Salesforce Freelancing A-Z – Everything You Need To Know

In the wise words of Jay Z, “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business…man!” (or woman : ). In these times, whether or not you have a full time job, it is always a smart move to set up a business for yourself. This will lead to new opportunities as a full time or part time freelancer. If you have a full time gig and want to do work “on the side”, a few pointers:

  • Be transparent with your current job, let them know you are doing other work and make sure it is ok with them.
  • The additional work should not conflict with your current position, i.e. if you work for a non-profit, only do side work for for-profit clients or vice versa.

Now that we got that out of the way, what do you need to start your freelancing operation? I will cover these items in detail and give some recommendations based on my experience.

  1. A Business Name & Registration
  2. An EIN (Employer Identification Number)
  3. A Bank Account
  4. A Website
  5. An Email Address
  6. A Time Tracking Tool
  7. An Accounting Tool
  8. A Contract, or SOW (Statement of Work)
  9. An E Signature Tool
  10. A Project Management Tool
  11. A CRM
  12. A Virtual Meeting Tool
  13. A Vendor Payment Platform
  14. A Bookkeeper
  15. A Business Network

Business Name & Registration

The first step is to come up with a name, I’ll leave that up to you : ), and register your business as an LLC. I had a great experience with https://www.delawareinc.com/ in the past and you can register your LLC in Delaware for a few hundred dollars. Registering your business in Delaware has some tax benefits, but you can consult with your accountant based on your location. This process usually takes a day or two to get the needed paperwork.

EIN (Employer Identification Number)

Once you set up your business the next step is to get your EIN. The EIN is like a social security number for your business. When you work as a freelancer you are responsible for your own taxes, so the clients pay you all of the money without withholding taxes. When you sign on your first client they will send you a W9 form to fill out. On this form you have to enter your business name, address, and EIN number. The client then uses this information to send you a 1099 form at the end of each year. This is the clients way of reporting the payments that were made to your business ensuring that you report the correct income to the IRS. Although the business registration website may try to generate the EIN for you at an extra cost, you can do it yourself for free in 10 min on the IRS website.

Business Bank Account

Now that you have your business registered, the last step in setting up the actual business (and most important part since this is how you will get paid : ) is to set up your business bank account. You will take your business registration papers and your EIN and go to your local branch to open a business account. Your clients will make checks out to your business name, so you need to be able to cash those checks.

You are now in business! The rest of the items on this list are the tools needed to run your business. You don’t have to get them all at once, you may find yourself adding some in the beginning and adding others down the line as you grow.

Website

This can be a simple website to start using Squarespace, Wix, or WordPress. As you grow you may want to set up something more fancy, but this should be a basic site to show the services you offer.

Email Address

You will need an email address to communicate with your clients. G-Suite is way to go here at a great price.

Time Tracking Tool

Starting out there are some great free tools such as 14 Dayz which give you a few projects you are able to track. As you grow you may want to use something like Harvest, which I have had a great experience with, but does cost more. The time tracking tool is important since this is what you will use to show your clients the hours you spent on the project and what you are billing them for.

Accounting Tool

Quickbooks Online is a great accounting tool for freelancing. It is important to have all of your clients and payments here as you will need this to do your taxes at the end of the year. You can also use quickbooks to invoice your clients and accept credit card payments (for an extra fee).

Contract or SOW (Statement of Work)

This one is a bit tough for some people starting out. How do you write a contract? Below is an example to look at!

*Disclaimer- This is not meant as legal advice or the exact contract you should use, it is just an example. It is recommended to run any contract by your lawyer before using it and/or sending it to a client.

SOW Template

E Signature Tool

Now that you have your contract, you want to get it signed quickly and easily. Starting out you can use something like Hello Sign. As you grow you will want a more powerful tool such as Proposify.

Project Management Tool

You have your first project, how do you manage it? You can go one of two ways. If you’re working on smaller projects you can use Basecamp for a task based format to keep track of the project. If you’re running an Agile shop using SCRUM methodology I would use Jira. If you are looking to build actual project plans to go along with Basecamp or Jira you can use MS Project or Smartsheet.

