Remote work and freelancing are professional roles that involve an incredible amount of effort, tech-savvy, and time management. Entrepreneurs and freelancers generally struggle with this balance more than companies that hire dedicated salespeople to oversee client relationships. Something shared by every remote professional is the need to retain current clients and develop relationships with new clients without restricting the time that he or she spends on productive work.
Fortunately, there are technological tools that can maximize working time by making meetings more efficient, improving your office workflow, and better managing client interactions. Here are five of the most tech-forward ways to improve how you do business.
#1 – Time Tracking Software.
Time is the greatest asset to any business, a fact which is doubly true for freelancers and project workers. Every day, you must balance working on current projects, marketing new projects, overseeing client relations, and honing the skills that you need to remain relevant in your field. Without the ability to schedule your time effectively, you’re certain to waste minutes here and there each day, ultimately producing less than you should.
Programs such as Toggl allow you to track the time that you spend on different projects so that you can analyze where your day goes. You can either follow it in real-time or enter your minutes later to determine how to most effectively update your daily schedule.
#2 – Upgraded Capabilities.
Another significant way that you can improve your business savvy is to take advantage of powerful software alternatives that go beyond the mainstream. For example, many freelance professionals rely on standard programs such as Adobe to display and capture proofs and client edits, but there are other providers that offer significant advantages.
For instance, Kofax Power PDF improves client and team collaboration by allowing you to edit PDF files and easily share via cloud services like Evernote or send contracts out for digital signatures using DocuSign. You can rapidly convert documents between PDFs and JPG formats, as well as Office file formats for Word and Excel. Additionally, this program gives you tremendous control over text and image editing, and makes it easier to protect your documents.
A few choice software changes such as this one could shave hours off your workweek and help relieve the hassle of client communications.
#3 – Remote Meeting Software.
Face-to-face meetings can be time-consuming or cost-prohibitive if you live far from your clients, but there are times when a phone meeting won’t suffice. Modern remote meeting software empowers you to communicate with clients anywhere in the world without leaving your home office.
Programs such as Zoom or Whereby permit you to share screens, record meetings, and review your projects in detail during a meeting without disrupting the conversation. As a result, you can keep communicating with your clients and collaborators from anywhere.
#4 – Online Organization.
While shared workspaces support collaboration, such a space no longer needs to be a shared physical location — organizing and collaborating online is easier than ever thanks to Asana, Basecamp, and similar programs.
These services allow your team to keep track of projects through milestones assigned to individuals complete with internal communication. With Asana, you can create a basic template for project types then modify it to suit individual client requests while keeping each of your collaborators informed about when a step should be completed. Get the best of both worlds by maintaining a bird’s-eye view without losing track of a single task.
#5 – Cloud-Based Mobility.
There are many programs that help you use the internet as your workspace. Freelancers and entrepreneurs benefit from mobile technologies that allow workers to travel anywhere and still work on long-term projects. Maximize your working efficiency during travel by bringing a laptop or tablet with Wi-Fi access or arrange for extended stays offsite and remain connected to your clients.
Many leading programs already include this functionality, but you can create dedicated storage space and control access by using Google Docs or Dropbox to access any kind of file that you need from wherever you are.
Making Technology Work for You.
If you integrate some of these technological tips into your workflow, you’ll immediately begin to see results. Over time, you can dramatically improve how you do business, secure new clients, and maintain positive relationships with your current clients. Explore these programs to see which can fit into your workstyle to become more productive, focused, and organized.