1. Use a timer to keep track of working hours.
I like to use a kitchen timer as I tend to forget to press stop on digital timers. Log these hours into a time tracking app (I use TimeTag but there are many similar and free programs). This data is so helpful to understand if you are on track towards your estimated project timeline, allows you the insight to charge more accurate fees, and grow your business. Remember to also track admin and meeting hours for a full picture.
2. Backup! again and again!
How devastating would it be to lose an important file right before a deadline! Backup often and with redundancy. I personally use 2 physical hard drives for my laptop and apple cloud for my ipad. I noticed the hard drives also backed up cloud-based storage (dropbox, creative cloud) as well which is really great. In the past, I have had clients that required me to send files again nearly a year after the project had finished so backups really streamlined that process.
3. Keep a planner.
I'm sure everyone has a personal preference for planning but I have found that an all in one approach (monthly calendar with daily sections above) has been great to get a comprehensive view of my schedule. I also mark down income and expenses for each month. I like to have a check-list of monthly goals on the side too.
4. Schedule followup dates.
Sometimes clients need a friendly reminder/encouragement and you want to ensure your business is moving forward too. You are also letting clients know, their project and your involvement in it is important to you.
5. Keeping Financial Records.
Accounting can really be so overwhelming! I don't enjoy the process of it at all but certainly understand the importance of it. If you are managing your business records by yourself, its good practice to set up spreadsheets tracking income (invoice outgoing and received date) along with expenses (direct and operating). Collect receipts and paperwork in an inbox and file them regularly.
Thanks so much for reading till the end! I would love to hear your tips too. Come say hi on instagram: @natalie.illustration