Being your own boss is a liberating and fulfilling experience. When you’re making your own hours and setting your own prices and policies, the benefits are exponential. Being self-employed does mean you’ll require assistance now and again, so we’ve compiled a list of the five tools you need if you’re self-employed.
1. Time Management Software
You can be the hardest and most talented worker out there, but if you’re constantly missing or late for appointments, you’ll find keeping clients to be a challenge. Being on time shows professional responsibility and maturity, and shows the attendees that you’re serious about the purpose of the meeting.
While there are hundreds of apps for time management on the web, the best one for you will depend on your needs. Are constantly showing up late? You may just need an alarm clock and reminder that you can set to an earlier time.
Are you always forgetting about your engagements? You may need a calendar to help you document those important dates and send reminders before they arrive.
Google Calendar is a simple and free time management application that can be downloaded onto any mobile device or used on a desktop/laptop. It allows fully customizable events and reminders, as well as the ability to invite anyone with a Google account to said events.
This makes tracking the attendees easier than ever while providing a simple and reliable interface to help you keep your appointments.
2. Invoice Generators and Payment Processing
Receiving payments and sending invoices is arguably the most important part of your business. Your revenue stream keeps you paid and the business running smoothly, so your billing process should be as painless as possible for both you and your customers.
Your invoices should be professional and concise. They should contain your logo, contact information, and details of the sale, as well as your payment and return policies. If you’re not familiar with designing documents, you can try using an online invoice maker instead.
This will allow you to choose and customize templates rather than starting from scratch. The invoices will look clean and professionally created, which in turn makes you look more professional as well.
After you’ve created the perfect invoice, you’ll need to set up a way to send and receive customer payments. Wave offers payment services as well as an online invoice generator so that all of your billing needs are organized in one central location.
Make sure your customers are aware of your invoicing preferences. If you deal strictly with online invoices, keeping the customer aware will ensure there are no surprises during your first transaction.
Likewise, if you’re making the change to online invoices, be sure to let the customer know as
well. Keeping your customers informed increases the likelihood that you’ll be paid on time and generate returning customers.
3. Project Management Tools
Once you’ve got your time managed and your billing system in place, you’ll want to utilize some tools to help your projects remain on task and organized. It’s easy to get lost in a sea of projects, especially when you’re passionate about what you’re doing.
Project management software makes it easy to organize tasks and delegate to other team members (if any). Sites such as Basecamp provide the user with a central hub where projects can be assigned, and users can be held accountable for their role in those projects.
If you’re unsure what to look or in a productivity app, or which are the best rated, Proofhub has compiled a list of the 36 best project management software and tools for 2019.
Once you’ve taken control of your tasks, you’ll find you’re much more productive and organized, allowing for extra time to start new projects or even take a break. Organizational skills are the key to running any successful business.
4. Cloud Storage
Cloud storage is the best alternative to the traditional filing cabinet or bin storage for important documents. It’s also a great way to send and receive documents, pictures, and other media from anywhere in the world.
Cloud storage is essentially a virtual hard drive. Your account is linked to a predetermined amount of storage space (which is usually free up to a certain amount) from which you can grant permission to other users to view and edit documents.
The best cloud storage is secure, although nothing that’s internet based is ever entirely airtight. Choosing cloud storage can save you money in paper and printing costs while consolidating space and facilitating easy sharing of documents. That’s one advantage which any self-employed worker should consider.
5. A Website Builder
Every business should have a stunning website associated with their brand. Your website acts as a central hub for your services and products, and as a catalyst for your customer base to give feedback and request support.
Website building is easier than ever with sites like Wix, which offer free templates and discounted hosting services. With online templates, you can design a professional looking website for much less than the cost of a web developer.
In addition, you can create and update your website from anywhere in the world, meaning real- time improvements and adjustments on the go.
Another Great Addition To Any Self-Employed Worker
While these tools we’ve listed are definitely necessities, one of the most important tools at your disposal is your team. The team you choose to build can have a significant effect on the success or failure of your business.
Be sure to recruit reliable and passionate people, and never be afraid to share a larger vision. A team that helps your company grow will benefit from said growth, as will your business in general. People will always be the most important tool for any business.