Self-employed freelancers often have difficulty planning current tasks and self-discipline. The absence of a strictly regulated work schedule with designated time frames for work and rest is the main problem that almost every second freelancer wants to solve. Equally important is the issue of optimizing customer service, finding new customers and completing projects on strictly agreed dates. Today, there are many ways of self-organization, including diverse crm for freelancers. All kinds of calendars, task schedulers and other «reminders» are used by freelancers with more or less effectiveness. An alternative to standard desktop organizer programs (for example — Microsoft Outlook) is CRM for freelancers (other words, project management system for freelancers).
What is CRM for freelancers? This is a specially designed program built on the algorithms of accounting, analysis, and processing of a wide range of data entered by a user or group of users. The main functions of a crm for freelancers are:
1. Setting goals and monitoring the implementation of ongoing projects;
2. Planning new projects;
3. Organization of work with customers;
4. Automatic reminders of important calls, appointments, and tasks;
5. Scheduling the work of a freelancer.
Many free-schedule professionals are happy with popular scheduling systems such as MS Outlook and other reminder programs. Indeed, unlike other areas where crm for freelancers is used, there is no need for a lot of functions for freelance, such as accounting reporting or monitoring the performance of a department.
But using CRM will significantly expand the functionality of a PC specialist, as well as increase the efficiency of the user, save him from performing routine tasks that take a lot of time and make it difficult to concentrate on current projects. In addition, many modern CRMs have additional features that greatly help freelancers to work efficiently and productively.
What Functions to Pay Attention to When Choosing a CRM
The ability to connect to mobile devices — smartphones and tablets — is one of the main prerogatives of crm for freelancers systems. It allows the user to always be in touch with customers and track new orders without being tied to a stationary PC or laptop. By receiving notifications of new orders on various freelance online resources on the phone, the user will be able to organize the mode of work and rest more efficiently.
Today, on the Internet you can find many CRM for freelancers, both on a paid and free basis. Due to the fact that most free specialists have a fairly limited budget, most of them are interested in an affordable software product that has the optimal number of functions. Depending on the qualification specifics of the freelancer, you can choose the best product, but, as a rule, you need to pay for additional functions for organizing work. Many paid systems operate on a one-time payment when purchasing a license.
Let’s list the main advantages of crm for freelancers:
- Broad options to manage working time at a whole new level. Thanks to the time-tracking features available in modern CRM systems, each freelancer can efficiently distribute work time and tasks. Most frameworks have wide options to set deadlines and make notes about exactly which aspects of a given task made you work on it longer than usual. At the end of the month or another reporting period, which the freelancer himself determined, he can conduct an analysis of the work process and work on errors so that each subsequent month will become more productive;
- Customers and tasks accounting. Thanks to the capabilities of modern time and client management frameworks, the overwhelming majority of modern CRM systems are provided with the main working board, where you can attach task cards. In addition, you can specify individual requirements for each task regarding the individual wishes of the customer, as well as create customer profiles, indicating their contact details and even work preferences. Thanks to this feature, each freelancer has the opportunity to come into closer contact with the client, which significantly affects the difficulty in communicating with the customer on the subject of each new job and the level of payment for work. The ability to establish your own network of regular customers makes an invaluable contribution to improving the competence of the freelancer and to developing him as an independent specialist, who is able to manage absolutely all aspects of his own work;
Automatic customer invoicing. For many freelancers, income accounting remains a challenge not because of the process difficulties, but because this aspect of the workflow goes beyond the scope of a freelancer specialization. Modern CRM systems allow you to automatically issue and send invoices to customers immediately after the end of the work process (completion and delivery of the project). Firstly, it saves time, because a freelancer can immediately discuss with a client all aspects of the work process and payment, issuing a proper invoice in advance. Secondly, it simplifies the analysis of income from work, as the system takes into account all completed tasks list and summarizes them, providing objective information about earnings for the reporting period, the average check and the desirability of further working with each individual customer.