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 it became difficult.
Some methods I was using when I started (10 Years ago!).
- 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
After about 1 year, I realized I was spending too much time on time tracking & invoicing and not focusing on the business. So I started to look around and found out there are many applications that have specialized in time tracking & invoicing. The one challenge I found when trying these applications was that is was hard to invoice the clients against a retainer.
That is why I recommend Freshbooks, they have an out of box solution that can help you manage your client’s invoices and track project time against retainers.
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 set up retainers.
You need to spend time working on your business and not on tedious tasks when it comes to time tracking and collecting invoices.
Give it a try. They offer a free trial version. Try Freshbooks Free
The links above are affiliate links to Freshbooks.