Whether you’re a freelancer with years of experience under your belt or a newly-minted entrepreneur trying to run a one-person company, you’ve probably realized by now that self-employment is no walk in the park.
While it does have its perks – such as flexibility, autonomy, and a higher income potential – being self-employed also comes with its own share of problems and drawbacks.
For instance, as a self-employed individual, you’ll have to handle the following:
- Invoicing and expense tracking
- Marketing and website traffic generation
- Customer support and communication
- Tax planning
- Financial management
Single-handedly managing all of these different avenues can quickly become tedious and overwhelming. This is why you should invest in some high-quality self-employed apps to save time and resources while also making life easier for yourself.
The Rise of Self-Employed Businesses and Freelancers
The exponential growth of digital technology and the internet has – over the past decade – caused a significant increase in the number of people who describe themselves as self-employed professionals.
Some of them run single-person companies while others offer their services as freelancers or independent contractors, but what they all have in common is that they work for themselves rather than a corporate employer.
As a result, they’re responsible for generating their own income, building relationships with clients and customers, managing their own schedules, and procuring their own tools and equipment.
Many self-employed individuals today are location-independent, conducting their business solely over the Internet without needing a traditional office or a physical storefront. They also often have specialized skills that businesses are willing to pay for, such as content creation, accounting, consulting, digital marketing, etc.
The COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated this trend, with its nationwide lockdowns and the resultant shift towards remote working and flexible working arrangements. With the ever-increasing popularity of this style of working, the number of people who identify as ‘self-employed’ is likely to keep growing in the foreseeable future.
What are Self-Employed Apps?
In essence, a self-employed app is a mobile app that is specifically designed to help individuals who work for themselves rather than those who are employed by a corporation, a government, or some other type of traditional employer.
Whether you’re a sole proprietor, a small business owner, or a freelancer, high-quality self-employed apps can help you in a variety of ways, including:
- Time management
- Tax planning
- Expense tracking
- Business strategy
- Website design and creation
- Project management
- Running marketing campaigns
- Customer service communications
So, any mobile application that’s designed for the purpose of helping self-employed persons enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations can be described as a self-employed app.
How Can a Self-Employed App Simplify Your Business?
There are a number of ways in which a self-employed app can help simplify your small business and enhance its efficiency. Some of the important ones have been listed below:
Scale Your Business
A self-employed app that helps streamline and automate the administrative aspects of your business – such as invoicing, expense tracking, and schedule management – will help you scale your operations and income by getting more done in less time.
Similarly, a self-employed app specializing in marketing or portfolio creation can help you reach a wider audience by allowing you to showcase your work and gather customer reviews, testimonials, etc.
Lastly, an app that facilitates remote working can help you reach a wider pool of global customers. We’ll discuss this point in greater detail in the following section.
Increase Customer and Client Base
Many self-employed apps facilitate location independence and remote working through features such as video conferences, project management tools, and multimedia chat functionality.
These features can help you scale by opening your business up to the global market instead of keeping you tied down to your physical location. Needless to say, a wider market will eventually lead to higher revenue potential from a larger pool of clients and customers.
Improved Margins and Profits
A self-employed app can improve your profit margins by expanding the customer base of your business, automating some of the time-consuming administrative tasks, and sending timely reminders to clients for invoice payments, product upgrades, and much more.
Furthermore, many self-employed apps provide business insights and analytics that can help you cross-sell and upsell your products or services. This is done by analyzing customer data and behavior, as well as tracking key metrics like customer engagement and revenue generation.
Efficiently Run and Manage Your Business
A self-employed app can make the process of managing and operating your business much more efficient by automating certain key aspects, such as:
- Scheduling meetings and appointments
- Creating and sending invoices
- Sending reminders for unpaid invoices
- Tracking the amount of time spent on a given project
- Tracking income and expenses associated with the business
- Scanning and storing receipts
- Facilitating collaborations with clients and employees
Thus, a good self-employment app will take some of the mundane administrative tasks off your plate, allowing you to focus solely on the parts of your business that will generate growth and bring in profits.
