Finding New Customers is Great. Keeping Current Customers is Better

Find customers...keep customers
If you are self-employed or run a micro-business, you can easily become obsessed with finding new customers. It’s natural, particularly when starting your self-employment career, to brainstorm all the ways you can attract new clients. Clients, after all, are the life blood of your business. Without them, you’ll be shutting your doors and heading back to a day job. Read more

Home-Based Business Security Tips

Home-based business security

The following home-based business security tips can help secure you, your home-office and your data while giving you some peace of mind. Read more

Why Your Services Estimates Don’t Convert

Convert estimates

Creating services estimates for a potential client can cause a freelancer or micro-business owner a lot of anxiety. There are so many “what ifs”. What if I quote too high? What if I quote too low? What if it’s a waste of time? What if, what if, what if! Estimates are educated guesses. Sometimes they are accurate, sometimes not, but there are other reasons beyond the dollar figure of your estimate that can prevent a customer from following through and ordering your services. Following are a few reasons your estimates may not be converting to actual work and income. Read more

Managing Self-Employment Stress. Help Yourself and Your Business with These Tips

Managing self-employment stress

If you are freelancer, consultant, or run a home-based business, the art of managing self-employment stress is a skill that you must learn to maintain your health…and your business! Stress is a killer. A killer of health, relationships, and business. A multitude of physical and emotional health problems including heart disease, chronic headaches, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, high blood pressure and others are linked to stress. Read more

Time Saving Tips for Freelancers

time saving tips for freelancers

While this article is entitled “Time Saving Tips for Freelancers”, it could just as easily be called “Sanity Tips for Freelancers”. If you’ve made the jump from a day job to freelancing, the most important thing you can learn to preserve your sanity and make this new life possible is how to save time.

To the uninitiated, the word “freelancer” conjures up images of getting up late, working when you want and having unlimited freedom, but the reality is far from what they imagine. Freelancers frequently work more than they did at their day jobs. Before I began freelancing, a freelancer friend once told me “Sure, there’s freedom in freelancing. I’m free to choose which 15 hours in a day I work.” Read more

Customer Value Tracking in Flare

Recently, we published an article about increasing customer lifetime value (CLV). This important measurement is often influenced by actions businesses take such as great customer service, staying in touch, preferred customer benefits and more. Knowing the importance of this measurement, we built in a customer value tracking feature into Flare. Read more

5 Invoicing Best Practices for Better Cash Flow

Invoicing best practices

Cash flow management – balancing what is coming into your bank with what is going out – is a challenge for freelancers and small business owners. You may have customers who have purchased services, and that’s great, but if those customers take their time to pay, you may find yourself dipping into cash reserves to meet expenses or operate.

There are 5 invoicing best practices you can follow to ensure that customers pay you faster, reducing receivables and getting more cold, hard cash into your bank account. Read more

How to Increase Brand Loyalty and Customer Lifetime Value

Customer lifetime value

Customer Lifetime Value (sometimes referred to as CLV or CLTV) is oft discussed by startups but is frequently ignored by freelancers and small businesses. CLV is a prediction of the net profit a customer will provide your business over the course of your relationship with them.

While somewhat complex equations can be used to calculate CLV, understanding that there are actions you as freelancers or small business owners can take to increase that lifetime value is more important than the equations that guestimate CLV. Read more

Use Sales Closing Techniques “Scarcity and Urgency”
to Convert an Estimate to a Purchase

While estimate deadlines are practical they also have a psychological impact. They are a sales closing technique that can increase conversions of those estimates into actual sales (invoices).

From a practical standpoint, first and foremost, setting estimate expiry deadlines protects you from being forced to honor an old estimate – one that someone decides to act on X number of months or X number of years after you send it. Read more

Collaborative Cloud Accounting Saves Small Businesses Money

Cloud Accounting
Cloud software and cloud collaboration are more than mere buzzwords. The benefits of cloud applications are their efficiency, anywhere anytime access, and cost savings. Collaboration with web-based software increases a business’s effectiveness, allowing small businesses to share tasks, delegate and work anywhere. Studies suggest that early adopters of cloud applications are already experiencing the benefits and increasing profit as a result. Read more