Organization is one of the most important parts of being a freelancer. If you do not have some sort of system, then you will never be able to be successful in your line of work. Unlike a company, you do not have different people handling different tidbits that makes the entire company run smoothly. You are the CEO, Marketing Director, Technical Guru, and Financial Officer. Therefore, you need to be on top of things to ensure that everything goes according to how you envisioned.
Before I even tried to attract clients, I had a system in place. I developed a business plan and a marketing plan. A great book to read is Six-Week Start-Up: A Step-by-Step Program for Starting Your Business, Making Money, and Achieving Your Goals! by Rhonda Abrams. She has developed a great guide that will have you up and running in no time.
After those were in place, I developed a project plan using MS Project. It’s one of the best software applications that Microsoft offers. I haven’t been able to find one that provides me the functionality that MS Project has. I use it for setting up projects for different IT consulting companies that I have worked for. You can learn the basics in less than a day, so check it out.
I added these to my Google Calendar. I don’t know what I would do without it. I use different calendars, so I can color code it. Google Tasks are a great addition, so I can never miss a deadline. I sync that with my Blackberry Calendar, so I can also have it on the go.
You will also want to develop a database or spreadsheets to keep track of your clients (or potential ones). If you can build a database for that, then I suggest you use that because you can always find the information quicker than using numerous spreadsheets. However, even spreadsheets are better than not having anything.
I’ve worked for companies that were disorganized and it was stressful for everyone involved, so imagine if it’s just you. Get your freelance life organized before you even think about getting clients. They can usually tell when you are not on top of your game.
Tags: Application software, being organized, business, business plan, client database, database, freelance, freelance work, Freelancer, freelancing, Google, Google Calendar, google tasks, marketing plan, Microsoft, Microsoft Project, ms project, organization, Project management, project plan, spreadsheets