Many escorts assume that the most they need to get going in the escort industry is a pretty face, decent figure and the confidence to meet up with clients behind closed doors. But, the business end of a prosperous business is just that: a business. In order to maintain a successful entity, you must treat your career like a business and implement professional record-keeping habits, budgeting, marketing, time-management skills, communication efforts and other traits typical of a thriving executive.
However, you don’t have to do it all on your own. With all the technology available today, there are many software apps that can help you to maintain all of this without tearing your hair out. Most escorts don’t start out as great business people, but they become ones with the assistance of technology. Here are some essential tools to add to your business box of tricks:
- Accounting apps are necessary. However, many kinds of bookkeeping software can be very expensive, especially when you start out. Many varieties are geared to transition from a small to a large business. Most escorts don’t really need anything quite so comprehensive. In all respects, you should consider yourself a freelancer and seek out accounting apps that cater to independent contractors. Some good options to consider include:
- Zoho Books: Zoho Books offers escorts the opportunity to manage their finances in real time. You can reconcile your bank account, keep careful track of your transactions, produce detailed reports and collaborate with your accountant with uploaded files. The app has a free 14-day trial period and users incur costs afterward.
- Xero: This award-winning, highly-praised accounting software is cloud-based and only costs $9 per month. Its intuitive interface allows escorts to easily use the system, with jargon-free instructions and labels. “Money coming in” and “Money going out” are clear representations that even the least experienced newbie can conceptualize. Sophisticated budgeting reports and statistics about your money are easy to acquire and produce.
- Free Agent: Over 35,000 freelancers and small business owners trust Free Agent with their financial information. A 30-day free trial allows you to experiment with its cloud-based options that allow freelancers to manage multiple projects and clients. The software is designed for individuals to manage clients, time and expenses. So, its options are perfect for an escort business.
- Wave: This totally free app provides the opportunity to manage your day-to-day transactions and caters specifically to freelancers. You can easily create reports, add accounts, link your bank account information and combine your personal budget with your business accounting details. With a great support system, it’s an option that easily interfaces with the escort career.
- Expensify: While this app won’t cure all of your financial record woes, it will help you track those pesky expenses. It’s hard to file away the costs for everything that involve your business, but this software can make it easier. By snapping a quick photo of your receipts, etc., you can upload them and match them with credit card or bank statements. It helps complete the paper trail that is sometimes really hard to track down, especially after the fact.
- Health insurance is an essential element of your business. Most people may consider their health insurance to be just a personal necessity; you need it because doctor’s appointments should be a routine part of your career. (Depending on your situation, it may be a tax deductible expense, too.) Every three or four months, you ought to visit your physician for a check up to make sure that you haven’t contracted any STDs. In addition to your routine visits, you may incur an additional visit or two due to questions/rashes/etc. that come up after risky encounters. Without health insurance, your visits can get really expensive. Then, factor in the costs you might incur if you develop an infection and require treatment. In addition to risks associated with your gynecological health, you put yourself at risk for assault or personal injury with clients every day. Having health insurance helps you offset costs you might face if you need treatment for an “accident” or other confrontation with a client. According to Healthcare.gov, many policies are available to self-employed individuals on the . Many may even qualify for lower premium or out-of-pocket costs. Open enrollment for 2014 has already ended (March 31), but the enrollment period for 2015 starts on November 15, 2014. In addition to the Marketplace, escorts may be able to obtain private policies through other health insurance companies at any time throughout the year.
- Scheduling apps are important to escorts who need help keeping track of when and where they will be seeing clients. This is especially important as your business grows and expands. Between your personal life and career, your schedule may keep you hopping. You need some assistance in keeping everything straight. Consider these options:
- Freckle: Forbes Magazine says, “If you find you’re spending more time managing your business than actually getting work done, check out Freckle.” This time-management app helps you analyze how much time you spend preparing to work as a way to help you become more expeditious. It produces reports that give you an overview about which days you are working, how much you’re working and what it is that you’re spending time on. From your reports, you can determine if the bulk of your time is actually being used with clients or on day-to-day details that are sucking up your time.
- Doodle: With its simple interface, Doodle allows escorts to look through their available times to easily schedule clients in suitable time blocks. They can sync calendars and email, providing reminders and avoiding double-booking incidents. Additionally, it provides an online scheduling option that escorts can implement for client use. That’s pretty cool and takes the time out of doing it manually when you’ve got clients who are satisfied with the online process.
- Basecamp: Basecamp is a great project management tool, but it’s an even better scheduling tool for freelancers. It allows you to compile notes, photos, documents and other essentials about your business all in one place, linking them appropriately to one another. When you schedule a client, you can easily connect him to your background check you did on him months ago when he first booked you and any notes you may have made about him. Prior to your encounter with him, you can access all of this information so you’re fully prepped for spending time with him.
