Time tracking guide for sole traders
For sole traders and freelancers, every second matters. Unlike traditional employment, a freelancer’s income is inconsistent and dependent on the terms and conditions of various forms of assignments. It’s critical for a freelancer or sole trader to keep meticulous time records, especially if you charge clients by the hour.
The following are some of the advantages of keeping track of your time as a freelancer:
Time and expenses are accurately measured
Because most freelancers operate from home or in a different location than their customers, it’s difficult for the business owner with whom they collaborate to observe how much time is spent on their project. Time monitoring software aids the freelancer in properly estimating the time required to finish each stage of the work. The freelancer’s reports and timesheets are then provided to the customer via a shared app or with an invoice.
This allows the client to know where their money is going and gives the sole trader peace of mind by keeping precise time records.
Future projections will be more accurate
Tracking time spent on client projects can also assist a sole trader to estimate how much time is needed for future jobs. When a client requests a quotation or proposal, the freelancer may use their previous experience to properly predict how long and how much a comparable project will take to complete.
This also aids the sole trader in managing their time and determining the optimum time to complete a project stage without missing a deadline or working late into the night.
Improved performance and speed
Time is a valuable commodity. It’s a cliché, but it’s also true, especially for sole traders. The more quickly someone works, the more money they may earn. The freelancer can analyse where they can increase speed and performance levels by maintaining precise records of how long it takes to complete various jobs and projects.
The more experience a sole trader has, the faster they will become, but there is always space for growth. Viewing time records will reveal where too much time is being wasted and where other solutions may help you get things done faster.
Identifying and then avoiding certain distractions
Distractions are never far away in the digital era, and this is especially true for sole traders who work online all day, every day. Instant messaging apps may be a seductive diversion, and social media is only a click away. Distractions may appear to be little in the short term, but they can add up to more than we realise over the course of a working day.
By keeping track of work time, a sole trader can determine how much time was lost due to attention lapses. While the distraction itself may not be documented, the extra time required to finish a job will allow the freelancer to reflect on what happened during that hour to cause the project to be delayed. The specific distractions can then be turned off.
Setting and accomplishing objectives
Setting goals, especially for beginning freelancers, is a crucial element of progressing in a self-employed professional path. Attaining milestones and meeting financial targets improves confidence and reduces anxiety. Tracking work time helps a freelancer to see how far they’ve come toward their revenue objectives and make modifications as needed.
After each objective is met, data from time monitoring software and income reports may be used to establish new targets and plans. These can enable a sole trader to not only earn more money, but also work fewer hours and feel more satisfied with their work.
Best time tracking apps for freelancers and sole traders
Time is money when you’re a freelancer. As a sole trader or freelancer, keeping track of your time is critical. But which tracking software is the best? We’ve compared a lot of them, and these are the ones we like most.
Clockify is a free time tracking software that helps you monitor your billable hours and hourly rates. It’s a particular favourite around the workplace. You may start and stop the timer while you work with a browser plugin, or manually input the hours. The application also generates timesheets and reports, allowing you to see how many hours you spend working, what takes up the majority of your time, and where your time goes. Fantastic.
Harvest is another highly regarded free time tracking tool that is ideal for sole traders and freelancers. It allows you to monitor time using to-do lists, projects, or single hours, depending on what works best for you. The software may be installed on both your phone and your computer, allowing you to work both online and offline.
This is an extremely simple software that makes time tracking easy and smooth for busy freelancers who switch between jobs and projects. Reports are provided directly to your inbox and offer detailed information about your company’s performance. It will cost you a small monthly fee, but it is well worth it.
Sole accounting app
Sole is an Australian accounting app jam-packed with features to make accounting simple, fast, straightforward, and stress-free for sole traders, freelancers, self-employed, and small businesses. It offers a range of features, including invoicing, finance monitoring, revenue and spending, and more. There is also a 30-day free trial on offer, so you can test drive the app before you invest.
Sole Traders Insurance is recommended if you want to conduct a business as a sole trader or freelancer. Tradies insurance is a form of commercial insurance that protects you against the hazards and risks that come with working for yourself. It covers legal costs, as well as work-related equipment and tools, as well as events involving you or another employee on a variety of levels.