Becoming a freelancer and never having to answer to a boss anymore sounds like a really fine idea. Of course, you get all the freedom to choose your hours now. However, not everyone knows that this comes with some more responsibilities.
You are now your brand. That means having to manage your time effectively, come up with deliveries when due, and more.
To make your freelance life easier, here are some tools that should be in your arsenal.
You do not have an in-house accountant, tax personnel, or financial advisor that you can always go to like you were in a conventional nine to five. Likewise, being a freelancer means that you do not have a set income volume. Thus, you should be properly prepared against the rainy days, so to speak.
This is where financial tools come into place.
You can get a host of them that connects to your bank account to track your income and expenses in real-time. At the end of the month, you can determine what takes most of your money, see what you can cut back on – and more.
Taxing tools will also keep you prepared for the taxman if you pay tax on your freelance business. You will better know what taxes to pay, what deductibles you are entitled to, etc.
That, and we have not talked about how this allows you to save and budget better for the days when the gigs are not rolling in as well.
Freelancers usually have to deal with a lot of accounts.
The average internet user has a host of accounts to their name. Combine that with the specific needs of a freelancer, and you have even more accounts on their tab.
So that you stay as secure as possible, you need to have strong passwords for every one of your accounts. This can be handled with a solid password generation tool.
Since you should not use the same password for more than one account, it is best to also have a password manager to help you remember all the unique, strong passwords that you must have generated.
Pro Tip: Look out for the top password management software. They are usually fitted with a password generation tool too. Two for the price of one that way.
Besides password tools as suggested above, you also need to stay safe and secure on other fronts. This is where security tools come into the mix.
Anti-malware is a no-brainer since you will have to download multiple files over the internet. Hackers can even pose as a client just to send you infected files. That will quickly be detected by anti-malware software.
These kinds of apps also come into play when you are connecting your computer to external sources. On the flip side, it could be that you are connecting infected eternal storage units to your computer.
No matter which it is, you have a layer of protection in place.
Likewise, it is in your best interest to download a secure VPN to encrypt your internet data. Most freelancers are digital nomads who latch onto the first free/ public Wi-Fi network that they can find. These types of connections can be very dangerous if you do not have a VPN to keep you safe.
Speaking of being a digital nomad, VPNs also make it possible to access your tools and setups from anywhere in the world.
A freelancer who does not know how well to manage their time will soon go out of business.
Your clients are trusting you to deliver the agreed-upon services as at when due. When you do not keep to schedule, you mess up their timelines too. When that happens too much, they start trusting you lesser till they get someone else.
This is the leak that productivity tools can plug for you.
We recommend getting a task scheduler and reminder. With that, you can spread out your work such that no client complains of lateness anymore.
Schedule the tasks per time, making sure the ones with the nearer delivery dates come first. Larger projects should also be broken down into sections and spread across different days. That way, you don’t put them off for later only to rush things when the delivery date is fast approaching.
You can be a freelancer and not have any of these tools. However, we do not know how successful of a practice you would be running in such an instance.
With the above picks, you can be assured of a smoother process than before. Fortunately, you have nothing to lose by trying – and about everything to gain.