As you begin to accept projects as a freelance professional, the next crucial step that you need to do is to track the amount of money made from each transaction. After all the excitement of finding potential clients, you must now focus on building a steady cash flow.
Initially, part of your job requires that you keep a record where you enter your client's name and contact information, a brief description of the work involved, the amount you're charging as a flat fee and down payment, the date on which you got started, the deadline, and the date you expect to be paid.
Tracking everything down may seem tedious at first, but you'll find this method convenient as soon as it's time for you to prepare a document called an invoice, which is a list of the services you have done along with a breakdown of your rates.
This is particularly helpful after you have worked on a huge project, say, something that stretched for several weeks or a couple of months. In the field of freelancing, huge projects are seen as a lucrative deal.
To help you get started, I recommend using the following as a guideline. You can create a simple chart using Microsoft Word or Excel:
Date expected for first/second/third dispatch (if project will be delivered piece-meal)
Expected date for first payment (if client was billed on an installment basis)
Expected dates for succeeding payments
Date for settling all remaining balance