Wooden toolboxThe life of a freelance business owner can seem like a dream, until you’re actually living the reality of constant paperwork and unending deadlines. The Small Business Administration recommends a few tried and trusted strategies to stay on top of your freelance game, including reducing overhead, growing your financial cushion, and seeking new opportunities to grow your business and collaborate with others. Finding the right tools to help you with this work is a key part of being a successful freelancer, but luckily there are a number of effective apps and programs that will soon become indispensable to your budding freelance business.

Finance Tools

Many freelance business owners come from a background of passionate production. Writers write, crafters make beautiful objects, carpenters build practical pieces of furniture. Starting a freelance business means adding a range of vital financial planning and management tasks to your already busy schedule of creating your product or service, so it’s important to have a few solid tools in your pocket to make your financial health easier to maintain.

Ignite Spot is a comprehensive outsource accounting tool designed to get your accounts, Quickbooks, bookkeeping and taxes all in one place. This service is useful for a seasoned business leader or for the newbie freelancer who needs helping getting their finances straight before they can address their new business responsibilities. This program can help you get clear on your baseline income and expenses, which can allow you to reduce overhead, cut costs and set goals for income going forward.

Communication Tools

Staying in touch with your clients and potential collaborators keeps you on top of your game and alert to new opportunities to grow your business. Contactually.com is a program that helps you manage your existing relationships with clients by tracking your communications on a variety of platforms and suggested actions to ensure you follow up and stay engaged. The program requires a monthly service fee of $19.99 to $99.99 per month, depending on the size of your business, and a 30 day free trial is included. Contactually is easy to use and will work anywhere you can access the Internet, whether it’s through a cable bundle or Wi-fi connection. Another great, free program that’s available through your web browser or on your Android, iPad, or Windows Tablet is Trello. Trello is an organization and collaboration tool that allows you to share ideas and documents to build relationships and revenue with new business partners or existing employees, according to its website, Trello.com.

Backup Tools

The SBA warns against losing your data in an unexpected crash and recommends you always have a secure, trusted backup for the data you need to conduct your freelance business. Choosing the right cloud backup is important. You need make sure you choose a service that has the features you need and can handle your tasks. For example, Mozy offers an enterprise cloud backup service that backs up and syncs your files and enables mobile access and control so you can get your files from anywhere. With this service, the storage quota is pooled at the organizational or user level, so you can reduce the time spent managing individual devices.