We’ve heard it many times before: “Time is money.” It’s no surprise then, particularly for a creative entrepreneur, that time and money are two of the most difficult components to handle.
As you begin your new journey as a freelancer, or as you learn more about your growth as a freelancer, the balancing act is constant:
- Find time to get the job done;
- Managing administrative tasks;
- Expanding efforts to find new clients;
- Ensure that you have cash flow;
- Make sure you save money;
- Addressing self-employed taxes;
- And the list is going on.
But we’re here to help you! If you’re just starting out or you’re proven and still looking to learn, we’ve got the tools to help you.
So let’s tackle two of the trickiest labyrinths to navigate: time and money.
Using your time better than that
There’s just a couple of hours in a day. Although you may have started your business to be your own boss, you certainly didn’t intend to use all the hours of a day to work.
It is, therefore, necessary to get a grip on your time:
- How you’re spending it;
- How you can make more productive use of it;
- How it applies to the plans and contracts that you are working on;
- And how it applies to your freelance invoices and cash flow.
However experienced you are as a freelancer, it’s crucial to keep track of time, even if you don’t invoice clients based on time spent on a job. Have a process that works for you because free time tracking is an essential skill. Track all of your jobs, even though your system isn’t ideal. Experiment with your resources, and find one that works for you.
You’ll also have a stopwatch on your computer!
Freelance time monitoring is important for a variety of reasons. Knowing how long it takes to complete those tasks is key as you formulate plans, justify payments to customers, and invoice them for completed work. Some clients want a rundown on how time has been invested, but even if they don’t, you need to know.
This involves the monitoring of administrative activities, such as:
- Recording costs;
- Establish a system of freelance invoices;
- Time spent on networking or on courses;
- Market development has spent years looking for potential customers.
Getting this knowledge also helps you evaluate the data and decide whether you waste too much time on a low-value mission.
And don’t forget to be honest with yourself. Have you been writing or scrolling through social media?
You can also find several ways to make better use of your time and become more efficient, so never stop learning. There’s one downside – it takes time, too. You need to try and learn some new tools, so be selective and make sure that they can support you in the future. Don’t waste too much time “mastering” tools to the detriment of the business process.
Manage your finances, please.
It is also absolutely important that you have a financial strategy for your freelance company to succeed in the long term. You will save stress and ensure success if you set up your finances properly. It’s worth spending time getting acquainted with financial principles, setting up a strategy, and then revisiting it.
For example, set the budget and income targets, even though the future is unpredictable. You have to give yourself a wage that you can survive on comfortably, but you have to think like a business owner and make sure you save some of that hard-earned money as well.
You need to include start-up costs such as computers and any other special technology required in your area. You will have to prepare for an annual or bi-annual period to replace your technology. If you’re planning to work from home, there might be renovations that need to be made to build a proper workspace.
Then there are continuing costs such as mobile phones, phone lines, the Internet (in reality, you will have to buy the Internet faster), or leased space in a shared office building.
You would also have to set aside funds for health benefits, freelance taxation, or other unavoidable freelance expenses. You should also pay for your future selves by opening up retirement accounts and putting some of each payment first.
In fact, one of the most popular places where companies are losing money is tax. Speak to the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) for tax planning advice, including tax savings ideas. Freelance taxes can be incredibly complicated, so finding a CPA who can work with you to help your company is time spent.
Suppose you are not yet ready to take that measure. In that case, you may consider using freelancers’ tax and accounting software to monitor your financial monitoring.
You will also find tools that will automate a lot of this work for you, saving you time and money.
Understanding both of these components will serve you well when it comes to setting prices for your work. It also helps in the planning of business growth. For example, if you don’t have enough clients right now, you need to spend the time to find more. You need to ensure that your cash flow is sufficient without spreading too thin.
If you want to make more profits, evaluate the capacity for sales. How would you charge enough per hour and book enough hours to make it profitable? There is still plenty of space to expand, for example, if you want to change how you formulate plans or build contracts. And if you’re working on finding the keys to success (such as earning more and retaining clients), you can explore our tips on finding and juggling jobs.
If you’ve got a good deal on your company’s time and money aspects, you might think you’ve got it all done.
We hope you enjoyed the start of this journey with us, and we wish you the best of luck on the way ahead!