When you are self-employed, working as a freelancer, or running a small business – you generally have to wear all the hats – meaning you are responsible for everything that goes on in your business.
And that includes all the admin tasks that you might not enjoy but must do to remain in business.
Therefore, it makes sense to automate as many tedious admin tasks and business processes as possible, giving you more time to serve your clients and work on your business (as well as in it).
Here are 5 admin tasks to consider automating to save you time (and money).
Nobody wants to play email ping-pong, where you are constantly going back and forth with potential clients, trying to figure out a mutually suitable time to meet. This takes up time and can lead to mistakes, especially if you and the client are in different time zones.
A link to your online calendar can save you (and your prospective client) a lot of hassle. You can add a link to your website, social media bios, or email address. Schedulers such as Calendly can also integrate with online meeting apps such as Zoom and Google Meet, making the process even more streamlined.
The benefits of an online scheduler are that clients can easily see when you are available and arrange a meeting at the click of a button. You can also block out times when you are unavailable or just open up one day a week for client calls.
Or you can simply send out an invite to meeting attendees from your Google calendar. Either way, the key is to automate it to make it as seamless as possible to get on a call or set up a meeting.
Social Media Scheduling
To generate a regular stream of leads and attract your ideal clients as a freelancer, for best results, you need to find a way to continuously market and promote your services.
Nowadays, one of the most common (and free) ways to do this is with a strong social media presence. Naturally, you are not going to have time to be on all the various social media platforms 24/7, and that’s where social media scheduling tools come in extremely handy.
Not only can they schedule your posts in advance, but you can create them all in the scheduler instead of switching between social media platforms. This puts all your social media content on auto-pilot, giving you more time to spend on your business.
Most schedulers can also provide helpful analytics so you can see how well your social media campaigns are doing.
There are plenty of apps and tools to choose from online. Examples include tools such as Hootsuite, Vista Social, Spout Social, Buffer and many more. Just search for one that meets your needs, budget and personal preference.
Onboarding New Clients
They say first impressions count.
So, having a seamless client-friendly onboarding process for new clients will make you look professional, trustworthy, and easy to do business with.
Good communication is vital when onboarding new clients. A slick, automated onboarding process will also save you time.
Onboarding processes can range from pre-discovery call questionnaires, pre-populating standard proposals, automatically connecting client details to your CRM or having a welcome email sequence in place going through your ways of working and requirements, and even follow-up emails to ensure you have all the documents (such as a written agreement) and requirements in place before you commence the client project.
It’s a good idea to go through your current onboarding process, see what is a repeatable action (i.e. something you go through with all your clients) and automate it as much as possible.
When working solo, getting tasks completed (and on time) is up to you. There’s no one internal who will give you a heads-up. So it makes sense to have some task reminder or project management system in place where you can add your to-do list and, for project management, even allow clients access.
Having everything in one place and a daily reminder will go a long way to making your business run smoothly. There are lots of apps online that offer some or all of these features.
Examples include but are not limited to, Trello, TikTik, Todoist, Asana, Basecamp and Monday.com.
You’ll likely need to track your time when working on some freelance projects.
Invoice Ninja, a leading free invoicing software for small business invoicing, online payments, tracking expenses and billable tasks, has a task time tracking system in place that allows you to accurately record every second spent on each individual task and quickly transfer timed data to the relevant client invoice.
When you’re done with a task or series of tasks within a project, you can simply click and send your work time to an invoice with one click!
We’ve even got a nifty Google Chrome extension to help.
Quick, simple, and easy!
Finally, when it comes to billing your clients, good invoice software with professionally designed and branded templates is a must-have for any freelancer or small business who wants to come across as professional and trustworthy.
Not only can it save you from having to cobble the invoices together yourself (which, unless you are a design pro, can be cumbersome), but it can also save you from making errors and help you get paid on time. With a range of payment gateways, you can send (and get your invoices paid) at the click of a button.
With Invoice Ninja’s recurring invoices and auto-billing option, you can save time by automatically billing long-term regular clients. Another excellent time-saving feature is the ability to track inventory levels, which automatically updates your product inventory and reminds you when it’s time to re-stock up.
View more time-saving automation features here.
Or try it for free at the link here.
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