Working as a freelance graphic designer is not for the faint of heart. It may provide you with more routine flexibility and the opportunity to work on more personal projects, but it also requires a lot more self-discipline and accountability than most other job descriptions do.
One area of freelancing that requires a particular level of self-discipline is the payment system that you implement. In a regular job, the company accountant or bookkeeper would handle this. But if you work solo and want to be successful, financial admin is something you need to accomplish on your own. At least initially.
Understandably, this can be somewhat difficult at times, especially if you work in a creative field like graphic design. But here’s the good news: supportive tools and resources are abundant.
Setting up an efficient payment system no longer needs to be the challenge it was in the past. Today, there are lots of tips and tricks you can utilize to simplify payment processes and make your financial admin system run like a well-oiled machine. Here are six of them.
1. Use An Invoicing Tool
These days, you don’t need to rely on your own wits to get you through day-to-day admin. The internet hosts a wide range of different invoicing tools that can help you manage simple and complex tasks like a pro.
Invoicing tools can help you to create, fact-check, store, and send out professional invoices with barely any input on your part. As a graphic designer, you may feel more comfortable creating your own invoices from scratch, but many of these tools provide great templates that make the process much easier.
If your payment system is getting you down or negatively impacting your productivity, do something to change how it gets managed. These tools are specifically designed to take the boring work off of your hands so that you can focus on the fun, creative stuff!
2. Pick Your Rates System Wisely
As a freelance graphic designer, there are many different ways to go about picking a rates system. There are hourly rates, day rates, and project-based rates. Find out which one works to your benefit the most and establish it as your primary method of payment.
3. Create Your Own Contract With Specific Payment Terms
It’s vital for every freelancer to have a professional contract. This is important for many reasons, not least of all because it affords you more control over payment terms and processes.
For example, you can stipulate in your contracts that late payments will result in compounded interest for the total amount. Or you could create a rule where clients must pay you 50% of the total amount owed up front in order to secure the arrangement.
However you’d like your payment processes to be executed, a contract is the place to spell them out. Part of the beauty of being a freelancer (especially in a creative field) is that you get to choose the way in which you interact with clients, so take advantage of that.
4. Set Up A Variety Of Different Payment Portals
Another great way to make your payment system more efficient is to diversify your available payment methods. Instead of just offering regular bank transactions, credit card or PayPal links, you can set up a variety of portals that make it easier for a wide demographic of clients to pay you.
A lot of the time, when a client is late on a payment, it’s due to technical issues. But if you can offer them more than just one or two options, the likelihood of them paying you on time increases.
5. Educate Yourself On Personal And Professional Budgeting
Last but not least, remember that managing a freelance payment system is a journey, not a destination. You don’t need to be the world’s best accountant to manage your freelance finances effectively. But you do need to know how to make an invoice and a few other accounting basics to manage your financial affairs efficiently.
Educating yourself on freelance budgeting is one of the most useful things you can do as a freelancer, and it’s something you can benefit from in multiple different areas of life.
Not everyone is lucky enough to be born with natural accounting abilities, but those of us who weren’t, no longer need to miss out on the benefits of an efficient payment system. If you’re a freelance graphic designer in need of support for your financial administration processes, you came to the right place.
From high-functioning how to make an invoice your contract in favor of better payment terms, there are a number of options out there to not only help you get paid faster, but also to reduce the amount of time and energy you spend on personal accounting each month.