7 useful business tools for freelancers

Freelancing is a great way to break free from the standard nine-to-five office environment and work on a more diverse range of projects while opening up the opportunity to make more money. The independence of freelancing however comes with the additional workload of organising, tracking and planning your projects. Fortunately, there's a lot of tools out there to help.

At Coveloping we've designed a range of business tools aimed at freelancers, contractors and small businesses who are looking for quick tools without using bloated software packages or going through lengthy set up processes. In this article we'll look at 7 of those tools you might find useful in setting up as a freelancer, or in your day-to-day management of projects...

Hourly rate calculator

When you set out on your own, it's important to know how much you should be charging clients, and the best place to start is working out your target hourly rate. Our hourly rate calculator runs you through your salary expectations, expenses and profit to work out the best rate for you to charge. You can read more about calculating your hourly rate from our previous article, or find out more about this tool on the promotion page.

Pricing Table Generator

If you offer any form of packages to your customers, then a pricing table is a great way to present what's on offer. Our pricing table generator allows you to live edit the content and styling, and then generate HTML and CSS to embed into your web site. The generator comes with a range of templates, which you can customise to suit the design of your site.

Project Quote Calculator

Our project quote calculator allows you to define the tasks and sub-tasks that will make up your project and allocate the estimated time required. By combining this with your hourly rate and working day, you can push the summary of this data through to the quote generator to send to your clients.

PDF Proposal & Quote Generators

Once you've worked out what you're going to charge your clients, you'll need to send them a proposal or quote. For sending quick estimates you can use the simple one page quote generator, which has a similar layout to a standard invoice. To add the extra wow factor you get send your clients a full proposal with the PDF proposal generator. Take a look at what you can create by clicking the demo button below.

Time Tracking

If a client accepts your quote or proposal, you'll need to track your time. With our time tracker tool, just add a project and task, then clock on to start tracking. You can leave the site and come back later and your time will still be logged. Clock off when you're finished and allocate the time to a task and project. At the end of the project you can push the time summary through to the Invoice Generator for billing your clients.

Invoice Generator

Create professional PDF invoices to send to your clients. A range of templates are available, which you can customise to fit your branding. This tool also links into the time tracker for ease of use.

Coveloping Monthly Membership

All the tools featured in this article are available in our low-cost monthly membership subscription.

David Bainbridge

Coveloping co-founder and regular contributor to the Coveloping blog. David is a contract web developer based in Bristol, UK also posting code snippets and tutorials on the Code Synthesis blog.

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