Most of us want to run headlong into being better talent, and finding new voicing techniques, but the good freelance business owners are developing new job prospects, and taking care of their current ones by using solid business practices. Most have found tools and routines that save time, track important metrics, and handle details that should never be overlooked.
Although I’m not inspired, here, by any session I attended this last weekend on business practices, I must confess a deep frustration with my current accounting system. Keeping track of work, invoicing, scheduling, payments, purchases, follow-up, and the like.
I use the highly-recommended QuickBooks, but I’m about to bail out. First of all, I detest their annual “upgrade” ploy that makes you feel like last year’s program is now dog-poop, and that you should immediately purchase their latest and greatest version with improvements too numerous to mention.
Secondly, it keeps telling me I can’t do things. Hey, I bought this program, I’ll use it like I want! Aside from being obstinate and rebellious, I just don’t have the time to take a class on using QuickBooks — insisted upon by my CPA. I pay him too, and he’ll just have to accept my financial data in the form I give it to him! [see how I have this magical way of digging myself deeper?]
Regardless the pros ‘n’ cons of QuickBooks, I keep hearing fantastic things about the following trio of strictly online tools that I hope will replace my accounting software, my CRM management, and my follow-up system of invoicing and tracking paymements.
OUTRIGHT.com is described as an Online Accounting and Small Business Bookkeeping Software for small businesses. The site claims: “…All in one place! No more spreadsheets, piles of paper, and sticky notes everywhere…” The thought of having all my financial data “in the cloud” instead of having to rely on ONE computer stacked with all my financial records really appeals to me. All I hope is that they have ironclad security.
FreshBooks.com is described as “…the fastest way to track time, organize expenses, and invoice your clients…” You can brand everything you send out with your own logo, and it integrates with Outright.com. Right now, I’m still using a spiral notebook to do all that Freshbooks could do for me.
BatchBook.com is an online Customer Relationship Management tool with a specifically Social Media bent. Using a shared address book, Social Media savvy, lists of contacts, integration with FreshBooks, MailChimp, Google, etc., iPhone support, and the ability to track leads (among other things) Batchbook might just be the best thing that came into my life since my youngest daughter was born 18 years ago yesterday. 🙂
Honorable Mention: Zoho CRM. Lately, I’ve been digging deep into Zoho’s incredibly broad suite of online tools, and I’m thoroughly impressed. Using Zoho CRM WITH Freshbooks might be confusing, overkill, though…so I’ll need to decide, here, what I’m going to go with.
Keep in mind, I’m PREPARING to launch into these solutions, and am not necessarily endorsing them yet…just telling you what my research has shown are the ones I think will be my focus from here on out.
What are you using?