CRM

Take a wild guess….Salesforce of course! You will need to keep track of your leads and sales, you can start out with essentials and move up as you grow.

Virtual Meeting Tool

You will need a tool for your virtual meetings. You can take your pick between Zoom, Go To Meeting, Webex etc.

Vendor Payment Platform

Once you start growing and you bring on other contractors, you will need a way to pay them. I had a great experience with Bill.com.

Bookkeeper

You may not need a book keeper to start, but as you grow you will wish you had one early on. Unless you’re an accounting Wiz, then you can do it yourself! Having a book keeper will really help out at the end of the year when it’s time for taxes.

Business Network

Having a strong network is critical when you’re a freelancer. You may land a big deal that you can’t handle on your own and you will want to have a network of like minded freelancers to tap into when needed!

So there you have it, everything you need to know to start a freelancing business that hopefully can turn into a full consultancy! Leave a comment below with any questions and I hope this helps you take the next step in starting your own business!

 

Sharif Shaalan
CEO & Founder
Agile Cloud Consulting 

Salesforce for Beginners by Sharif Shaalan

Salesforce MVP Hall of Fame
Certified Salesforce Administrator
Certified Salesforce Advanced Administrator
Certified Platform App Builder
Certified Sales Cloud Consultant
Certified Service Cloud Consultant
Certified Community Cloud Consultant
Certified Nonprofit Cloud Consultant
Certified Development Lifecycle and Deployment Designer
Certified Data Architecture and Management Designer
Certified Sharing and Visibility Designer

 

 

43 thoughts on “Salesforce Freelancing A-Z – Everything You Need To Know

  1. Joshua Hoskins

    The tool list lives on! Some really great time saving gems here.

    1. Thanks Josh! You’re the tool Guru : )

  2. Sammy Dube

    This is a great list, I am definitely sending it to my friends who are starting out and might have questions that might be answered by what you’ve provided!

  3. Woodlyn Perez

    Mr. Shaalan,
    Thank you for this very helpful information

  4. Joshua

    Thank you for telling us your recommendations . I would like to use these in the future, so that way my business or any business becomes successful or more successful.

  5. April

    Great article with quality, easy to understand information. Thank you!

  6. Tony Nguyen

    Great article and idea! Great tax saving also =)

  7. Darcentia

    Great article, the breakdown of how to successfully freelance using Salesforce was spot on.

  8. Gretchen Fermer

    Having had and closing my own LLC a few years ago, I recognize the list of to do’s. I appreciate how you laid It out making the steps feel manageable. I didn’t do it in my own.

  9. Brandon Ellis

    Excellent read. The breakdown and detail is accurate, informative and straight forward. I appreciated the examples and templates made available with each detailed step.

  10. Tonisha Alexander

    Thank you for demystifying and sharing the necessary tools to run an efficient back office as a freelancer.
    You really unpacked the entire process with ease from A to Z. By demystifying what is required to establish a business and sharing the necessary tools to run an efficient back office as a freelancer. I love the fact that your article was approachable while introducing me to some cool new tools!

  11. Hakim J. Lahlou

    Sharif, this was an excellent and succinct step-by-step guide on how to start a freelancing business. As someone who would like to start their own consultancy business in the next 5-10 years, the guide really narrows down the ways to do this and puts the person at ease by knowing how to go about it through all the important phases. Thank you and I hope you stay safe and well.

    All my best,
    Hakim J. Lahlou, MBA

    1. No problem Hakim, glad to help!

  12. Jessica Koutsandreas- PupUp Tech

    Excited for this class to not only expand my network, but also hel me become more marketable in my career.

  13. Stephan Grant

    This was a very informative read. I appreciate the step-by-step process while also getting some insight of tools I can utilize in the future. I hope more articles like this get more traction as we enter the phase of business.

