Thankful For A New Week…

Well, it a new week.  Where has the time gone?  It has been busy raising kids, helping my wonderful husband and working.  This week will be the same thing with new jobs, getting ready for a birthday for my baby along with cleaning and doing laundry.  What a busy week, but don’t have to worry about being board.

So my To-Do List looks like this for the week:

  • Work on at least 3 projects that I have current assignments for
  • Clean House and then try to keep somewhat clean
  • Try to keep laundry up
  • Celebrate a 1st birthday
  • Be creative in meals that are made for the family this week – trying to make them healthy

But that is all in a week.  At least I am able to do them and have a family to do them for and even help me.  I am able to teach the girls about cleaning when it comes down to getting house cleaning and laundry done.  I finally got our older 2 wanting to help with putting their laundry away once it ready to be put away.  Then once I start cleaning up they start to clean up.

I will be busy, but at least I will be enjoying all of it.  What are you going to do this week?

Have a great week.


Following Up With Clients…

Why should I follow-up with Clients?  When is the right time to follow-up with the Clients?  How do I remember when to follow-up with clients if they say to check back after a certain time?

Following up with a client is what will keep your business going.  If you have a project that hasn’t closed, or even if it has closed, follow-up is a good way to see if you can do anything else for them.  Maybe you haven’t heard from them for a while, or they said to check back in a couple of months, etc.  For example earlier in the month I decided to contact clients I hadn’t heard from in a while or worked for in some time and just reminded them that I was available if they needed my services.  I have a current client that replied back and said that now they didn’t have anything, but would in March if I was willing to wait until then.  I said of course and to just leave the contract open.  I then set up on my to do list in Gmail to follow-up a few days into the month of March, if they hadn’t gotten back with me.  You don’t necessarily want to contact the 1st day of the month, unless they say to, to get work.  Give them a couple of days, as they may need some time to get the work put together.

Anytime is a good time to follow-up with a client you haven’t worked with for a while.  It could be they are snowed under and you just reminding them you are available will be all that they need to get back.

I now have a Gmail account just for my freelancing work.  I have a Task list or To Do list that I keep all my assignments and follow ups on.  I can set deadlines/due dates on them.  I also include things I want to look into, such as software I want to consider using to help my business run better.  You can also use the calendar on there as well to put the reminder as well.  I keep everything from Dr. Appts., Dentist Appts or any other interviews on the calendar.  This will help when I am trying to schedule what I have going on with work.

So following up with clients can give you more work, especially if it starts as just working on one project.  What a way to make it a continuous project.

Using DropBox For Work…

What is Dropbox?  Is it worth getting?

Dropbox is a way to share your working documents in real-time without having to send them back and forth.  Also, if for some reason you lose the internet connection, you still are able to work on the document.  This is a great way to share documents among a team.  Not everyone you connect with will see all of your folders.  The folders that are shared are only shared with those you share them with.  You can have many folders and each are shared with different people.  For example, I now have two folders that are shared and they are shared with two different people.  This makes sure that a team has the most up to date document and you don’t have to worry about if it has been emailed to everyone.

For those of you interested, you can visit Dropbox.  There are a few options, a Basic which is free and then two other options you pay for.  You also have the option to use the Basic and get more free space by inviting people, which you can do by using the link at the beginning of this paragraph, sharing folders, etc.

I am using the Basic package and plan to use it for a while.  As I see my use of Dropbox growing and the need to get more space, I will then consider what I will do.

You do need to download it onto your computer.  You can add several computers if needed and link to together if you use many different computers, you just need to use the same email address.  This can come in handy if you use a desktop along with a laptop.

So if you have documents that need to either be shared or used by many people you might want to try this option.

Building My Client List…

One of the things I want to do this year is to build my client list. Building my client list will be what builds my business and keeps me going.  I will have to say, freelancing this way has helped me out financially more than when I was an independent consultant for a business that you go from home to home to sell items (I sold candles).

There are many ways to do that.  For example, I will continue to use oDesk and keep applying for jobs.  Also, I may get more work from some clients who start out as a one time job.  Word of mouth through this is another great way to get more work whether you are using something like oDesk or working on your own.  This will be what will build not only my business, but your business.

Networking can help build a client list as well.  If you are on Facebook or Twitter or through blogs you can network what you are able to do and potentially build your client list.  Because I am also a mom, I can talk to other moms when I take the kids places and let them know what I do.  They may have husbands who work somewhere that could use what I am able to offer them.  What other ways can you think of when it comes to networking?

