Self Employed

8 Essential Online Tools for the Self-Employed

Nigel Graber

Being self-employed isn’t an easy life. It sometimes feels as if you spend more time on admin than doing the job you love. But it’s all part of building a successful business. The good news is, there are plenty of online tools that can help.

8 Resources for freelancers, self-employed

Here are some essential online tools to help make managing your business that much easier. This will help if you’ve been self-employed for years or are just starting out.

GOV.UK

If this is the first time you’ve set up a business, there’s a lot to learn. The GOV.UK website has all the essential information you need on how to set up your business and your legal responsibilities.

You can also get further advice and financial help from government-backed schemes.

Cloud storage

If you spend a lot of time out of the office, it’s essential to be able to access your data files wherever and whenever you want. Cloud storage services help you access your data from multiple devices. This means there’s no need to panic about losing everything if you spill your morning coffee over your laptop.

The choice of cloud storage services can be overwhelming. Microsoft OneDrive may be a good choice for you, especially if you use PCs. But Google Drive, Dropbox and Mega all offer competitive alternatives.

If security is your main concern, companies such as Tresorit and pCloud claim to provide a higher level of encryption.

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Online accounting software

Many self-employed people hate the end-of-year tax return. But, it doesn’t need to be that way. With online accounting software, such as Xero and FreeAgent, you can keep track of your expenses, send invoices and file your tax return with ease.

Website builder tool

A professional looking website is a must for any business. Yet, professional web design comes with a high price tag.

Fortunately, there are some great website builder tools that you can use to create a beautiful website without requiring technical knowledge. Weebly, Wix and Squarespace are three of the most popular and easy to use website builders. These all include a responsive design which means your customers will be able to view it well on mobile devices.

Social media management apps

Social media should be a key part of your marketing strategy, but it can easily take over your life.

Apps like Hootsuite and Buffer can help you manage your social media accounts. You can use these to schedule posts across different channels and respond to inquiries.

Mileage tracking app

A mileage-tracking app like MileIQ can help provide tax relief. The HMRC allows you to get tax relief for your business miles but only if you have accurate documentation.

Remember, you pay taxes on your self-employed profits. Determine your profits by taking your gross business income and subtracting tax relief for expenses like mileage.