I recently got sucked into a vortex. I thought I’d never escape. A never-ending series of videos featuring clever life hacks kept me swirling for an embarrassingly long amount of time. When it ended I peeled some mangoes with a cup and considered buying stock in command hooks.
Life hacks are so fascinating to us because they promise to make our lives easier. I mean, who wouldn’t want to fill their Starbucks trenta cup with an entire bottle of wine? But seriously, as a small business owner or solopreneur, our lives are crazy and a few well-placed and well-planned hacks can do us some serious good. From work to life and everything in between, hacking our business can be a good thing.
For example, getting paid is a thrill, cash flow is a must, but actually keeping track of clients and invoicing can be a whole new level of nuts. Thankfully, there are some really fantastic and effective online hacks…uh...tools to help keep us all a little more sane and paid. We are rating these from good, better, to best but really all three will do the trick.
Turning hours into invoices, Harvest gets the job done efficiently and with a decent dose of automation and integration– key when looking for a good hack. Send invoices via email and see when clients view them (sneaky sneaky), integrate with PayPal and Stripe for payments, set up automatic reminders for those forgetful clients, seamlessly keep your books up to date with Quickbooks and Xero integration, and see everything in handy graphs and reports.
Sound good? Well, let’s keep going. With an option to track hours right inside the program with the Mac app or Chrome extension or to enter hours manually, you’d think it doesn’t get any better. Oh, but it does. Already have a tracking tool you love, such as Asana, Basecamp or Zendesk? That’s right…it integrates for seamless hours collection. Mind. Blown.
I mean, this amazing tool almost makes me want to do invoicing…almost.
Prices vary from free to $12/user per month.
Zoho is kind of like an invoicing system on steroids. Like Harvest, you can send professional invoices, automate reminders, accept online card payments, and track time and expenses. You also have the ability to customize the invoices with logos and colors to fit your brand. You can also print and mail invoices if necessary.
Need to automate recurring billing? No problem! Zoho can do that. Putting together an estimate for a new client or a new job? Zoho can even do that with professional-looking estimates! Oh, and then easily convert the estimate to an invoice.
But Zoho doesn’t stop there. Clients get in on the action too with a client portal. Clients can access estimates, invoices, and timesheets. They can even keep an eye on hours, tasks, and unbilled hours with the option to pay in advance.
As if that wasn’t enough, receive reviews from your clients and share them on social media. You know we are all about that social media presence!
Plans vary from free to $30/organization per month.
We have shared our love for Dubsado in the past and we aren’t changing now (although the other two can give this favorite a run for their money). Dubsado is basically business in an online box. If you need to do it to successfully to run your business, Dubsado has a way to make it happen.
With this program, you can create and send branded contracts and invoices and accept credit and e-check payments with integration options with Square, PayPal, and Stripe. You can also utilize their client portal options to keep clients in the loop or set up automatic reminders or recurring invoices to up the efficiency quotient and allow you time to do the things you really love (see Starbucks and wine hack mentioned above).
But this is where Dubsado takes off ahead of the pack. With their amazingness, you can manage client contacts, create workflows that integrate the entire process from lead to job completion, integrate your calendar, send questionnaires and forms, embed a lead capture form on your website, track all your tax and bookkeeping needs, and track time (coming soon)! It’s all pretty heroic if you ask me.
And you thought we were just going to help you hack your invoicing this week…silly…
Plans vary from free for up to three clients to a $700 one-time-for-all-time plan.
With hacks like these, you’ll have extra time to watch online videos…I mean, work your business and rule the world.
Have you tried any of our recommendations? Or perhaps just peeled a mango with a water glass?
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