As a freelancer, it’s totally up to you to manage the day-to-day operations of your business and stay on top of client work.
Your freelance work from home may look different how I set up my business with my freelance clients at home.
Yet, there are only so many hours in a day, and it can be easy to get bogged down by tasks like answering emails, invoicing, and marketing your business.
Unfortunately, there’s no magic wand you can wave to make those tasks go away. That being said, there is a way to free up more time so you can focus on the freelance work of your business that bring in a profit.
It all starts with setting up processes that will streamline those everyday tasks.
Not sure where to start or what kind of freelance work your business needs?
Below is a list of seven processes that can make your business more efficient. Use it as a jumping off point and incorporate the ones that make the most sense for you.
Freelance Work From Home: Simple Processes You Need
1. Appointment Scheduling
Online scheduling tools like Calendly and Acuity make it easy for freelancers to share their calendar with clients.
Giving them access to your availability lets them make an appointment that works with their schedule — without the hassle of emailing back and forth.
One of the great things about scheduling apps is that they’re customizable. Depending on the appointment scheduler you choose, you can:
- Set up different appointment types according to the services you offer and the stage of the project
- Add intake forms to collect preliminary info like the client’s budget and desired deadline
- Collect payments
- Embed a snippet of your schedule directly in an email
When someone books an appointment, it will automatically sync to your calendar and send you an email.
2. Client Onboarding
The onboarding process for those that freelance work from home provides the client with any pertinent information about working with you. It can be as simple as an email, or if you’re feeling ambitious, a downloadable welcome guide.
Whatever the format, be sure to relay information such as:
- How you work and communicate
- Your office hours and average response time
- How to schedule a call
- An outline of the information you’ll be collecting from them
- Where the project and any corresponding documents live
- Where they can find a copy of the proposal and contract
- How to submit revisions or feedback
- Answers to FAQs
3. Client Offboarding
On the flip side, you’ll also want to develop a client offboarding process. And this is especially important when you freelance work from home or do this as a side hustle.
You’ll typically initiate this process as the project begins to wind down.
Having a checklist ready helps to ensure the project ends smoothly, and the client has everything they need.
The offboarding process varies from freelancer to freelancer, but it generally includes:
- Completing a final review of the finished project
- Sending a copy of the finished work and any corresponding files
- Emailing the final invoice
- Requesting a testimonial or answering an exist survey
- Sending the client a final thank you
Having a proper system set up for invoicing when you freelance work from home is essential! It’s the best way to keep track of outstanding invoices and make sure you get paid.
There are many great options for bookkeeping, so finding one that fits your needs should be relatively easy.
Paid options include HoneyBook, FreshBooks, and QuickBooks.
If free is more your style, Wave offers pretty much everything you need to send proposals and track expenses, invoices, and payments.
5. Money Management
Speaking of collecting payments…
Setting up good money management practices from the get-go is an absolute must.
There are many, many benefits to freelancing work from home. One of the downsides is that you’re 100% responsible for tracking your expenses and deductions like taxes, health insurance, and retirement savings.
Whereas a traditional 9-5 job takes care of those things automatically, you’ll have to develop a process for making and tracking these deductions.
Perhaps the most important of all is handling your income taxes.
Failing to create a plan to manage your freelance finances can lead to disaster come tax season.
You need to know how much to save for taxes and whether they should be paid quarterly or annually. Working with an accountant is your best bet when it comes to successfully planning for tax time.
However, most financial experts will tell you to regularly set aside at least 25% of your income just for taxes.
6. Social Media
As a freelancer, most of your business takes place online — including marketing. So, it’s important to have an online presence, which often means being active on social media.
The trouble is that many freelancers that work from home don’t have the extra time to devote to social media every day. An easy way to get around this is to plan your content in advance and invest in a tool to automate posting it.
But, don’t just set it and forget it; check in on your social platforms at least once every day or two.
Spend some time reviewing your content’s performance, replying to comments, and engaging with similar accounts to build up your audience.
7. Email Templates
According to a McKinsey study, the average professional spends approximately 2.6 hours on email per day.
To say that your time could be better spent is an understatement!
As a business of one, you’re already spread pretty thin. Creating a library of email templates reduces the time you spend on email each day.
Below are some of the common email templates freelancers keep in their library.
- Cold email pitch series
- Call/meeting reminder
- Proposal follow up
- Project pass
- Feedback request
- Payment reminder
You’ll likely be able to add more templates to your library as time goes on. Keep an eye out for frequent questions/responses you get and craft corresponding templates.
Do What Works For You
While business processes are a key piece of any successful business when you do freelance work from home, finding the right methods for your business may take some trial and error.
As you gain more experience working with clients, the processes you’ve set up may become more defined. Nothing is set in stone, and it’s okay to make changes as you figure out what works best for you.
That’s the beauty of running your own freelance business, after all.
Now get out there and start creating processes that streamline your business operations so you can focus on what you do best!