We understand that as creatives we are not always the best people to run a business so when we find a tool to help make it easier we want to share it with you.
Money is the lifeblood of any small business and often bad cashflow can kill a business dead in its tracks.
For several years now some of the team have been using Freshbooks for our freelance accounts. It enables you to bill and collect money with the minimum of fuss, giving access to several different payment gateways to make paying you easy for your clients like Paypal and Stripe.
You can try it free for 30 days and then the plans start at $15 per month. We love it!
If like us you to business across countries and currencies, then you are often at the mercy of banks and their charging fees for international bank charges or the fees that Paypal use. One of our suppliers recommended TransferWise to us which aims to lower charges and to use fair currency exchange rates. They use what they describe as 'mid-band' exchange rates and charge around 0.5% or £2.00 under £400 as the transaction fee, which is amazing especially when you compare it to our bank's fee of £10 to £22 per transaction.
You can have a personal account or business account with them and it works because you pay into a TransferWise account in your country, and then pay your supplier from a TransferWise account in their country, so bypassing the banks' transfer fees and charges.
If you would like to know more then check out TransferWise
Polymail for Mac
Many creatives are not good at time management and one place that shows this can be their email. Often you'll see an indicator of hundreds of unread messages, meaning every time they open their mail they can't see the woods for the trees.
Time management applications don't help, often making matters worse and piling on the guilt.
A few years ago I was introduced to the concept of Inbox Zero, which uses mail to manage your time. It works by treating mail in the following way, you decide that every email should have one of the following actions;
- Do - act upon it now, it's important and urgent or so easy it can be acted upon quickly.
- Defer - set it aside for a later date, it needs acting upon but not now.
- Delegate - forward it to a person who is better placed to deal with it.
- Delete - it has no purpose and needs trashing.
This means that the only things sitting in your Inbox are the things you need to complete today. The aim is to end up with nothing in your Inbox each day. I do that every day.
This is made easy using Polymail, a fantastic mail app that allows you to defer mail until a later date of your choosing. I don't use folders or rules, either there's stuff in my inbox, deferred or archived and the powerful search means I have no need for endless folders to lose stuff in.
It's changed my life.
You don't need Polymail to use the Inbox Zero method but I can't imagine doing it without.