Here is a list of the tools I currently use when working with my clients as well as the Sitemaster team, they will also work well for those that outsource.
A good process that is clearly defined and transparent helps everyone involved in the project by setting the boundaries from the start.
I hope that this can be of help to other developers who are looking to smooth their process and create a transparent solution for dealing with both clients and their development team.
The first thing you need to do is have an agreement in place.
You owe it to yourself to ensure that no matter how bad things get, you’ll come away clean.
You owe it yourself and your business not to be the guy lying bleeding in an alley with a slug in your gut.
If you’re writing a contract between you and your customers it doesn’t have to conform to the seemingly standard format of jargon and complicated legalese.
You can be creative.
A killer contract will clarify what is expected of both sides and it can also help you to communicate your approach to doing business.
It will back-up your brand values and help you to build a great relationship between you and your customers.
A creative contract can be a killer contract
Take it from me, packing a killer contract will help to keep you safe when times get tough, but you must still keep your wits about you and stay on the right side of the law.
Let me first start of by saying I like to automate as much as possible so I use Zapier.
If I cant use the application with Zapier it has to have some really great features I cant live without.
Automation at its best, Stick with the tools that work for you. Zapier connects more web apps than anyone, and they add new options every week. They integrate with apps such as Facebook Lead Ads, Slack, Quickbooks, Google Sheets, Google Docs & many more!
I like to know where my time is spent for several reasons.
- Accounting and billing for different sections of work
- Knowing what I or us as a team are good at
- Where I am making or loosing money
It doesn’t matter if you are working for a fixed cost or you are charging by the hour. Knowing what it takes to complete a task not only helps you define where the money is at for your skills and what you need to work harder at to improve in different areas.
There are a lot of tools for doing this but my fav for many years is Slimtimer.
From the SLIMTIMER you can create tasks and even share them with your coworkers and those you report to.
Time your work
Open the SLIMTIMER and click on a task to start the clock and click again when you’re finished. If you’ve completed the task click the checkbox to mark it off. Close the browser when you’re done.
Run reports of not only your time but also that of your coworkers and reportees. You can export any report to CSV(Excel), subscribe to its RSS feed*, or email it to a colleague*.
Again the choice for billing and accounting packages is huge. There are a lot of great products on the market, some are free but the good stuff you have to pay for.
I user WHMCS because it suits the varied things I do and I had a license and found that it works for a lot more that what it is intended for.
WHMCS is aimed at the automation of website hosting businesses but it allows you to bill for products, services and one off billing including self up and down grading of services and of course it has a good ticketing system.
Coggle is an online tool for creating and sharing mind maps.
I like to define all jobs with my clients so I create a mind map and the client and I can work together to define what it is that will be built.
It works online in your browser: there’s nothing to download or install.
Coggle gives you a clear way to share and understand complex information.
It’s a collaborative document that simplifies complex things and a shared work space to help your team work more effectively together.
It’s free, and they promise it always will be, but they still promise to look after your data the best they know how, to keep backups, and to take security seriously.
Whether you’re taking notes, brainstorming, planning, or doing something awesomely creative, it is super simple to visualise your ideas with Coggle.
Share with as many friends or colleagues as you like.
Changes you make will show up instantly in their browser, wherever they are in the world.
There are many CRM’s of sorts available to choose from it can take you months to go through them all. I use WHMCS but it just doesn’t cover my CRM needs well enough.CRM‘s are either to costly or ridged or don’t allow you to use their API or automatically share your own information.
Organic SEO, good design and relevant authoritative content go hand in hand in attracting visitors to your site.