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Invoicing

Decide Between A Small Business Invoicing App or CRM

By Sandra Ciminelli – Web Designer/Developer

Decide Between A Small Business Invoicing App or CRM

If you’re a small business owner, it’s important to streamline, to keep your cash flow healthy and your administrative tasks to a minimum. One area where you can really make a difference is in your invoicing process. By streamlining it, you can make sure you’re paid promptly and avoid headaches down the road. However, as your business grows you might need Client Relationship Management software.(CRM)

Below I aim to make the decision making process a bit easier by providing information to help you decide on using a simple Invoicing app or a CRM to manage your growing business.

 

INVOICING

If you’re a small business owner or a sole trader, you might find invoicing software really helpful. With just one or two employees, all you really need is a good invoicing app to send invoices and keep track of your business transactions. Before choosing a software, make sure to read up on important details are covered.

Key Factors To Look Out For

  1. User Friendliness – it should be intuitive. (easy to use eliminating guesswork)
  2. Read privacy policy –  to find out how your data and your clients data will be used/protected.
  3. Simple and clean interface – ensure that it’s pleasing to look at and visually good to work with.
  4. Easy integration – if you use other apps..
  5. Customisable templates –  so that you can add your branding and use features that your business needs.
  6. Invoice automation –  to send quick replies to common themed emails.
  7. Free Options: There are some free options available for the budget conscious, but it’s important to keep in mind that they might not be the best fit for your specific business needs.Also most of them have steep price hikes for paid options.

Popular Invoicing Apps

  1. Zoho InvoicingFree!
  2. Quickbooks – popular
  3. Freshbooks – popular
  4. MYOB – Lite option.

Tips And Tricks

1. Customise your invoice template to perfectly represent your business with consistent invoice formatting by adding the following:

  • your logo
  • contact information
  • payment methods
  • payment terms
  • your ABN or ACN
  • a thank you message.

2.Save time when invoicing clients on retainer or subscription-based services.
By setting up recurring invoices through invoicing software, you can automate the process and simplify your billing cycle. This means more time to focus on the things you love and less time worrying about paperwork.

3. Offer your customers online payments as a convenient way to pay for our services.
You can now easily make payments online with just a click of a button! Look for software that offers payment options that are integrated with PayPal, Stripe, or Square, making it hassle-free for you to pay electronically.

4. Define payment terms on your invoices to clarify expectations, adding;

  • due dates
  • payment options
  • late fees if applicable.
  • GST information.

5. Setup automatic reminders so that you can get paid faster.
These can also be set up for overdue payments to be sent by email to the customer. Most invoicing software will include payment reminder automation capabilities.

6. Consider offering early payment discounts to encourage timely payments before the due date.
An effective incentive for customers to promptly settle their bills.

With these effective strategies and handy invoicing software, you can ditch the spreadsheets to easily streamline your invoicing process and manage your cash flow like a pro. Plus, you’ll have more time to focus on growing your small business. If you need something more for growing your business and managing teams,  keep reading.

 

CRM – CLIENT RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT

For Growing A Business & Managing Teams

Your sales funnel and on boarding processes can be streamlined to improve your workflow and customer experience. If you intend on growing your business, consider using a more robust application like Client Relationship Management (CRM) software. To choose the right CRM for your business there are a few critical components you’ll need to evaluate beforehand.

Critical Things To Evaluate Before Investing In A CRM
  1. Your Business Needs
    Identify and define your most basic business requirements and what you wan tto achieve with the CRM. E.g., Improve sales funnels, processes and streamline marketing efforts?
  2. Your Budget 
    Decide on how much you’re willing to invest in your CRM. Your budget will help you define your options so that you can focus on apps within your financial range.
  3. User Friendliness
    Is the CRM intuitive and easy for you and your team to use? Avoid complex systems that can hinder productivity in the workplace.
  4. Capabilities and Scalability
    Can the CRM grow as your business grows and can it do what you need it for? Can other features be implemented to make it work for you and your team? Ensure it can adapt to your business’ changing requirements to accommodate additional users, features and data volume growth.
  5. Integration Capabilities
    Assess the CRM’s ability to integrate with the software and tools you use, such as email marketing platforms and software for accounting or ecommerce to name a couple.
  6. Mobile Accessibility
    Smartphones are in use everywhere. In our fast paced modern world, accessing the CRM via mobiles and tablets has become a necessity.
  7. Flexibility and Customisation 
    Look for a CRM that gives you flexible customisation options to change fields, workflows and reports to match the uniqueness of your business and its processes.
  8. Automations & Workflow
    Save time and improve efficiency with automations. Lead nurturing, data entry and follow ups can be automated.
  9. Data Security and Compliance
    Compliance regulations and data security standards need to be met by the CRM you choose.
  10. Analytics & Reporting
    Choose a CRM that offers insights into analytics and reporting tools for monitoring things like sales, marketing and customer service.
  11. Training & Customer Support
    Ask about the level of user training offered, resources, documentation, tutorials, user communities, and ask about the support they have available to get you and your team using the CRM as quickly as possible.
  12. Ongoing Costs
    Gain clarity on the ongoing costs associated with the CRM of your choice.  Maintenance and customisation expenses are often not included in subscriptions.
  13. Demos and Free Trials
    Free trials and demos offer great insights into useability and suitability. Make sure you don’t have to enter your credit card to be able to try it out.
  14. Vendor Reputation
    Ensure you do your research, read user reviews, recommendations and read their website’s about page to determine if they’re able to provide a reliable service.
  15. Data Migration
    Transitioning from your existing CRM can mean moving a large amount of data. Ask about data migration and costs involved.


Examples of Popular CRMs

  1. Moxie – Built for freelancers!
  2. Pipedrive – Sales CRM
  3. Fergus – For trades – Priced per user per month. 14 day free trial.
  4. HalaxyFree!  Suited for counsellors, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, life coaches and the medical profession. Booking calendar integrates to WordPress and WIX websites.

Evaluate all the options above to make a thoroughly informed decision that aligns with your business goals and requirements. Your business is unique and choosing the right CRM can have a significant impact on customer relationships and overall success.

Sandra Ciminelli
WordPress Web Designer/Developer
Based in Canberra

Sandra at ACT Websites Canberra
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I’m Sandra Ciminelli
Canberra based WordPress Web Designer/Developer

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