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Home-based consultants may have a lot on their plate. Whether it’s business consulting, management, or coaching, they have to juggle multiple aspects of the business and complete a diverse stream of tasks—from developing plans and strategies for recent clients to looking for new clients.
Maximising your own time in order to achieve high productivity can sometimes be such a real struggle. With a myriad of tasks going on, the best and easiest way to simplify your workflow is to utilise apps.
That said, there are tons of apps available out there and it’s only getting more and more challenging to choose the right ones; the ones that can actually lend you a helping hand in the process of running a consulting business.
That is what this post is for. We’ve listed some of the best apps that can help you to stay productive, organised, and on top of all your tasks as a home-based consultant.
Let’s dive in!
1) Time Management
Well-maintained productivity often starts with great time management. As a home-based consultant, it’s always been challenging to not get distracted while completing your work. You might have your to-do list all set and prepared, but you still find yourself struggling to manage your time and track your work hours.
You can spend more hours checking on emails, sitting in on meetings, and managing your social videos for more awareness. Then you wish that you have extra hours to complete the tasks after that. You think the day is just too short for you. That’s why you need time management apps.
Timecamp allows users to track their tasks and work in real-time. It enables them to keep records of how long they have worked on each project or task—which makes it easier for consultants like yourself.
HubStaff helps you to manage time by tracking the time you spend on your projects and tasks. It also gives you an in-depth breakdown of specifically what tasks were completed, when, and by who.
2) Project Management
Most of the time, a client’s confidence in your ability to handle their project comes down to how you manage all the tasks and the commitment you have in delivering the work.
Project management apps make it much easier for you to streamline your workflow so you will not miss a single deadline. They allow you to focus on the bigger picture and give your clients peace of mind.
If you need a more robust project management app, Wrike is an excellent choice as it also allows for real-time collaboration with team members. This way consultants like you will be able to better collaborate with team members, even clients (to ensure that you are all on the same page) and understand what they are working on at all times.
Asana is another project management app that is perfect for consultants as it allows you to easily track multiple projects. It is one of the most user-friendly apps out there and with this system, everything will run smoothly even if you are working on several tasks simultaneously.
3) Client Relationship Management (CRM)
Building a meaningful relationship with clients is one of the most important things for consultants as this will allow you to retain them and be on top of their minds when they need your services again.
Thus, it would be much easier for you to secure new projects with existing clients or find more customers through referrals by people who had a great experience working with you before. In this case, CRM apps will help you manage your clients and build stronger relationships with them.
The most popular one is the Salesforce CRM. This tool provides all the features you need as a consultant. But, it comes at a price that not all consultants can afford to pay for monthly subscriptions. And if you are only starting out or just need an app where you can organise contacts of existing customers, this might be overkill for what you need.
This is another great app that can help you manage all your client relationships in one place. You will be able to track emails, chats, and calls with individual contacts according to their status (i.e., whether they are new prospects, former customers, or active clients).
4) Communication and Messaging
In this digital world, communicating with your clients or team members in different parts of the world has never been easier with communication apps. These apps can help you find a way around any communication barriers, whether it is a language barrier or time zone difference.
Most communication and messaging apps offer you mobile versions so you can stay connected with your clients effortlessly even when you’re not near a desktop. This way, you’ll be able to make changes that happen on the fly.
This can help connect your team members and clients in one place to share messages, files, images while staying organised with different channels for each topic of discussion. With Slack’s open API platform, this app allows integration with other apps you might be using, such as Dropbox or Google Docs.
Another communication app that can help you connect and interact with your clients is HipChat. This is a great app for consultants who work in teams and need to share files, images, etc., with their clients or co-workers while staying organised into different rooms/channels depending on the topic being discussed.
5) Cloud Storage and File Sharing
As a consultant, you might need to share a lot of files with your clients, as well as the rest of your team. More often than not, a professional consultant will take care of the paperwork so that their clients can focus more on their research. In this case, leveraging cloud storage and file-sharing apps can make your work life a bit easier.
You don’t have to rely on your devices’ internal storage since the apps allow you to save, manage, edit, and share files online at your fingertips. It makes files accessible and more secured.
Dropbox is a great cloud storage app that lets you have total control over your files. It stores all of the important documents and photos in a secure folder, so they can be accessed from any device with an internet connection. You can easily share the URL links with your teammates or clients and even manage who can be able to see the folder.
FileCloud is another great cloud storage app that allows you to create, edit and share files with your teammates. The best thing about this app is the collaboration feature since it enables real-time file sharing, version control, and comments on any type of document or folder created in the app.
Wrapping Up: Simplify Your Work Life Now!
Those essential apps mentioned above are very simple to use and they can help you become more productive in your work as a consultant. Of course, you don’t have to leverage them all. Choose one that matches your needs and preferences. You can start today and simplify your work-life to become an effortless professional consultant.