I am working on coming up with a contract for those times that I may work outside of oDesk to make sure that the client and I are able to agree to what services will be provided.  This will also help when it comes to payment as well.  I have set up a PayPal account that I can use for receiving payments.  I am also checking out sites that will allow me to invoice.  There are basic accounts where you don’t pay anything, but limit the number of invoices you can send in a month, but as my business grows, I could pay for more invoices in a month.  Also, I could make a change in my PayPal account so that I can receive credit cards, which I can’t do at the moment.

I will start by talking to people who I know who work outside of home and see if they know people who may need the services I offer.  I will be able to give them a flyer, brochure or write-up of what I can offer.  They may not know anyone, but will pass along the information.  Also, who have I worked for in the past that I can offer services for?  Is there a way I can help some people who I have worked for in the past?

It is about thinking outside the box about what you can do and getting it out there creatively.  You aren’t going to know what works or doesn’t work until you try it.

Taxes and Freelancing

When you are a freelancer, more than likely you will be paying for your taxes at the end of the year.  This may seem like a good idea when, but make sure you understand what that really means.

When paying taxes at the end of the year, you can set up payments to pay your taxes off.  There will be interest and fees added because you didn’t pay it off all at one time, but if you don’t have the money available to pay the amount, this is one option to go.  Another would be to pay quarterly.  This is usually by estimating what you will earn.  Or if you have a spouse that works and has taxes taken out, have them fix it where they have extra taken out of their check.  This will help lessen the blow at the end of the year.  You may still have to pay, but it won’t be as much.

It is important that as a freelancer or independent consultant or other title you give yourself, when you work for yourself, taxes are taken out, so it is important to plan so for that.  You need to decide which way you want to go about with the taxes.

The only thing you don’t want to do is not pay your taxes.

Getting An Invite To Work…

Many times we know we can take on more or need more work.  We are also getting invites to take on more work.  Does that mean it is appropriate or the right time to take on more work?  If the job is not right, then no.  We may get excited of a job invite.  That means that some how the potential client has an interest in us.  That is great, but that doesn’t mean it is a good match or at least a good match right now.

It is always good to have word of mouth.  I have gotten jobs because of the word of mouth and have appreciated it.  There have been times I have had potential clients who have invited me to an interview for a potential job.  But after much prayer and consideration I either say yes or no.  It is yes if it is a good match for both the client and myself, I can take on the added work and the job is worth the money that goes with the offer.  The job is no when it isn’t a good match, I can’t take on the added work or the job isn’t a worth the money that they are offering.  Now I can negotiate with them maybe on the due date or the price if I can show them why, but that doesn’t mean they say yes.

These job invites might come from companies like oDesk.  I have gotten a job through oDesk because of someone else who used me on oDesk.  But you might have past employers who want to use you as well.  This is great, but remember to have a contract when you do this.  This will cover both parties.

Don’t be afraid to ask those you either currently work for or have worked for in the past who have given outstanding feedback to send people your way.  This is one of the greatest ways to keep your work load at a pace or leave that will bring in consistent money and work.

Why Do I Work From Home? Here Is Why.

Being able to work from home has been a blessing for my family.  We need the help financially, but when looking at all the options of me working outside the home it doesn’t seem to make sense financially.

I work from home for many reasons.  Here are a few of them:

  • Day care would take up most of, if not all of my paycheck as we have 3 who would need full-time care.
  • I would have to get a job that pays me a minimum of $20/hr. to take care of taxes that would come out, pay for child care, pay for gas in the van, and have any left over to help pay for any bills.
  • I can work what I do from home and do it around what we have going on.  So if we have Doctors appointments, etc.  I can get work done during naps, before the kids get up in the morning, once the kids go to bed at night, etc.  I don’t have to pay for child care.
  • I can raise our children.  I would miss things if I worked outside of the home.  For example, this morning I had folded a load of clothes and my almost 4-year-old said, “I will put my clothes away.  Thank you mommy for doing my laundry.”  How else could I teach my kids about putting laundry away, picking up after themselves and even about healthy activities?
  • I can pick the work that is the best fit for me and allows me to work around our schedule.
  • I can still take care of the home.

I love being able to do this type of work.  I am able to be the wife and mom God has called me to be while also using my other gifts and talents and helping the family financially.