Welcome to the first of OnThisIsland’s new Young Business Advice articles. In these articles I will go through some of the ways I have made OnThisIsland.com and my other projects more efficient in the respect to the technologies used, the services utilized and the general ideas behind them. Although I am no fortune 500 business leader, I do believe these tips may help you out in some way. If not feel free to drop a comment below 🙂
OK, so as an individual who deals a lot with different companies, individuals and projects a solution was needed to handle the Invoicing and tracking of payments. After spending 2 weeks researching for solutions the criteria had come down to the following :
- It needed to be online, and accessible anywhere anytime.
- It needed to be free or at least cheap enough for me to still make a profit.
- I needed to brand the invoices and maintain a professional image.
- Online payment of small bills would be a bonus
So my search continued and I arrived at a promising solution called FreshBooks. They give the option to test their whole system and even issue branded invoices for up to three different clients, absolutely free, so I jumped in and issued the invoices to my last 2 clients.
To say I was impressed would be an understatement. FreshBooks issued, emailed and tracked the invoice within a minute. There was even the option to allow clients to pay me using their credit cards via my PayPal account. (You can use the Free paypal account or upgrade to a merchant account to accept recurring fees or payments, more on that another day.)
All my invoicing has been moved online. I can access the system, check and issue invoices or even estimates/quotes to clients within seconds. The emails and documents received by my clients have my logo, look professional and this leads to faster payments and project negotiations. Payments can be made and tracked either through the system online, or by updating it on payments received offline.
Once you pass your first 3 free clients, you are opted to upgrade to one of their three paid services… But not to worry, they have one for every size of company. From as little as €14.25 per month for up to 25 clients to their largest package at around €28.50 a month with many unlimited features and other additions. (See prices here) So why spend thousands of euros setting up invoicing systems when you could spend under a thousand on a full invoicing package, and still have a bit left over for that guilty pleasure or two that you deserve so much!?
For these reasons I recommend FreshBooks to young or small businesses in order to allow you to spend more time doing what you love, and less time worrying about the invoicing.