Essential Project Management Skills for Freelancers.
The need for essential project management skills as a full-time freelancer.
You could be the greatest freelancer the world has ever had. A photographer or graphic designer who embodies the pinnacle of what it means to be the best. However, if your freelancing isn’t managed properly then you’re destined for inadequacy – or at the very least inefficiency. In this article we’ll list the essential skills for project managment for freelancers.
Setting up systems and templates to plan, monitor, organize, analyze, review, and report is imperative for your operations. The ability to track your workload, deadlines, and events earns you the privilege of freelancing seamlessly. Below you will find our tips on how to be more efficient, using the Workezy platform.
Workezy was not only set up to provide freelancers publicity and communication with employers, but also to centralize management. Find work, do work, and get paid as a freelancer in a one-stop-shop.
What’s The Plan Freelancer-Man?
Be focused, be intentional, be effective. Your efforts have to start off on the right foot, not the Achilles’ heel. Planning from the get-go is likely to save you from a world of hurt.
It can feel boring, it can feel like a waste of time, especially when you can just jump right in. But planning allows you to target your criteria for completion in a far more effective manner.
There’s really just a few ingredients for a good plan that you can adapt to your niche.
Give yourself time.
If you’ve learned anything in your life so far, it’s that everything always takes longer than it should. Don’t allow yourself to continuously fall victim to time’s delusion, give yourself leg-room in your measurements.
Build in extra time to meet your criteria even if you’re convinced you won’t need it. You’ll either finish early and feel satisfied or you’ll finish within the extra-time you’ve allowed yourself.
An important point to note, you should actively avoid becoming complacent now that you know you have extra-time. As Elon Musk once said,“Stop being patient and start asking yourself, how do I accomplish my 10-year plan in 6 months? You’ll probably fail, but you’ll be a lot further along than the person who simply accepted it was going to take 10 years!”
Identify your resources.
But keep it simple! Try to avoid shiny-object syndrome. For the most part, your planning should be simple when it comes to the resources you use. Many templates and platforms that are for free that you may already own will do the trick; Excel, Calendars, etc.
There isn’t too much to this point. It’s simply important to know what tools you’re going to utilize in order to execute your plan.
On Workezy, you can find all your employers, consolidate all your communications and finalize your work and payments. The platform itself works as the perfect – and free – tool to centralize your work as a freelancer! Making your project management all that easier.
Workezy’s booking system is designed for anybody who’s freelancing revolves around classes or appointments. If you’re a tutor, employers can book time slots that you pre-define in your booking system. As a freelancer, you can then fill up your slots without having to lift a finger. The booking system also allows you to manage your projects in one place!
The Financial Management Adrenaline Rush
Nothing gets the heart pumping…the blood flowing…the sixth sense tingling like putting invoices in folders. There’s something about it that I believe speaks to the primitive barbarian in all of us. I refuse to listen to anybody who tells me otherwise.
Financial management is the Tom Cruise of planning.
Want to earn/have to spend.
Your plan really comes down to two things: What you want to earn and what you have to spend. You can use these two projections as your monthly targets.
Knowing how much you want to earn per month will let you know how many clients you’ll need. This information will push you to meet that amount, it also tells you how much you need to charge.
Likewise, you need to know what you have to spend. Software subscriptions, traveling, materials, printing, insurance, banking costs, phone bills, and other outgoings are typical of a freelancer’s expenses.
You’re now in a better position to execute your plan once you’ve estimated your projected earnings and expenses. Allocating yourself to your clients in a manner that maximizes the time that you’ve made available will strengthen your freelancing.
Keeping track of your finances.
Now that you’ve established your financial forecast, it’s important to track your performance month by month. Accounting softwares like QuickBooks or Xero – or even simple spreadsheets – allow you to file and monitor your performance with ease.
This was another important part of freelancing that Workezy wanted to make easier. A freelancer’s profile will detail all their earnings and on-site costs, as well as show graph-based progression. You can find all your invoices for everything you do, making filing a fast and convenient task on Workezy.
Manage Your Risks
I won’t bother you with too many details about what your risks could be. They’re all pretty standard. External risks like downturns in your industry, competition, increases in operating costs, your main clients dropping you. Internal risks like your skills not being strong enough, the inability to meet your demand, and insufficient cash flow.
Instead, here are some ways to mitigate your risks:
- Business loans or credit cards to keep you going if clients are late to pay.
- Perpetual improvement and honing of your skillset to keep you relevant in your field.
- Try to maintain several concurrent clients (or repeat-customers).
- Keep marketing your services whether you’re free or busy to upkeep a stream of potential work.
- *General Tip* Try to grow multiple income streams so you don’t keep all your eggs in one basket.
Review, Review, Review
Project management doesn’t exist simply to let your operations flow seamlessly. The penultimate reasoning for planning is to then review your progression – usually monthly or quarterly. Once you’ve created your plan, you need to implement, and once you’ve implemented your plan you’ll need to review.
An oversight on whether you’ve met your goals, whether you’ve executed what you wished to execute, is imperative for growth. What did you do right? What did you do wrong? Only a fool believes he knows everything, and only a fool can delude himself into reproval-immunity.
Reviewing your progress also gives you perspective on changes in circumstances, emerging issues, and new opportunities. Successful freelancers – and businesses – will always review their performance and adapt to unanticipated anomalies.
To point you in the right direction when you review your plans, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Is your plan still realistic? Is it still relevant?
- Did you do as you planned? Or did you go off-course at all?
- If you went off-course, was it a successful adaptation of your plan?
- Were you effective? Were you efficient?
- From what you did wrong, what lessons can you learn?
If you go through your plan and answer truthfully, and in-depth, you will be far better off. This level of maturity takes the stress out of being the perfect freelancer and guides you to become perfect.
That about wraps it up. I hope I’ve been able to give you some good pointers without overbearing you with our Workezy self-promo. Best wishes out there budding freelancer!
If you’d like to check out another article by us, here’s: Jobs: The Antagonist of Mental Health