Your Office in Your Pocket
When you start a business you pretty much have to run all aspects of the business on your own and have to take care of all things from start to finish. Deciding on an invoicing app will help you take care of your business. What you don’t need is spending a lot of time on tasks that can be automated. An essential tool for running any small business is an invoicing app.
Don’t get fooled by the name, over the years a number of companies have realized the potential of delivering an “office in your pocket” and it has become a very powerful, inexpensive and indispensable tool for small business owners. Best of all it is available for free or a surprisingly affordable price. The apps have expanded to include an increasingly large number of functions.
A Pocket full of Benefits
Let’s look at the benefits, not all are available in every app, but being aware will help you choose which one fits your needs based on what type of business you are in.
An invoicing app helps you:
- Look Professional: A variety of customizable templates within the app will give you a nice looking invoice. Plus you can add your contact information and logo.
- Send Estimates: Draw up job estimates and send them via email/text immediately or print them out.
- Calculate Taxes, Discounts, Rates: Built in functions lets you input any adjustments that you may need to make to deliver the final estimate/invoice.
- Work Faster: Once set up, invoicing is a breeze, you can complete it onsite as soon as you finish the job.
- Customize additional items: Materials, labor costs once stored in the app can be used for multiple jobs.
- Save time: If you input all items while on the job, you don’t have to sit down at the end of the day and try and reconcile the billing.
- Work on the go: With a mobile app you can input everything onsite on the go.
- Tax time/Accounting software Assistance : A number of accounting software solutions are integrated and you can input items directly from the app or download the data for your accountant.
- Time keeping: Some apps have the ability to track time on the job.
- Organize your day – appointments: Increasingly apps have appointment setting and calendars.
- Invoice Instantly: Generate invoices as soon as your job is finished onsite and email/sms invoice on the spot.
- Payments within app: Built in payment solutions (Paypal, Credit Cards, Bank Payments), help you collect payments fast. (Pay attention to CreditCard charges as these can vary by app).
- Send Reminders: Automatic reminders to customers on upcoming due dates.
- Profit & Loss: See how your business is performing by looking at revenue, expenses, by month/year, by client.
- Organize by client: Powerful reports help you understand client revenue and profitability.
- Automatic syncing: Between smart phone & desktop so that you don’t have to be tied to your phone all the time.
- Expense & Receipts capture: Photograph, upload and assign expense receipts on the go.
- Happier Customers: Customers will appreciate automatic reminders as well as getting electronic invoices & receipts (no more chasing down misplaced paper documents).
- Customer Financing: This feature included in some apps. This allows a customer to apply for financing with third parties from the job estimate. This is especially useful for big ticket items and can help get more jobs for you. This financing transaction is between the customer and the loan provider, you have no involvement or obligation.
A good strategy is to start with the free or lowest cost app option. As your business grows you can upgrade and add more features. Some apps are specially designed for certain industries (Jobber is for the construction industry and allows you to add construction materials). Keep this in mind as you choose an app.
We have a few good options including some free options, on this page have a look and see which one fits your business needs.
|Square||$0/mo||2.9% + $0.30 for card payments processed online|
|Freshbooks||30 day Trial||$14.99/mo||$24.99/mo||$49.99/mo||50% off first 3 months on these rates. Annual payment extra 10% off|
|Jobber||14 day Trial||$29/mo||$99/mo||$199/mo||Pricing is for annual plan commitment|
|QuickBooks||30 day Trial||$15/mo||$40/mo||$150/mo||50% discounts available for 1st 3 months|
A few final notes…
- You still need to be organized and input all items on time.
- Keep a lookout for in-app payment processing charges, several apps drive revenue from these transactions and can sometimes get expensive. You can opt not to use this feature and get payments another way. However for small amounts this is very convenient. Also as you push more payments through the app the charges go down.
- Sometimes it is cumbersome to switch from one platform to another, so don’t expect to make a change every month. A good way to start is to test a few solutions with the free trial (offered by most apps) and then choose. However you can switch (see next point)
- Always download the data in your app, especially before it is time to renew, else you may be forced to pay for another year if you don’t intend to continue with the same app.