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4 Tools That Will Help Start Freelancing Adventure
There are many reasons you may want to start a freelancing career. Perhaps, you want to transition out of corporate work. Maybe you want to spend more time with your children. Regardless of the reason, some tools will help you organize your freelance adventure once you make that decision.
These tools will help you organize your freelance career, but they will also make an impression on your clients. The clients will know that they can depend on you to get their work done efficiently and excellently. In addition, learning about tools like independent contractor agreements, invoice and time management applications, or customer relations and project management software can give you the confidence to start your freelance adventure.
Independent Contractor Agreements
Whether you decide to provide pet sitting services, graphic design services, or consulting services, an independent contractor agreement is essential for starting and continuing relationships with clients. Depending on what you decide to provide freelance services for, an independent contractor agreement will have to be tailormade around that chosen service.
The independent contractor agreement will provide the guidelines on how you and your client will conduct business with each other and create a trust that both parties will fulfill the terms. In addition, the agreement will contain details, such as:
- Description of the services you will provide;
- Terms that state the duration of the project;
- Payment terms that can also include expenses, cancellation, or late payment fees;
- Any additional clauses you see fit include ownership of intellectual property, confidentiality, or contract adjustment procedures.
For the freelancer that needs an independent contractor agreement, one can easily be created by using a legal template rather than creating one on your own.
The most beneficial aspect of starting a freelancing career is getting paid. To do that, you must send invoices to clients. The invoice includes the lists of products or services provided by you and the payment that is due for products or services received by the client. Having an organized and professional method of communicating the need for payment will also help keep track of revenue for filing taxes.
Information that an invoice usually contains includes the following:
- An invoice number that you and the client can track;
- Your contact information;
- Client details;
- The date the client requested the products or services;
- The list of products or services that were provided, including the quantity and price;
- The total payment owed by the client;
- Payment terms that were agreed upon;
- Customer purchase order number;
- Instructions to the client on how the invoice should be paid;.
- The date the invoice should be paid
There are invoicing software tools that will help a freelancer just starting. They range from free to about $40 a month, depending on what kind of features you need to create, send, track and accept payments while invoicing clients. Some invoicing tools are also combined with customer relationship management tools.
This tool is helpful in several ways for a freelancer to begin their career. This tool can track potential clients, customer interactions, and projects in progress. This useful tool allows you to spend time doing what makes you money rather than spending time on business operation tasks. Here are some specifics of what this tool can do:
- Opportunity management;
- Lead management;
- Task management;
- Client management;
- Revenue tracking;
- Email open and response tracking;
- Bulk email sending;
- Calendar syncing;
- Storage for contracts;
- Automated invoicing;
- Payment schedules.
The CRM system you may need as a freelancer can be a fundamental tool for free or over $100 a month for a more sophisticated software package. So pay careful attention to what features a CRM has and whether you even need the advanced features in the software package. For example, some CRMs even contain the ability to track your project times.
Time Tracking Tools
A freelancer can use time-tracking software in two ways. First, a time tracking tool can keep you focused and organized and keep you on schedule for completing your tasks. Another reason this is a handy tool is that freelancers can use it to charge for work done by the hour.
For example, if you are a graphic design freelancer and you charge by the hour for your projects, this handy tool would be able to track the amount of time spent on a project. In addition, some time-tracking tools will tell you how long you really worked on a project for a client and then generate invoices based on the hourly rates you set.
Now that you know about tools that can start you on your freelancing adventure, you can render services to clients confidently while maintaining client satisfaction and retention at once.