Free. That’s the key word in “freelancer” that fuels all of us intrepid entrepreneurs, unstoppable creatives, and unorthodox workers. Freelancers are free from overbearing managers, oppressive schedules, and overwhelming bureaucracy—they manage, schedule, and organize themselves.
But with all that freedom comes added responsibility, financial burden, and stress.
Afterall, independence is a double-edged sword.
To blunt the edges of independence so it is but a shining metal scepter pointed towards prosperity, read on for our five must-have tools for anyone starting their own business!
#1: Standing Desk
Life as a freelancer working from home can often be quite sedentary. Sitting all day not only hurts your posture and brings down your mood, but it also poses troubles to your long-term health.
Standing for a portion of the workday offers myriad benefits like:
- Helps you burn more calories.
- Lifts energy and mood throughout the day.
- Lowers risk of weight gain and heart disease.
- Improves productivity levels.
- Reduces strain on your back and improves posture.
While standing while working may feel a bit unfamiliar at first, the benefits speak for themselves. Don’t worry—you don’t have to stand all day. You can purchase an adjustable standing desk for your workspace so that you can stand or sit as your please.
Check it out! Your back, heart, and mood will thank you later.
#2: Essential Business Management Software
Because you’ve relegated all tasks of your business to yourself, you’ll need to rely on crucial management software to do some of the work for you. You might be the only human at your business, but not every task requires human intervention.
Thorough business management requires software in the following areas:
- Accounting tools for payments, personal finance, invoicing, and billing like Xero, FreeAgent, and Wave Accounting.
- Marketing and pitching tools like MailChimp, Bidsketch, and Aweber to make your email campaigns and presentations as simple and attractive as possible.
- Organization and time managementtools like Google Calendar, RescueTime, or Klok to keep track of your tasks and, more importantly, accurately timekeep so you can bill clients correctly.
- Client acquisition sites like GetAFreelancer.com, fiverr.com, and many others are crucial for freelancers looking to find work by casting a wide net on potential leads.
While these options may seem overwhelming or even unnecessary, you must consider all the time and effort you’re already spending doing the work itself. Is it worth wasting that time on making your own financial spreadsheet or manually emailing potential clients?
#3: An Extensive Tech Toolkit
Nothing drags a business down more than poor computer processing tools. That’s why you’ll want to invest in a lightning-fast computer tower with the efficiency, memory, and processing power to boot.
For a freelancer’s ideal technological toolkit, also consider:
- Backing-up isn’t only a killer dance move, it’s a crucial habit of all freelancers. Invest in a dependable, fast, and durable external hard drive so you never lose precious documents.
- A robust laptop that is compatible with the various software, frameworks, and applications you’re running is vital for any business, especially if you’re on-the-go.
- A second monitor is a freelancer’s best friend—avoid the vertigo and inefficiency of constant page-switching by investing in the extra screen space.
#4: Continuous Learning Tools
When you’re running your own business, you have to constantly be learning and refining your skills to maintain a competitive edge. While that sounds intimidating, improving your skills doesn’t have to be time consuming or expensive.
There are plenty of useful YouTube channels that can keep you up-to-date without costing you a dime. Moreover, online coding courses like Codecademy and MIT OpenCourseware offer affordable and robust curricula for any freelancer looking to take their business’ backend into their own hands.
For distraction-free learning and productivity, don’t forget to pop-on some high-quality, noise-cancelling headphones for optimal results.
#5: An Attractive Website
Your website is a potential customer’s first impression of you as a business owner and the quality of your services. Therefore, investing the time and effort into an eye-catching, user-friendly website is a must for any ambitious freelancer.
Tools like Wix or Squarespace help beginners design sleek custom websites with very little effort. However, you might want to implement complex features, adaptive analytics, or a more robust infrastructure to advance your business. For that, consider hiring a web designer to spruce up your site’s functionality.
Jump into Your Work
More important than any tool, trick, or strategy is the passion you put into your work. If you have the discipline, talent, and guts to jump into the world of freelancing, you’ll have everything it takes to succeed—these tools are just here to give you a helpful boost.
With that, dive head-first into your new business—just don’t forget to wear a (metaphorical) helmet.