It’s hard running a business, no matter how big or small it is. Some of the biggest issues that freelancers and small business owners deal with are accounting, organization and time management. However, the following types of tools can make these and other issues a thing of the past.
Project Management Tools
Project management tools are perfect for freelancers who are blessed with undertaking several clients and projects at the same time but need more than a checklist to stay on top of everything. The tools that are available for businesses are very robust and full of features to keep freelancers and small businesses organized. Evernote is a great example. It’s great for taking notes, creating notebooks for multiple projects and searching for specific notes. It can even digitize paper documents and notes as well as be used on the go.
Accounting Software and Tools
There is an increasing number of services online that are centered around helping individuals and businesses manage their finances. These programs and tools can simplify money management and expense tracking as well as help businesses save money. Xero is an increasingly popular web based application that allows for one or more people to manage the financial side of their business. Sage 50, previously known as Peachtree, allows users to create invoices, enter sales and track spending. If you are really in start up mode and need to keep costs to a minimum try the free InvoiceGeneratorApp.com for creating beautiful branded invoices for your clients.
Automated Email Marketing
Small businesses could make good use of automated email marketing software to interact with their customers without spending a lot of time creating emails. It could even mean retaining customers and earning repeat business. Freelancers can use it to stay in touch with clients about when they have an opening to take on new projects. Mailchimp is a good example of an automated email marketing service, and it’s affordable. This tool provides the basic functions so that small business owners can jump in and organize their email marketing without worrying about advanced features.
Conference Call Tools
Email has become a time-consuming option for communicating with clients and employees, but the use of online conference calls has increased over the years. Being able to communicate with clients and workers overseas opens the possibilities for freelancers to take on more projects and businesses to make more sales. There are numerous conference call tools available, some of which allow the users to interact with international users even though they don’t speak each other’s language fluently. ClickMeeting is one that incorporates Google Translate to achieve this. Onstream Meetings is another conference call option that allows users to fully customize the conference call screen.
The Internet is full of online tools that freelancers and small business owners can use to improve how they operate. Exploring free services and taking advantage of free trials are the best ways to find the tools that are most beneficial.