It’s no longer a secret that freelancing is rising rapidly. Recent statistics released by the Freelancers Union indicate that nearly 1 out of 3 working American workers is doing it independently. That figure comes to nearly 53 million people – and those figures are rising fast. From experience, I can tell you – to be a successful freelancer, you need to be a Productivity Ninja. Putting the correct systems in place will help you do that.
Years of workplace instability and a refocus directed towards finding one’s purpose in life have pushed many people into pursuing entrepreneurship, literally abandoning full-time employment as we have traditionally known it. Among the myriad of challenges is project and client management, often deemed as some of the biggest headaches among freelancers. Keeping all your data and information organised is a challenge. Think of projects, contracts, email correspondence, questionnaires, contacts quotes, expenses, payments, client details, schedules, time tracking and much more.
As you are building your freelancing business, it’s very easy for you to get stuck and tied down working in your business instead of working on it. As a business coach I discuss this at length! Your freelancing business becomes more profitable when you are able to leverage yourself and concentrate on working on high income generating strategies and tasks. Develop a clear blueprint defining all your business operations, then using that as a road map for building out your business systems.
In systematizing your freelancing business, I have several ideas that you may want to consider so that you can free up more of your time to really focus on what matters.
17Hats is a joint effort by several international colleagues who came together to build something specifically designed for the ‘solopreneur’. Basically, it talks about one person wearing many hats (to be exact 17 of them). 17 Hats is trying to make your life as a solo entrepreneur easier by giving you a single platform through which you can manage all aspects of your business. It aims to simplify the chaos that comes with fulfilling multiple roles.
Some of the key features that I have found to be very useful in this browser system include: Contact Management that has the ability of categorizing by different classes such as Client, Lead, Prospect, or Other (such as personal), Contracts, Email, Phone Log, Invoicing, Quotes, Calendars, Bookkeeping, Notes, and ToDo Lists.
Avaza is a fantastic project management and invoicing tool for teams. If you work with a VA a Graphic Designer or an External Agency for example, then you can invite them onto the platform to collaborate on projects. You can even invite your customers to see work in progress. Avaza allows you to manage client tasks and projects too as well as do your finances in different currencies and send recurring invoices. You can even convert emails into tasks just by sending an email with your Avaza address – pretty cool huh!
Being a freelancing ‘solopreneur’ doesn’t have to imply that you do everything all by yourself. There could be some things you may not be able to do because they don’t play to your strengths. There are other aspects that could free up more time for you to run the business more effectively. With the extra money you make, re-invest in outsourcing more of those tasks and so on. Slowly but surely you will start to create space and freedom in your business & increase your revenue at the same time.
By Nadia Finer
Nadia is a business coach for solo entrepreneurs who want to “go big in business”, even if they feel little.