Recently a colleague of mine asked for some advice about starting a freelance business, so I shared some of the tools and resources that I’ve found helpful in my own career over the years. I thought I’d share them here too. Is there anything that you can’t live without as a freelancer or small business owner?
Freshbooks – http://www.freshbooks.com/
Online invoicing – lets you send electronic invoices to clients and collect payment online. It also tracks your expenses and billable hours and generates year-end reports. They have a free account option too so you can try it out first. Freshbooks is one of my essential, can’t live without tools.
Outright – http://outright.com/
Online bookkeeping/accounting software – integrates with Freshbooks. Nice for generating quick profit/loss and year end statements.
MOO – http://us.moo.com
Good quality business cards that you can order in small quantities (packs of 50) – design your own or templates available.
Freelancer’s Union – https://www.freelancersunion.org/
Free membership community with resources like sample contracts, tax advice, etc. Also provides health insurance plans for freelancers in some states.
SBA.gov – http://www.sba.gov/tools/sba-
Surprisingly easy to understand tax information and guidance on how to structure your business.
Estimated Taxes – http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Estimated-Taxes
Tax info straight from the source. Includes link to sign up for EFTPS (Electronic Federal Tax Payment System) to pay your taxes online.
My So-Called Freelance Life and The Anti 9 to 5 Guide, both by Michelle Goodman
Both offer practical advice on how to get started as a freelancer and include plenty of real-life examples.
The Creative Professional’s Guide to Money by Ilise Benum
Guidance on how to set your rates and communicate the value of the services you provide to your clients.