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manage money as freelancer Archive - TransSwipe - Merchant Services and Credit Card Processing

TransSwipe - Merchant Services and Credit Card Processing

Archive for the ‘manage money as freelancer’ Category

4 Financial Tips for Freelancers

Freelance

Some may think of freelancing as an easy job—you’re just going to do what you love every day, and be your own boss. However, as any seasoned freelancer knows, there are many business elements to manage in order to make it a profitable and successful full-time job.

One of the most important skills you’ll have to develop is learning how to manage your money. Below we’ve outlined a few items to take into consideration when planning your freelance venture.

Track ALL of your expenses

A very basic rule of finance is to keep the books in check; getting paid and making payments should be tracked and monitored diligently. However, this isn’t always easy when you’re operating solo. While it’s not the most exciting task, it’s important to set aside time each day in order to avoid letting it slip your mind or fall to the bottom of the to-do list.

Tracking expenses is critical to ensure that you’re earning more than you’re spending; be sure to track any and every business and personal expense (did you buy a latte before working today?). This will give you control over your financial profile and make you stay the master of your money.

While there are popular platforms available to help track financial accounts (Mint.com) and invoicing (Xero), there are also tools to help you manage all of your paper receipts and bills. One tool, with it’s clever name, Shoeboxed, allows you to scan, digitize and organize receipts or bills. Make the most out of these tools so tracking becomes more manageable.

Expand your client base

Sometimes there’s a slump in business and you need to expand your client base. One thing to try is offering up your writing service for free. Going pro bono once or twice is a great way to get your foot in the door with a new client.

To get going, find a few publications you’re passionate about and write a handful of very polished articles.

If you’re looking for another way to gain clients and boost revenue, get active on sites like oDesk and Elance. oDesk allows freelancers to build out profiles and browse through thousands of job postings. Search by category or skill set, and then apply right there on the site.

oDesk Bonus: If you get interviewed or hired, you can track your hours and project status on oDesk.

Be diligent with the boring stuff

As a freelancer, you enjoy the freedom of managing your own income, you get to set your own rates, and determine the workload. However, that’s no excuse to not to have rock-solid business practices.

Be sure you build a budget. It’s not exciting and it’s not flashy, but it’s a must have. For more on budgeting as a freelancer, check out this article from Forbes.

Beyond the budget, there are other must-dos to keep your freelancing finances on track. Even though working for yourself offers a new level of freedom, income taxes are still part of the process. The U.S. Small Business Administration offers freelance-specific advice on how to calculate estimated tax payments here.

Along those lines, you’re going to need to fill out some paperwork. As a freelancer, you’re responsible for completing W-9 forms for new clients and reviewing 1099 forms from those high-paying clients. Just remember, maintaining absolute diligence will put your financial plan on the path to success.

Tune up your business skills

To make the most of every penny, tune up on your business know-how. This includes being effective in negotiations, contracts, and payments collections.

First, hone in on your negotiating skills. Being a freelancer gives you the opportunity to set your own prices and expectations; don’t let your opportunity for profit fall short. Some tips on stepping up your negotiating game: Don’t take the first offer without question and don’t take less than you genuinely expect. Setting standards like these are bad practice; you want to show that you believe in the value of your own work.

Also, be sure to get a contract in place, and discuss terms upfront. Being transparent is also good practice in freelancing. The mobile app Shake is a tool that can help you with your basic contracts or agreements quickly and easily.

Finally, be savvy on how you collect payments. Choose a processor that puts the most money in your pocket. As a freelancer, you can’t afford high interchange fees. Be diligent and do research on the best way for you to get paid.

While freelancing offers a certain level of freedom, there are still financial practices to adhere to. Be diligent in tracking expenses or maintaining a steady client base, and you’ll be closer to financial success.

©2017 TransSwipe

 


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