Freelancing as a web designer can be an excellent job. It lets you work flexible hours from wherever you want without a boss constantly breathing down your neck. As a contractor, you usually have the ability to choose which jobs you want and how many hours per week you work, which is very convenient.
But if you don’t have some tools and resources to keep you on track and motivated, working from home can be incredibly difficult. Things like keeping track of your hours, storing data, and working out your accounts can be a major headache. It can even lose you clients and hurt your business.
The good news is that software developers have anticipated some of these problems and have delivered a variety of applications to help. Here are some of the best tools freelance web designers can use to their advantage:
1. Mozy – Backup Storage
Most web designers know that sickening feeling of realizing they’ve lost data, whether it’s their entire project or just a portion. Either way, you can’t let that happen to your business. Mozy is a backup solution for individuals, small businesses, and even large corporations that automatically stores all your files and protects you from losing data. It’s great for freelancers because the starting package is small and affordable, and as your business grows, you can easily increase the backup allowance.
2. Clockspot – Time Tracking
Clockspot is awesome for freelancers who get paid by the hour. Instead of estimating your time and hoping you get it right for your paycheck, you can use Clockspot to clock in and out. Your timesheets can be easily sent to your employer from there so it’s simple for them to complete payroll. You’ll feel better about offering accurate hours for each time period and your employers know they can trust you.
3. QuickBooks Self Employed – Accounting
QuickBooks is the accounting software of choice for large corporations, and the company has developed a smaller version for those who work from home called QuickBooks Self Employed. It allows you to track your income and expenses because it connects directly to your business bank account. It also helps you keep up with those pesky quarterly taxes by reminding you of due dates, helping you put money aside, and making the overall process much simpler.
4. Square – Payments
It’s easy to collect payments from clients both online and in-person with Square. You can create, send, and collect payments with a customer’s credit and debit card. It keeps track of your revenue, which makes tax time uncomplicated, and it’s much simpler to use than large payment processing systems.
5. Falcon – Contact Profiles
When your business starts growing, you’ll need help keeping track of your clients and customers. Falcon provides you with contact profiles, so it’s easy to store contact information and research a client’s business history. You’ll never forget a client again.
6. Hootsuite – Social Media Management
More and more freelancers are turning to social media to build up their businesses. Hootsuite lets you manage all of your social media pages under a single account, so you can send status updates, engage with customers, and schedule posts from one easy-to-use platform. When used in a business setting, social media can become rather complex, and systems like Hootsuite simplify things spectacularly.
7. Bidsketch – Project Proposal Creator
Need to win the bid on your next web design project? Bidsketch helps you create beautiful, well-organized project proposals in minutes. It saves you time with their pre-designed templates and landing pages and gives you the ability to sign electronically and personally brand your proposals. When it comes to getting more business through project proposals, timing is everything.
Build your web design business with the right tools under your belt. You’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to function as a freelance web designer when you get a little software help.