abundance of online tools and apps that are available, giving your small scale freelance business the efficiency of a global corporation. This post explores 8 of the best tools for streamlining your freelance business, helping you make an informed decision on which one is right for you.
FreshBooks is an all in one invoicing, billing and accounting app, built from the ground up with freelancers and small businesses in mind. All data is backed up to ‘the cloud’, allowing you to access important information and time tracking tools from a range of devices including tablets and smart phones.
FreshBooks pricing starts at $19.95 a month, which supports up to 25 clients with white label branding. If you ever outgrow this, you can upgrade to the next package at the click of a button.
Blinksale is an intuitive and professional invoicing solution, which boasts extremely well designed invoice and quote templates. Pricing estimates can be discussed between you and the client, before being approved and converted into invoices on the fly.
Each design can be fully customised using CSS, making it easier to maintain the look and feel of your brand. Blinksale operates on a rigid payment structure of $15 a month, which includes all features.
Although Trello’s predominant functionality revolves around collaboration between team members, it’s highly effective at project management and keeping on top of things to do. Its intuitive design helps visualise projects and tasks in progress, allowing you to assign ‘cards’ to different stacks and add comments and attachments.
It is completely free to use and despite still being in development, 90% of the core functionality is implemented.
Focus Booster is a web based and desktop app that utilises the ‘pomodoro technique’ of time management. This involves working in 25 minute sessions separated by short 5 minute breaks, and after 4 sessions a longer break may be taken, such as 15-30 minutes.
After each session, known as a ‘pomodori’, the worker is left with a sense of accomplishment, coupled with the reinvigorating effect that a short break has. This technique can result in increased efficiency and productivity, avoiding interruption and maintaining creative flow.
FollowUp is an intuitive tool that, as the name suggests, helps you keep on top of emails that need chasing up after a period of time. It’s extremely easy to use, simply BCC the @followup.cc email address with when you wish to be reminded. For example firstname.lastname@example.org will send a reminder in one week, and email@example.com will send one on the 23rd of August.
It’s extremely simple to implement and perfect for chasing up late payments, and best of all, it’s free.
Copy is cloud storage solution and a solid alternative to Dropbox, boasting 15GB of free storage with modestly priced subscription packages. Once signed up, their innovative website can act as your dashboard, or alternatively you can download their desktop and smart phone apps.
It succeeds at effortlessly syncing important projects across multiple devices, and the free storage should be more than enough to support your Freelance business through its early stages.
If you think there are any essential tools we have missed out, let us know in the comments. Which of the above tools is your favourite?
This post was written exclusively for Skyje by Mark Potterof Namecheap.com .