To start this off I want to share a bit of background about myself. I have started a few consulting businesses over the past 10 years. They were primarily focused on web & application development. One major pain point that I experienced early on was how to manage tracked time against projects and invoices for my clients. It was easy but tedious when I had one or two clients but as I started to scale I started to feel the pain.
Some methods I was using when I started (10 Years ago!).
I made a quick process for myself:
- Add the client/project to a google spreadsheet
- Send a manual invoice by Paypal for 50% upfront of the project
- Note down hours worked on specific tasks/items
- Send a manual invoice by Paypal once we hit major milestones
Great! Soon to find out what a waste of time. There are applications that have specialized in this so you can focus on building your business. The one thing you will notice is that not all applications have really fine-tuned the way you can bill for a retainer and then time track against that retainer in an organized fashion.
Time tracking against a retainer is one of the most important things when you are setting up contracts with your clients.
That is why I recommend Freshbooks because they have an out of box solution that can help you manage your client’s invoices and track project time against retainers you have collected.
Their user experience is very smooth and they have a good support team to help you if you have any questions. You can be set up in minutes and start collecting money for the new projects you have booked!
Here is a screenshot of their application on how you can setup retainers.
You want to spend your time working on the things you are the expert on. You don’t want to be spending time managing tedious tasks when it comes to time tracking and collecting invoices.
Give it a try. They offer a free trial version. Try Freshbooks Free
These are just some of the great benefits of working with Freshbooks. It is really simple and you have nothing to lose giving it a try.
The links above are affiliate links to Freshbooks.