Project Management for Freelancers: Learn How to Optimize Your Business
The hardest, and perhaps most underrated, aspect of freelancing is realizing just how much time you need to invest. This doesn’t only concern the work process. In fact, estimating the time you need to complete a project is the easiest part. This is why project management for freelancers is essential. Project management software is no longer only for large teams or enterprises. It can help freelancers organize their time, projects, and deadlines in one simple comprehensive tool.
A seasoned professional will most likely have no problems estimating how long a given project will take to complete. However, overlooked tasks soak up so much unplanned time and energy that you’ll be exhausted in a matter of weeks. These small tasks don’t seem to have a direct connection to the amount of time needed to complete a given project including communicating, pitching new potential clients, scheduling meetings, managing and planning upcoming tasks, setting reasonable deadlines, etc. Any of these simple yet critical steps have the potential to completely ruin your plans and force you to make snap decision, leading to chaos, missed deadlines, poor quality work, client dissatisfaction, stress, and ultimately, the loss of existing clients.
This is exactly why project management for freelancers is not just beneficial, but simply essential. Whether you’re working for somebody else or you run your own business, staying organized and on top of all your tasks, to-do lists and future work opportunities are the key to success.
Benefits of project management for freelancers
When talking about project management for freelancers, we mean utilizing the tools, processes, and methodologies that will help you establish complete control over all the work you’re doing. Various project management methodologies can be used depending on each specific case. For instance, scrum project management is frequently used by software developers while agile project management utilizes short sprints and is implemented whenever change and uncertainty are dominant. All of them are based around the same principles. They help you stay organized, minimize time and energy waste, and maximize efficiency and productivity.
Those principles also make up the core of any project management software. These tools help freelancers, business owners, and managers maximize their output. Here is how exactly project management tools can be beneficial:
1. Keep all your work in one place
This is one of the top reasons why every successful team, regardless of industry, makes use of project management software. Storing your files for your projects and clients in a single database saves an unbelievable amount of time and energy.
You’ll be able to say goodbye to multiple email accounts and messages containing bits of instructions and notepads stored on your computer. You’ll no longer need to worry about scheduling multiple meetings at the same time.
Furthermore, when organized correctly, the project management tool’s dashboard will notify you of every important task that needs to be taken care of each day. For instance, Wrike, a simple productivity-focused tool, makes project management software for freelancers highly efficient and affordable. You’ll be able to effectively store, track and organize all of your work-related data and access it through mobile whenever needed. Say goodbye to your multiple freelance tools and make the switch to project management software to streamline your business.
2. Efficient communication and collaboration
Project management tools offer built-in communication features, allowing users to easily interact with multiple parties while saving conversations and taking notes. If you’re in charge of many projects and you’re interacting with a client, seamless communication is essential for success.
The same goes for collaboration. You can easily work on the same task with other people simultaneously. Moreover, you can configure the software to send automated notifications to all involved parties whenever you make any important changes, saving a lot of time in the process. These features come especially handy for freelancers working in the design and development industries, since regular meetings and calls often play a huge role.
3. Structured task management
Project management for freelancers is paramount to organize projects, set deadlines, and prioritize tasks. These steps are often overlooked, mostly because freelancers think that they need to finish all of the tasks anyway, so why even bother creating priorities or setting multiple deadlines?
The thing is that not all projects are created equally. Some tasks need to be finished sooner, while others require more time. Considering all the small details that come with your tasks, it is inefficient to commit them to memory instead of to a project management tool.
Furthermore, there is always the element of surprise. For instance, imagine you’re working on a website design project. If the client suddenly asks you to deliver the products page before the homepage, you’ll have no choice but to shift your priorities and make changes to your plan. Now, if you’re working on a single project, remembering such changes might not be a problem. However, when you have 3 or 4 projects, suddenly things start to get messy real fast.
4. Better estimation
Estimating how much time a project will take to complete is an important skill for freelancers. While some people have no trouble with it, others struggle. This can be applied to close to all freelance positions including digital marketers, copywriters, designers, and developers, since estimation directly depends on your experience and areas of expertise.
By setting deadlines and regularly analyzing your routine, you can identify how much time you need for each project. You can construct future client pitches with higher precision by setting accurate time windows for each step of the project.
5. Time tracking
A small yet important aspect of freelancing is tracking your work hours. While there are many online trackers you can use for free, having it in a software that comprises all your other work tools is definitely a big plus. Instead of using external time management software, or tracking your hours manually, project management for freelancers makes tracking your hours a breeze.
6. Seamless billing and invoicing
Many freelance project management tools have integrated billing and invoicing features. You can combine them with time tracking and bill clients on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. This eliminates the need to utilize multiple tools to accomplish your goals. Additionally, you can keep everything under control. Look at billing history and provide additional information when necessary, such as time spent on a project.
On top of that, creating and sending professional and branded invoices to clients will leave a significant impression and reassure them in their choice of hiring you.
7. No more stress
If you’re an experienced freelancer, you know what I’m talking about. When it comes to solo project management, organization is key. Managing multiple clients, juggling projects, and dealing with endless tasks on a daily basis can be challenging. When your hands are full, you don’t want to deal with keeping track of small tasks, deadlines, and projects scattered across both digital and handwritten notes or emails.
Having the right tools and approach will help reduce this stress significantly and allow you to automate routine tasks. With correct planning, instantly visualize what you need to be working on by looking at your project management software’s dashboard. The Monday.com project management tool offers detailed, catchy, and well-structured UI to help users save time.
You can’t ignore that project management for freelancers offers numerous essential, cost-effective, efficient, and time-saving benefits. If you’re serious about your business, it’s highly recommended to try out a few project management tools. Many of them offer a 14 day-free trial, so select the best option for you and make your business infinitely more efficient starting today.
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