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Today's case study features Alicia Chantal.
A bit about yourself
Alicia Chantal, Fresh Look Editing
How long have you been an editor and a freelancer?
I’ve been an editing freelancer for 3 years, but professional communication has been part of my life for over 15 years.
Which editorial services do you provide?
I provide copyediting, proofreading, and writing services.
What are your niches?
I work primarily with nonfiction editing and writing, including business communication, human interest, health care, education, and academic editing. I also enjoy editing children’s books!
A bit about your TEA package
I’ve been using TEA for nearly eight months (since October 2021).
Do you have any customizations for your TEA?
- Monthly budget tab
- “Amount to quote” in CA and US currencies
- CPD tracking tab
- Annual income from individual clients
- Income from each service offered
- How often desired hourly rate is earned
- Expense category breakdown
- How much CPD from individual organizations
Your quest for TEA
After seeing Maya present about business administration and data at a conference, I was curious about checking TEA out. At the time, I was becoming frustrated with my current system for accounting and project tracking, and wanted to find something comprehensive. I connected with Maya’s method of explaining business admin, so I thought TEA would be the ticket.
Were there gaps in your admin processes that TEA helped you address?
As a fairly new business owner, I had found a few different tools to run my business administration (including a subscription to an accounting program I found difficult to use, a self-made spreadsheet that was limited in scope, and a time tracker that I loved, but had no useful place to put its gathered data). While I kept the latter tool, TEA helped me ditch the other two in favour of a truly comprehensive, one-stop shop system. Plus, my time data now have a home!
What is your TEAtime routine?
I don’t keep it open all the time (that’s a great idea though!) but I have it in an easily accessible folder and open it as project details, income, and CPD come up. I enter my expenses on a monthly basis, though I’m working on increasing the frequency of that.
Do you take weekly, monthly, or quarterly “admin afternoons” to check in with your business expenses, CPD goals, and client communications?
I try to take a day at the beginning of every month as a “performance review” day. It’s a day I do a review of how business has gone in the past month, and a time for me to do a review of my projects, income, and expenses.
What’s the current state of your business affairs now that you use TEA?
Yes! I feel less scattered having so much of my needed business data in one place. Things are more streamlined, and I don’t have to spend time in multiple programs to pull all of it together.
Do your rates reflect your expertise and hours of work on each project?
TEA helped me see that my rates do reflect my expertise and hours of work on projects most of the time, but there is room for improvement. TEA provides some powerful statistics to illustrate this pretty quickly!
Is your quoting quicker, easier, and more standardized?
To be honest, I haven’t been using my TEA to help with quoting just yet, but it has helped solidify the process I already had. It’s going to be helpful when I do a rate review later this month, though.
Is tax time less taxing?
It will be! (Since I haven’t used TEA for a full calendar year, I haven’t had a chance to use it during tax season yet.)
Do you have business admin goals that TEA is helping you work towards?
One of my business admin goals is to make sure I’m keeping on top of my finances throughout the year instead of having to pull everything together at tax time. I haven’t used TEA during a full calendar year yet, but I can already see how it is going to make next year’s taxes easier by keeping all pertinent financial information (particularly expenses!) in one handy spot. Being able to see how my business aligns with my household finances is also invaluable. TEA integrates many of the financial aspects of my life; that’s huge as a sole proprietor.
Any final remarks?
Where can people find out more about you and your business, Alicia?