I'm a freelancer and if you are too, you probably spend as much time as I do looking for simple management tips for freelancers.
As a freelancer of any sort, you are forced to manage everything about your business, as well as actually carrying out the work of your business itself. It can often be a problem, but with a little planning and a clear plan set out, handling invoices for freelancing services and managing freelancing projects will be a breeze.
Invoicing is a critical part of your business because many of your higher paying clients will demand that payments be made via invoice. Learning to handle your invoices is critical to getting paid and giving your business a professional feel to it.
When trying to keep on top of big projects, or even worse multiple big projects, it can be a hassle if you are on your own because the chances are you won’t have a credible action plan in place. But your major and ongoing project is your freelancing business. Learn to manage your business and those good habits will reflect on your individual client’s projects too.
Here are some simple management tips for freelancers that should help you out.
1. Create Your Invoice in Either Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel
One of the best simple management tips for freelancers is to create your own invoice. The format is completely up to you, but make sure that it’s easy to read and that it looks professional. The best invoices will always have the start and end date, the rate of pay, and a specific invoice number for the job.
2. Keep All of Your Invoices in Separate Folders for Each of Your Clients
The last thing you want to do is keep all of them in one place because you can quickly find yourself becoming snowed under after a few months.
3. Always Keep a Spreadsheet of All Your Invoices so You Can Easily Search for a Specific Client and Their Invoices
It also makes it easier to mark off when you have been paid by a specific client so you won’t have any issues with payment later on.
4. Store Any Hard Copies of Your Invoices or Pay Slips in a Separate Folder
This helps you manage your tax needs later on.
5. Establish Your Goals, Write Them down, and Relate Them to You and Your Writing Business
If you are aiming to buy a new car and you can’t afford it, maybe it’s time to work towards expanding your business and raising your rates? The point is, you can’t go into business without long-term goals.
6. Write out a Rough Schedule and Your Budget
Think of it as doing your taxes because you have to balance the books and save enough each month to expand. It doesn’t have to be an exact plan, but a rough plan will enable you to have direction, while still allowing for flexibility.
7. If You Are Working with Anybody, then Now It’s Time to Tell Them about Your Goals and How You Intend to Accomplish Them
You can’t take on everything at once and somebody has to be accountable. Make sure that the relevant people know that they are accountable, and make sure they know what they are doing.
8. Watch Your Dealings like a Hawk at All Times
You should be aiming for both daily and weekly reports from all the relevant people. This way you will be able to change your plans should something go awry.
9. Things Are Bound to Go Wrong in Some Way at Some Point, and This is Why Back up Plans Are Essential
With any project you should always have multiple back up plans along with multiple out strategies, should things spiral out of control and get to a point where the project’s path is beyond repair.
10. In the Case of Your Individual Projects You Should Also Be Keeping in Touch with Your Clients
The last thing you want is to complete your project and then find out that it isn’t what the client wanted.
11. Project Management is Always a Learning Process, so Even when One Minor Project is Finished, It’s Not over Yet
If possible, you should ask your client for some feedback on how you did, but be warned that not all clients will be gracious enough to accept and deal with your request.