Freelancing is pretty much a one-man business and in most cases, the freelancer has to handle every aspect of their business that would normally have been handled by departments in an organization. Such aspects such as managing staff, assigning duties and most of all, handling finances will have to be handled by one person.
As you very well know, any organization that does not have any of these crucial aspects handled properly could run into trouble. This is to say that, knowing how to write, code, design or develop isn’t enough to be successful as a freelancer. The ability to properly manage finances, search and acquire jobs, keep clients happy are also crucial things that should be learned.
The total number of freelancers around the world is so large that industry sources are unable to specifically give an exact size of the gig economy. However, the number of freelancers in the United States is about 53 million people – making up about one-third of the entire workforce. The total market value for the economy is however valued to be about $1.5 trillion. This is based on the fact that the US and Canada market workforce, valued at over $715 billion makes up about half of the total workforce globally.
Joining these pools of freelancers will require a lot of things and most of all, the kinds of tools needed to handle the various aspects of your business. Explained below are a couple of them:
Proposal Tools: Of course, winning jobs would require that you send a pitch or compelling proposal to your client stating why you are the best for the job – especially if there are other freelancers bidding for the same gig too. A stellar proposal gives you a competitive advantage over others and gets you closer to getting the gig.
An application that can help achieve a good proposal with pricing is Prospero. Getting a proposal on this website requires no bogus setup – only a few questions asked and the answers provided will be used to automatically draft a proposal. Other examples of these are: Nusii and Proposify.
Security Tools: The ability to work from anywhere might at times drive freelancers to pull up their devices at a public place, connect to Wi-Fi and then fire on. Public WiFi networks are generally considered unsafe and could leave the user exposed to attacks such as spoofing and man-in-the-middle attacks. If these attacks are successful, personal information could be intercepted and used for malicious purposes.
To stay safe from these kinds of attacks, you can download a VPN to stay protected. Using this app while browsing will help secure and encrypt the data that travels to and from the user’s PC.
Finance Tools: This might seem like the toughest to handle given its criticality and indeed, it is. Generating invoices and tracking payments are ordinarily two different activities but applications like Invoiced, Wave and Bonsai help merge these activities onto one platform in order to provide better insights into the user’s finances.
Invoiced is easy to use and through its integration with Stripe, allows for several payment options such as Bitcoin, credit card and Paypal. You can even choose to accept payment offline and then manually input the record. These applications also have the capacity to track how often payment is received making this especially beneficial for clients on a retainer. It is worthy of note that this application integrates with QuickBooks and Xero for track recording of finances.
There are several other tools out there that can be useful for any freelancer to achieve maximum productivity. The aforementioned are however quite important and it is believed that effective use of these tools will help the freelancer by saving time and resources that could be channeled to other activities. It is also worthy of note that not all these applications are free for download or use. However, the investment is usually worth it in the end.
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