Even though freelance designers have to wear a lot of hats, there are some services that can be outsourced or made easier simply by using the Internet.
When I first started out, I knew little about the importance of small services such as faxing, customer appreciation, legal services, etc. But as my business grew, it was apparent that I needed to include these types of services in order to run as a mature organization. Here are five services that will be a big help on a small-business budget: efax.com - If you don’t have a fax machine, you can pay a small monthly fee to have an online service that provides you with a working fax number. You can send and receive faxes by scanning your documents through your home printer and viewing faxed documents from others right online. sendoutcards.com - One of the easiest ways to show customer appreciation is by sending cards. For a monthly fee, you can send personalized greeting cards (adding your own text and pictures if you want) directly from their online gallery. From thank you notes to birthday cards, choose what you want to send, put in the address, and they will mail them out for you, postage included! prepaidlegal.com - Protecting yourself legally is important when you’re dealing with a variety of clients and artistic works. If you have legal questions, a regular lawyer could easily charge hundreds of dollars an hour to answer you or file/prepare simple documents. With prepaid legal, you can get access to top lawyers for a small monthly fee and get questions answered and documents prepared among other things. They also have a special package for home-based business. helloworld.com - Videoconferencing, video e-mailing, podcasting, streaming video: What else could you ask for? With helloworld.com you can have an entire virtual system at your fingertips. Think tutorial videos, eye-catching e-mail blasts and connecting with out-of-state clients. How cool would you look with your own channel? skype.com - Now as common as Facebook and Twitter, Skype is the world’s No. 1 way to video chat. Keep your cell phone bills low and eliminate long-distance fees by using a free account with Skype to have videoconferences with your clients, family and friends. You can even purchase attachments for your computer to make Skype more accessible. There is even a cell phone plug-in that works just like a regular phone that allows you to talk without using your computer speakers.