As a freelancer, time is quite literally, money. That’s why keeping track of the time you spend on each project you work on is critical to creating a successful business!

When it comes to billing, there are a number of different ways that freelancers bill their clients. Whether billing by the hour, project, day or month, the key thing is to be stringent about keeping on top of the time you put into a project so that you can be sure that you’re getting paid for the good work that you do.

Figuring out your time per client also means that you can accurately gauge your capacity, so that you don’t spread yourself too thin. You need to have a clear overview of how many hours you have available, and how many projects you can take on, so that you know how much money you can expect to take home at the end of a month provided you’re at capacity.

It’s extremely important that you know how long certain tasks take you, and that you factor this into the calculation of your freelance fees. In this way, your hourly rate can serve as your baseline, on which you can work out your project fee. This way you know you’re never going to under-price your services and come out with the short end of the stick.

Being able to accurately time certain tasks comes with experience. The more you perform a task, the easier it is to know how long it will take you to complete. If you’re starting out make sure you log everything you do so that the next time you need to charge for the same piece of work, you have some reference to go on.

You need to be vigilant in how you track time, to make sure that you don’t undercharge. This can in itself be a time-consuming task, however, the use of an online tool will help greatly. That’s why many freelancers choose to make use of online time-tracking tools. These are often simple, easy-to-use and also offer helpful extras such as reports. It’s worth investing in a simple online time-tracking tool if you want to start a professional freelance career.

So, the next time an exciting brief lands on your lap, make sure you put in the time to figure out exactly how long the project will take, and use this information to quote accordingly.