Are you a one-man-band or do you work in a very small company? Well if so, here’s an interesting fact: You’re in the majority! Micro-businesses, defined as firms with 1-9 employees, are the most common kind of employer firm in the private sector. Read on to learn more about these small but mighty companies… There are some incredible benefits to managing your own micro-business. Many people choose to start their own business with the desire to be their own boss; others are attracted by the flexibility it offers and the ability to pursue their own interests and hobbies. Getting paid to do the thing that you love the most – that’s awesome, right? Well, as with any business, it’s not all just sunshine and roses – micro-businesses have their own unique set of challenges too. Cash flow is the biggest challenge… The nature of business and changes in the economy can present a number of uncertainties for these pint-sized enterprises. The owner-operator is commonly required to work long hours, take work home, as well as being responsible for many, if not all, aspects of the business. This can make the work-life balance hard to manage, leading to a lot of personal pressure and stress. One of the biggest hurdles for micro-businesses is cash flow. All small businesses are hugely dependent on staying cash flow positive but this dependency becomes even more acute the smaller the company is. A study by the CFED revealed that difficulty managing cash flow was the challenge most frequently reported by micro-businesses of every age and size. Not being paid on time a few months in a row is the sort of thing that can run a business into the ground. It’s therefore super important to make this aspect of managing business easy, using financial tools that are flexible to the way you do business and that don’t cause any unnecessary hurdles. … But entrepreneurs are pretty happy people Let’s not get bogged down with the pessimism! According to the American Express OPEN® Small Business Monitor, a large majority of business owners (92%) are happy with their lives, with more than three quarters (76%) saying their happiness is somewhat or entirely due to being an entrepreneur. Now that seems like a good enough reason to stick at it! Have you got any tips to share on running a micro-business? Tell us in the comments below… Also see: How to Survive A Cash Flow Crisis About Us Built for businesses on the go, InvoiceASAP allows you to send invoices, estimates and take payments on your mobile, tablet or computer. The invoicing tool also connects with QuickBooks and Xero to sync with your accounting data. Learn more about how mobile invoicing could benefit your business. Photo credit: istockphoto.com © Mikolette
When did you start using InvoiceASAP? Around two years ago - we never went back! How does InvoiceASAP help your business? I’ve got to say it really helps with client relationships. It’s really easy for our clients to understand our invoices. Preparing invoices on the spot allows us to go through them directly with our clients. It syncs extremely easily with my QuickBooks software which means InvoiceASAP saves time. I don’t have to spend very much time in front of the computer doing data entry anymore. I would recommend this software for anyone with a business on the go! Want to learn more about CG Airbrush and Paint Repair? Check out their Facebook page for more information. InvoiceASAP helps over 200,000 businesses with billing - even on the go! To learn more about InvoiceASAP, go to www.invoiceasap.com
Tell us a little bit about your business - what’s a quick overview? I started six years ago - my sister and her husband have a church in new york. They wanted me to do video announcements for their church - it sounded cool and after that, I taught myself how to be a filmmaker. Then, I started making videos about homelessness and did interviews - that’s where “cardboard stories” came from - it took off. Now we have over 6 million views on my videos. People really noticed what I was doing because of the viral videos and now every major company in Florida is calling me. How’d you find out about InvoiceASAP? What made you start using it? I was looking online and InvoiceASAP just kept coming up. I’ve been using the app for a while and it’s so easy for me to use. The coolest thing was when you partnered with Fundbox - when you’re self employed you can be waiting for a long time and now I don’t have to wait. Now, I can invoice immediately on the site. How does InvoiceASAP help your business? Has it saved you time? What about money? What InvoiceASAP has done is saved me money - so I don’t have to hire someone professionally to invoice my customers. I can do it myself with no hassle. It’s so nice as the CEO to go “boom” and have things done. It’s also really easy - it’s not difficult to use at all. I have lots of repeat customers and I can quickly pick those customers. Would you recommend InvoiceASAP to a friend? Yes, and I have. I’ve recommended it to many of my friends! Want to learn more about Creative Nation Media? Check out their website for more information. About Us Built for businesses on the go, InvoiceASAP allows you to send invoices, estimates and take payments on your mobile, tablet or computer. The invoicing tool also connects with QuickBooks and Xero to sync with your accounting data. Learn more about how mobile invoicing could benefit your business.
To celebrate National Ice Cream Month, we caught up with Chris and Trevor from Twin Cousins Inc. – distributors of Dippin’ Dots Ice Cream, and power-users of InvoiceASAP – to talk business, mobile invoicing and of course, ice cream… Everything is better with ice cream, right? And now that summer has finally hit, it seems thoroughly appropriate to indulge in it on a daily basis… At least. If you didn’t already know, July is National Ice Cream Month, and in the spirit of the occasion we thought it only right to draw the spotlight on the businesses who are working hard to bring us this wonderful frozen goodness! Here’s what we learned: So guys, tell us more about your business… Trevor: Over 20 years ago, it was my cousins, Gene and Lainie, who started the franchise in San Diego. Then, ten years later Chris and I took over the day-to-day operations and we’ve been managing the franchise ever since. How big is the operation? Chris: Over the past ten years we have grown to become one of the largest wholesale distributors of Dippin’ Dots Ice Cream on the West Coast, serving all of Southern California. We have 4 employees, and warehouses in San Diego and Los Angeles. So, who are your customers? Chris: We service hundreds of customers each month at all kinds of retail locations including hotels, skating rinks, cafes, piers, convenience stores, ski resorts, lakes, gas stations, sports complexes, malls, and much more… Wow, that’s a lot of ice cream! Trevor: We also do catering for all occasions and fundraisers throughout the year for all kinds of events, schools, organizations, etc. Trevor Spence and Chris Gilliam, bringing Dippin’ Dots Ice Cream to the whole of Southern California. Business is booming! You must be generating a ton of invoices. What made you decide to search for a mobile invoicing solution? Chris: In a single month we could generate upwards of 300 invoices – this means we would have 300 payments to collect and it became difficult to track invoices and payments in real time. Collecting payment is the most important part of our business – we need good cash flow to operate. When we deliver products we don’t always collect payment right away. Payment can take anywhere from the same day to 90 days to receive. It sounds like you had your work cut out! Chris: Yes! We never knew we would become such great bill collectors! What made you decide to choose InvoiceASAP specifically? Chris: We were (and still are) using Quickbooks Online for our accounting software. But with so many invoices each month, we needed something in real time that we could access and process from an iPhone, and also print invoices. Quickbooks couldn’t do all of this. We then discovered InvoiceASAP. How has InvoiceASAP helped you manage your business? Trevor: InvoiceASAP allows us to process new invoices and access previous ones stored in the cloud instantly. We can show the customer exactly how much they owe and provide them with a copy of their invoice immediately printed on our Zebra IMZ320 Bluetooth mobile printer. We also now have the ability to capture signatures and photos of payments. Finally, the best part is it all syncs with Quickbooks Online. What is the thing you like most about InvoiceASAP? Chris: I especially like using the Zebra printer. I no longer have to hand write invoices and all my invoices are identical looking, much more professional. And finally, the golden question: What’s your favorite ice cream flavor? Chris: Cookies n’ cream is by far my favorite flavor. Trevor: Agreed! Thank you Chris and Trevor! You can follow Dippin’ Dots on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Would you like your business to be featured on the InvoiceASAP blog? We’re always looking for great customer stories! Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.