What’s your gig these days? The gig economy is growing 27 percent faster than traditional employment, meaning it’s never been a better time to be a freelance worker. And more good news: Because so much work can be done remotely thanks to cloud-based technologies and collaborative workspaces, freelancers can accept projects that suit their schedules as well as their skills, and grow their businesses as they see fit.
Freelancers and small businesses are overcoming technical and financial barriers that were hindering their dream of running a growing, global business. But freelance work comes with a unique set of challenges, and it takes dedication to succeed. Time management is crucial, and workers must keep their skills current and marketable. However, for someone who is motivated and equipped with the right tools, freelancing is a great choice. Here are some tips to optimize your freelance work.
The new frontier of collaboration
Technology has changed remote and contract work in part because so many tasks can be completed off-site, and on a flexible schedule. The cloud has changed work as we know it and drives growth in the gig economy. It’s more important than ever to start all client relationships on solid footing:
- Create expectations for collaboration with a contract. You can customize to each client, but it’s essential to make your role, availability, and deliverables clear from the start to avoid frustration and scope creep.
- Understand the cloud-based tools in your industry. If you’re a writer, get to know document sharing. As a designer, learn about cloud-based storage and design tools.
Optimize operations with technology
Sole proprietors know that details are just as important as the big picture. Automating and optimizing your daily tasks can have a high return on investment.
- Automate regular tasks, like billing. In addition to being one of the most mature markets in automation, billing automation provides an immediate return: if it’s easy for clients to make a payment, they pay faster. Check out online reviews of the many cloud-based billing options.
- Document your time clearly. Apps like Wunderlist and Trello have free and premium versions, so you can test different workflows.
Devices for business growth
Running multiple cloud-based systems requires a business-ready PC. A freelancer’s time is their most precious resource, and time spent waiting for an old computer to boot, update, or recover lost work is definitely not billable. Mobility and speed are crucial for the modern freelancer. To help you maximize your time:
- Make business mobile and sustainable. Look for lightweight devices with long battery life so you have the flexibility to take your business on the road and extend collaboration capabilities.
- Eliminate IT headaches. Refreshing your PC about every 36 months keeps you competitive on many levels; a consistent and reliable device lets you focus on your work and what you do best and it ensures that you are able to install, run, and exchange the latest software files when collaborating. It’s costly to rely on a computer or tablet that can’t handle multitasking and tethers you to your office.
- Be professional, look professional. Appearances matter, especially when interacting with clients in-person and online. Leverage technology to impress and strengthen customer relationships with professional technology; show your customers you can take their business to the next level because you’re doing it in your own work.
Explore these affordable tablets and PC offerings that bring speed, mobility, and security to small business owners making their way in the gig economy.