  14. Michael Baker

    I found this article incredibly revealing and inspirational because while I had considered freelance work as a potential option, I did not think I could quickly acquire the necessary qualifications and paperwork. The resources that this article have provided to me now make me realize that there is not much in between me and gaining valuable experience through freelance work.

    Thank you for that!

  15. Mohanee

    This resource greatly helps simplify what can be such an overwhelming process is great. Especially with the links and platform suggestions needed for each step.

    Thanks!

  16. Sandrine Y.

    Informative resources Sharif, thank you. Thank your for sharing clear outlines on how to become a freelancer especially during these uncertain times.

    1. You’re welcome! glad to help!

  17. Vicki Hirschfeld

    This is a great tool for any start up organization and will ensure completion of all the necessary tasks, I would transfer the steps to a program plan that included columns for progress updates and required completion dates. I would also breakdown the steps required for each component of the plan.

  18. Bradley

    Thank you for this in depth article, this is really great for those just starting out and need some basic knowledge of this field.

  19. virty

    Very informative and great break down. Doesn’t seem as complicated as I thought it would be to start my own business.

  20. Yacine Ndiaye

    This was free insightful! I will come back to this page when I am ready to start my business which is a goal of mine in the future.

  21. Selina Suarez

    Excellent Resource!

  22. Hang Yang

    I enjoy reading this articles, I thought about starting my own E-commence business in the future, this article helps me understand the things I need in order to get my business sets up.

  23. nati ouattara

    This article is very informative!

  24. Eyerusalem Dibaba

    Great article and excellent content!
    This article is very helpful for anyone who consider the freelance work-life but don’t know where to start. It teaches how to run a freelance business,digging in to real world discussions of how to start and thrive as a freelancer.

  25. Rakhshanda Mirza

    Dear Mr. Sharif.
    First off thanks for this informative post about freelancing career path in Salesforce. The categorical baseline structure of to-do-things to start is amazing with useful links in those categories.
    As a beginner in any career path, it can be overwhelming to find out the right resources with precise information from the sea of data available today. I appreciate that you took the simple and process step by step to keep the momentum. It will save lot of time which can be used towards planning, learning, and informative decisions.
    I am in. I appreciate your efforts and time……. immensely helpful.

  26. Macy Judkins

    What are your recommendations for freelance work opportunities?

    1. Hi Macy, I would start with people you know, you’re internal network and branch out from there. I found that the best leads are “good work”. Once you do good work for people they will tell others and you will find people calling you. Good Luck!

  27. Alexis Carthens

    Sharif,
    To avoid any issues with the IRS, do you recommend having a professional register the business.

    1. Hi Alexis, You can register using my steps. To avoid issues with the IRS I would recommend getting a bookkeeper and a good accountant for end of year : )

  28. Erika Suarez

    This list is very informational. I appreciate the sources that is used to guide me into the right direction to becoming a freelancer.

  29. Michael Cohen

    Thank you for your tips on starting a Salesforce business. I was wondering which virtual meeting tool to use with Salesforce.

  30. Anonymous

    This article gave me a basic insight into how it works in a simple and orderly manner. I believe that Freelancing is a stepping stone if we have a plan to get into a consulting Industry. I also believe that freelancing jobs are very helpful in terms of time flexibility and financial strength as well.

    Thank you for the Information.

  31. Berhanu Tirfie

    This article gave me a basic insight into how it works in a simple and orderly manner. I believe that Freelancing is a stepping stone if we have a plan to get into a consulting Industry. I also believe that freelancing jobs are very helpful in terms of time flexibility and financial strength as well.

    Thank you for the information.

  32. Abdul Alim

    i am recent graduate of bachelor of science in computer information system and wondering to start working as free lancer but i did not know how to start. after reading this article i really got a complete picture of how to start and from where to start the free lancer jobs. thanks a lot its a great article.

  33. Kiasha J. Sullivan

    This is great insight. I would add having a mission statement & go-to-market pitch (that you practice with friends!)

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