- Google calendar: Perhaps, the mostly widely used general calendar system online currently, Google calendar offers a lot of functions for a good fee: FREE! It’s web-based system allows you constant access to your schedule anywhere you have Wi-Fi and it automatically syncs with your email or phone. It’s a great all-around option to use for schedule encounters and the rest of your life.
- Computer protection is a necessity that you will need in order to keep your laptop or desktop virus- and malware-free. As you exchange emails with unknown individuals, it’s possible to come across a virus pretty easily — either intentionally or unintentionally on the part of the sender. To guard your system and all of the information you’ve got stored on it, you should invest in a quality virus and spyware protection software. Kaspersky is a highly recommended software that gives real-time reports and manages background scanning of your system. AVG Anti-Virus offers a free version that performs similarly. (AVG boasts 187 million active users.)
- Skype is an essential tool if you want to interface with your clients online through a visual interaction. It’s free to set up a user profile and can allow you the anonymity that FaceTime on your iPhone won’t. You don’t have to give away any personal information in order to connect with a client screen-to-screen. Some clients may request a virtual meet prior to scheduling an encounter (something you could request payment for), while others may desire a virtual exchange as part of their encounter. Regardless, it’s a great tool to have at your disposal as a way to prep for a visit or to actually have a long-distance booking.
- Keep your paperwork organized. Living in a virtual world makes it even more convenient to get rid of that physical filing cabinet and opt for a cloud version. OfficeDrop provides an opportunity to scan in your receipts, contracts, invoices and other documents you must keep and turn them into searchable .pdf files you can access later. This lessens the burden on you to keep mountains of paperwork and eventually sift through and dispose of it when you no longer need it. The documents are stored virtually in cloud-based files, lessening your worry that someone might hack your computer and find sensitive materials revealing more about your real career. Scan in all receipts related to your expenses, utility bills if you use your home or another property for incalls, mortgage contracts and other business documents.
- Your contacts should be organized and informative. Utilize Rapportize to create extensive files on your clients so you can easily “remember” intimate details about them. It’s a free add-on that lets you link your Gmail account to info like profile images, job titles, career company, LinkedIn information and activity in certain apps. When you meet up with clients, they like an escort to recall them, coming up with anecdotal details about their previous encounters or something else about them. When you link their contact information with Rapportize, it’s easy to provide such intimacy to clients, via a little bit of prep work. The app is available in Firefox, Safari, Mailplane and Chrome.
- Email marketing services are useful if you connect with your client list on a regular basis through email. Most of your clients have an anonymous email address they use for their communications with escorts. When you email them using this address, you won’t be causing them any difficulties with privacy issues. A regular newsletter is a great way to keep in touch with current clients and build a rapport with prospective ones. However, it helps to utilize an email marketing manager. Here are some excellent options:
- MailChimp: Accessible from your desktop or mobile device, MailChimp provides analytical looks at your contact list and displays lots of personalization through design options and sending opportunities. With the use of this app, you can easily find out who on your contact list is interested in your newsletters by seeing whether they opened and read your email. It’s a great tool to help gauge the effectiveness of your email subject lines and topics. The service is free as long as you don’t exceed 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. Integration options with other apps exists, too.
- Constant Contact: With several layouts for newsletters and options for varying industries, escorts can utilize the marketing service for announcements, general communications or promotions. Great analytics about the effectiveness of your emails can also help you build your marketing skills so your emails get more attention.
- Perform background checks with some help from a specialized app. BeenVerified is an excellent tool to help you quickly come up with information about prospective clients using public record, criminal history and property record searches. It also confirms contact information, relatives and neighbors. The first use each month is free and charges apply for additional inquiries. Most escorts utilize several tools to verify clients as they book encounters, such as basic web searches, public record sites, phone number sites, county and city records and corporate websites to verify employment. But, they don’t have access to a full arsenal of sites when they’re on the go. BeenVerified is extremely useful if you’re checking up on a surprise client who wants to book quickly.
- Every escort should have two specific devices if she wants to succeed. Even though you may do a lot of your communication with your smartphone, it’s not enough. Thriving escorts need both a smartphone and a computer (either desktop or laptop) in order to fully function in their careers. Your phone will allow you to communicate on the go, but your desktop is where you can upload files, keep your financial information and store pictures and communications from clients. While you may be an expert texter, it’s much easier to create emails and longer messages when you’re typing from an actual keyboard to a computer. If you’re designing ads or editing pictures, a computer is necessary to access the finer nuances necessary to make your images look professional. And, if one of your devices goes down, you still have a means to communicate with clients and prospects. Other devices that come in handy include an MP3 player or iPod (unless you use your phone), a high-quality digital camera for fabulous photos and a Bluetooth hands-free device for your phone. And, because so many devices lose charge easily, a back-up battery pack that is accessible through a USB port can be priceless when you need it!
While there are probably some other devices that you may need in order to successfully run your business as your career expands, these basics should help you cover most bases that need attention. While your clients think the lingerie, condoms and lube are the essential elements to success, you know the true keys for prosperity lie in the business end of things.