Whether you’re just starting out as a freelancer or you’re looking for a better system to get organized, these freelance tools will make it much easier to run your business.
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If you’re a freelancer, having a separate bank account is not only helpful for tax purposes but for keeping track of your finances. If you decide to form an LLC, you can easily set up a business bank account with a bank like NOVO.
There are many banks that don’t charge fees, and if you choose an online bank you’ll usually receive benefits or discounts for other types of software.
Although you’ll need to read the fine print carefully, the benefits of having a separate bank account for your freelancing business or your blogging income will usually outweigh the costs.
Although it might be tempting to use an excel spreadsheet or a printable to track your finances, I don’t recommend this . Even if you don’t want to pay to track your finances, it’s important to remember the long term costs of making a tax mistake, receiving an unanticipated bill, or filing taxes at the end of the year.
If you use software, you can choose to track your finances manually if you prefer. You can also tag each expense by tax category so it’s really easy to see what you need to write off at the end of the year.
It’s also nice to see how many months of expenses your business savings will cover by generating reports instead of using a calculator.
I’ve tried the tracking platforms below, and here are my recommendations based on my experience with the different platforms.
If you take appointments, it’s easier to ask for payment before someone schedules an appointment with you. Using a scheduling system like Acuity or Candely will require clients to make a payment before they can access your calendar.
Paypal allows you to invoice as needed, but you’ll need to make a business account. Looking into the invoicing options your bank provides is also a smart way to make the most of tools you’re already using.
Legal contracts are one of the best ways to outline your scope of work.
Contracts for business are so important. If you know someone there can be a risk of assumed responsibility or division of work. Outlining the project and getting really clear about where the boundaries are will help you as a freelancer.
This can also prevent scope creep. If someone’s vision of your role changes, you can always refer back to your project blueprint and renegotiate taking on more work.
Having a clear definition of the work you are available for will prevent scope creep.
If you’re a freelancer, it can be tempting to take on the extra work because a small favor will make make a big difference for your client. While flexibility is important, taking on extra work can quickly become an expectation.
Taking notes about your project can help you see the progression of the project more clearly. Having a record of the extra tasks you’ve completed can help you decide if you need to renegotiate your contract. You can use your outline of work to sit down with your client and draw up a new contract. Notes are also helpful for spotting scope creep before it gets out of hand.
Boundaries are important even when addressing scope creep is uncomfortable. If you want to take on the work, let your client know that if you shift your focus other tasks may be delayed and there may be a charge.
Unfortunately, flexibility can be used to justify extra work. Before you take on a project, ask questions if your client refers to extra tasks or “as needed” tasks.
Best Platforms For Tracking Your Work:
My most simple tips for freelancers is to take notes and keep track of your work. Having notes about the progression of the project will help you see the big picture more clearly. You can use your outline of work to sit down with your client and draw up a new contract. Notes are also helpful for spotting scope creep before it gets out of hand.
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