paint-brush
How to automate your freelance businessby@darafsheh
1,194 reads
1,194 reads

How to automate your freelance business

by Shar DarafshehNovember 7th, 2017
Read on Terminal Reader
Read this story w/o Javascript
tldt arrow

Too Long; Didn't Read

Building a <a href="https://hackernoon.com/tagged/freelancing" target="_blank">freelancing</a> business is not easy, and I am not here to tell you otherwise. But you could make your life a lot easier with some simple automation <a href="https://hackernoon.com/tagged/tools" target="_blank">tools</a> to manage your customers, services, and invoicing.

Companies Mentioned

Mention Thumbnail
Mention Thumbnail
featured image - How to automate your freelance business
Shar Darafsheh HackerNoon profile picture

If you are a freelancer, an independent consultant, or a hustler who has a 9–5 job and does online work on the side for some extra money, then this post is for you!

Building a freelancing business is not easy, and I am not here to tell you otherwise. But you could make your life a lot easier with some simple automation tools to manage your customers, services, and invoicing.

Freelancers are flexible and limited

As a freelancer you have the luxury to be flexible. You are not constrained by approvals, multi-tier application systems, or management difficulties that the corporate world faces. In short, you can choose the systems you want to use to manage your business. However, you are limited financially. The applications you choose must be affordable.

Automation could be very expensive

I’ve spent the past four years as an automation architect for the fortune 500. Large corporations are moving towards a more automated business model everyday. The goal of automation is to cut cost for the business by automating the repetitive and time consuming tasks. It sounds amazing, but it’s very expensive at the enterprise level, and that’s why freelancers, small businesses, and startups usually end up paying for manual labor instead.

Automation can be achieved step by step. You can’t automate your entire business overnight, but you can start with the basics.

Start by automating simple processes

The first step to automating your business is to productize your services, give your clients visibility, and automate invoicing. Here is how you do it:

Productize your services

Selling a service with the same methods you would use to sell a product is called productization. A service could be a one-time charge, a recurring subscription, or a custom quote based on your client’s needs. Create the service and treat it as a product by adding fields that you want the customer to enter during the request process.

Servicebot Service Creation Form

Allow your clients to order your services

Don’t manage your sales pipeline through back and forth emails. Allow your customers to request your services through your website, a Google Forms, or even better, an automation tool for freelancers such as Serivcebot.

Servicebot Service Request Form for Clients

Give your clients a self service portal

The best way to give visibility to your customers is to give them access to their purchased services, allow them to communicate with you, and approve payments without you chasing after them. There are many platforms out there which you can use such as Chargify, Jobber, or ServiceBot.

Servicebot customer account page

Subscribe clients to auto billing

Move towards a subscription business model. Try to sell your services as yearly, monthly, or weekly subscriptions and subscribe your clients to auto billing. Stripe with Servicebot is a great way to sell your subscription services to your clients.

Conclusion

Be aware of the technologies that are out there to help your business grow. Don’t waste time trying to do everything yourself. Use open source platforms like Servicebot to automate your freelance business.

If you need help or advice starting your online freelance business, feel free to contact me at [email protected].