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So many wonderful apps spring up, they make my head spin! Today, we have a guest post from fellow stay-at-home Mom and freelance writer, Lauren Rose, on new online apps that are especially useful for freelancers. Which ones have you tried, and how do you like them? Or which ones are you excited to sign up for?
For anyone who has suffered through office politics, rush hour and the dress code of the rat race, working for yourself may seem like the greatest gift in the world. Freelancers Union says there are currently as many as 42 million Americans working as freelancers or independent contractors, even if they hold full- or part-time work elsewhere.
If you’re one of them, we’ve got the best tools to help you thrive. And the best part? They’re free.
Provide Great Quotes & Invoices
Whether you’re mowing lawns or programming a space shuttle, half the fun of freelancing comes comes from naming your own price. No need to give a percentage to any boss or co-workers—just name a sum and keep the profits. QuoteBase is a free app that creates professional and comprehensive quotes and invoices for your freelance business. Once you download the app, you can create PDF files off the template, incorporate a logo and email the quote from any mobile device or computer. Better still, QuoteBase provides tracking tools to gauge your productivity.
Bookkeeping in the Cloud
If you keep your business receipts in a drawer, it’s time to join the 21st century with a digital accounting platform. Wave Accounting is a small business software that enables you to store data in the cloud, including invoices, accounting, payments and personal financial information. This not only frees up your time to finish the job, but also lets you pluck information to and from a cloud account whenever you are on the move.
Reliable Backup and Internet Service
How much information do you keep on a single computer for your freelance business? If the answer involves more than a handful of PDF documents or Excel spreadsheets, you need a backup solutions service. BackBlaze provides backup services with automatic updates for a mere five dollars per month. (Lexi’s Note: Ok, that’s not free, but it’s almost free! It’s free to try for 14 days. Read my review of Backblaze here.)
A company that lives and dies on its documents needs quality Internet service as well. You can’t risk freezing, crashing or any other type of digital hiccup when you’re on deadline and your reputation is at stake. A high-speed connection from CenturyLink can help you avoid an Internet failure that may cost you both contracts and contacts. Better still, you can bundle your Internet, phone and TV to save money.
How do your sales projections for the next quarter look in comparison to your last quarter? For anyone who answered the question with a puzzled look, you need help with metrics. It’s a great shot in the arm for productivity and profit. inDinero helps you track the trends and hard numbers of your business— you can look at the money going in compared to the money coming out, and then create predictions for the future while tracking invoices or banking data. Anyone with a limited grasp of financial analysis can take advantage of this free service to better understand the numbers behind their operations.
These free tech tools are a helpful way to keep track of your small business accounting and bookkeeping. Maximizing your productivity and efficiency in these areas can give you more time to focus on other business.
Lauren Rose is a stay-at-home mother of 3 that would love to go back to school to pursue her MBA. But she can’t until her youngest is off to college. Until then she will continue to raise her children, love her husband, and take care of her 2 dogs, Moose and Bronx.