The number one resource a freelancer has is their time. If they’re not maximizing how their time is being spent, they can quickly fall behind deadlines and miss out on opportunities. Unfortunately, this isn’t always simple, especially when it’s a one-man (or one-woman) show.
In this scenario, freelancers have to wear multiple hats. This is fine—and even necessary—at the start of a freelance career. But as time goes on, the little tasks—particularly those that are unpaid and don’t directly contribute to revenue—will get in the way of growth.
If you’re not already considering automating tasks, then you’re missing out on enhancing your profits. Let’s take a look at how you can use software tools to automate non-paying tasks.
First, What’s Considered a Non-Paying Task?
Before we dive into the tasks to hire freelancers for, we have to clarify what an unpaid workload may consist of. In general, non-paying tasks are activities you perform “in” your business. They’re essential to your operations, but don’t directly contribute to your bottom line.
This may include tasks like:
- Accounting and bookkeeping
- Administrative duties (answering phones and emails)
- Website updates (and other IT tasks)
- Proposal writing
- Prospect outreach
- And anything else to do with internal processes that are repetitive and don’t add value
By automating these duties, you’re freeing up your time to work “on” your business vs. “in” your business. This means you’ll have more time to work on high-value-add tasks, such as:
- Creative thinking
- Competitor awareness
- Finding new markets
- Developing yourself (investing in courses)
- Building client relationships
- Developing your overall business
By adopting software automation tools, you can eliminate repetitive tasks. In doing so, you can shave time off your day to focus on more important tasks. And it’ll save you money in the process (after all, time is money!).
6 Ways to Automate Your Workload
Let’s review a number of ways you can use software to automate your freelance business.
1. Creating Proposals
Finding new clients is critical to maintaining your freelance business. But time-consuming tasks like proposal creation can eat away at your productivity. Yet, you can’t overlook it because it’s vital for growth. The next best thing is to use software automation tools to simplify the process. By adopting one, you can quickly generate proposals by using fill-in-the-blank templates. Then you can click to send the completed proposal and track it in the dashboard. You’ll know when prospects open and read the proposal so you can plan the best time to follow up.
2. Managing Tasks
Keeping track of your time isn’t always easy, especially when you’re juggling multiple projects. Yet, you need to ensure you’re giving enough attention to important tasks each day. This is possible to do with task management software. With this in your toolkit, you can identify tasks you’re spending too much time on. This way, you can determine how to best allocate your time and remain productive.
Then if you’re working with a team of freelancers, you can track the time they’re spending on projects as well. This is essential if you want to improve productivity and/or track time for hourly payments.
3. Prepping for Tax Season
As a freelancer, you’re responsible for managing all of your finances. This means keeping track of all your invoices and expenses for tax season. Missing essential financial records can be detrimental in the event you’re ever audited by the IRS. You also run the risk of misreporting income and missing out on tax deductions. To counter these issues, you can use automation software tools to track your income and expenses and generate financial reports.
4. Sending and Tracking Invoices
Getting paid for doing what you love is one of the reasons you became a freelancer. Not to become a finance expert and bill collector. Yet, these are two additional hats you have to wear to keep your business afloat. Fortunately, there are software tools on the market you can use to simplify invoice management. With finance automation software, you can quickly create invoices using templates. Then you can send them to your clients at the click of a button.
The software tracks each invoice, enabling you to see which have been opened and paid. Or left pending past the due date. In the latter scenario, the software can be programmed to issue reminder emails to clients automatically (say, when invoices are 5 days overdue). This way, you can focus on money-earning tasks and not bill collection.
5. Monitoring Financial Health
How well is your freelance business doing? In the past, you’d have to hire a financial consultant or advisor to dive into your records to provide insights. But not anymore — now, you can use software to generate financial reports right from your dashboard. Plus, you’ll have insights into where most of your money is going. This makes it easier to identify where to cut costs and save money, and where to continue investing.
6. Creating Contracts
You’ve found a potential client, sent an automated proposal, and now it’s time to close the deal. But rather than spending hours crafting the contents of a new contract, you can use software to automate the process. With the right tool, you can quickly generate contracts using templates. This way, all you have to do is fill in the blanks. Of course, you can tweak the language so it resonates with your business/project needs.
Grow Your Freelance Business
There’s no reason any freelancer should have to run their business all alone. By adopting the right automation software, you can speed up processes and save time. But which platform offers the benefits above? AND.CO is a finance automation tool designed with freelancers in mind. It’s created to automate many of your non-paying business activities will also save you time and money in the long run. Download the AND.CO app today.
This post originally appears on the AND.CO Blog