Save Time, Money, and Resources
If you’re a self-employed person, then time is perhaps the most valuable resource at your disposal. How you manage your time will determine your income and the growth of your business. This is especially true if you’re a freelancer billing by the hour, but knowing your hourly rate can be helpful even if you usually charge by the project.
So, be sure to invest in a high-quality and reliable time-tracking app, preferably one that integrates seamlessly with your accounting and payroll software. Some of the best time-tracking and time-management apps even handle scheduling, accommodate multiple users for easy teamwork, and keep notes of your work for future reference.
How Much Does an App for Self-Employed Cost?
Self-employed apps that offer basic functionalities like time tracking and invoicing can often be used for free or for a small price of less than $10 a month. However, an app that offers more complex functionalities, such as accounting, tax filing, team collaboration, and project management, could cost as much as $100 per month or more.
Some of the important factors that determine the cost of a particular self-employed app include:
- The complexity of the app
- The platform for which it’s built
- Features and functionalities of the app
- Number of people who can use it at once
- Level of customer support
Most of the self-employed apps currently available can cost anywhere between $10 to $80 per month, with many of them also offering a free trial or basic tier for new users. Therefore, you should compare the different self-employed apps available (and the different tiers or plans offered by each app) to find the one that best meets your business needs as well as your budget.
Features to Look for in a Self-Employed App
If you’ve decided to invest in a high-quality self-employed app to improve your income and efficiency as a freelancer or small business owner, here are a few of the features you should look for before making your choice.
Some self-employed apps can help you perform basic banking tasks, such as:
- Tracking your business expenses through your business bank account
- Checking the balance on your business bank account
- Transferring funds between your business and personal accounts
- Paying any bills related to your business
- Generating expense reports
Before you begin using a self-employed app for banking purposes, however, you should review their security measures, fees, terms and conditions, etc. This will ensure the safety of your money, privacy, and data.
A high-quality self-employed app should offer some essential bookkeeping features to help users better manage the financial aspect of their business. For instance, it should allow you to track the income and expenses related to your business in real time.
It should also allow you to upload receipts, bank statements, and other financial documents. Finally, the app should be able to automatically generate profit and loss statements and cash flow statements to provide you with a better understanding of your financial performance as a self-employed individual.
Your chosen self-employed app should offer tools and features to help you comply with your tax obligations. These features can include:
- Generating tax forms
- Estimating tax payments
- Tax calculator
- Tax deadline alerts
- Income and expense tracker
The best apps of this type can help you maximize tax deductions and minimize the risk of any tax filing errors.
The right self-employed app will allow you to create professional-looking invoices, complete with the logo and color scheme of your brand. It will also allow you to save invoice templates, automatically send invoices, track payments, and send automatic reminders to clients who are running late with their scheduled payments.
Business Tools and Integrations
For maximum efficiency, your chosen self-employed app should integrate easily with your invoicing and accounting software, project management tools, and your banking app.
An app that offers easy integrations with several popular software solutions can help create an intuitive and streamlined workflow for you and your team, which would, in turn, make your life easier.
Using A Self Employed App to Simplify Your Business
Self-employment may offer you flexibility, autonomy, and the satisfaction of ‘being your own boss,’ but it does bring with it a fair share of stress and uncertainty. From doing your own taxes to reaching out to potential customers and designing your own website – it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the huge number of things that you need to get done.
This is why you need a high-quality self-employed app with reliable time management, bookkeeping, communications, and project management features. Such an app will help you stay on top of your to-do list and keep a calm head as you navigate this challenging new path.
Found developed a business banking platform to assist self-employed individuals in managing their finances more efficiently. It comes with tools to create invoices, track your business expenses, manage your business taxes, and quickly receive payments, as well as a business bank account with no fees and no minimum balances that allow you to make unlimited transactions. Check out all the features Found offers for self-employed individuals by visiting their website.