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Top 25 Online Invoicing Tools for Businesses on a Budget

Top 25 Online Invoicing Tools for Businesses on a Budget

Every service-based business has to send out bills and invoices to get paid. It’s one of those tasks that every business owner dreads spending their time on. It can eat into time you would rather spend on making money or finding new clients to increase revenues. However, invoicing must be done to maintain cash flow to pay your own bills and to pay any employees. You can pay freelancers, as well on reinvest in marketing efforts.

The process can be made more efficient by using certain tools. Paperwork and labor can be reduced. There is a wide range of invoice tools and invoicing platforms that can be used. They are either free or low cost. They can provide your freelance or small business with an affordable solution for billing.

This list of 25 invoice tools and platforms includes some of the most widely recognized invoicing, billing, and payments companies. It includes solutions that offer a wide range of tools that tackle other tasks within your small business:

1. Due

Due has evolved from an online invoicing platform to a payments solution company. The company offers a wide range of payment-related services. It also includes time tracking, project management and integration with Basecamp. It offers custom estimates and invoices. It also offers domestic and international credit card processing. Great features include free invoice templates, over 100 currency and language options. It also offers document attachment, email, and website embedded invoices. There is an option to pay directly. It offers integration with PayPal as well as several other companies. Additionally, due has a free digital wallet feature and ACH payments. Unlimited professional invoices can be sent each month. Take advantage of a low flat-rate transaction fee of 2.75% for credit card processing. It includes international payments.

2. ReliaBills

This is a completely free cloud-based solution for small business owners. It includes the ability to have unlimited customers, invoices, and emails. The service includes customizable invoices, options for subscription, recurring, and project billing. There is an upgrade called ReliBills Plus. It provides extra features like credit card and ACH processing. A customizable customer portal and tools like automated past due reminders.

3. MoneyPenny

Founded in 2013, MoneyPenny is a low-cost online invoicing company. It charges $15 per month per user. It has been touted as an excellent solution for freelancers or work-from-home small business owners. It offers an automated work timer, customizable online invoices, online and mobile payments. It also offers payment processing, many currency options, and settings.  It has automated reminders and recurring invoices.

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4. BillQuick

At $14.95, BillQuick is a low-cost option. It comes with a free trial. You can try out the integrated time and expense, project management, billing and invoicing. you can also try accounting and payment processing features. It was designed and built by CPAs and engineers to address the specific needs of professional services firms. The powerful features and tools included are automated work time and multi-currency tools. It also has the customer database and notifications. It has hourly billing, recurring and retainer billing. It also offers online customizable invoices, online payments, and payment processing.

5. Bill4Time

Starting at $15 per month, this online and billing system offers customizable invoices that you can send via email, as a PDF, or online. If you still prefer to print your invoices, you have that option as well. It offers the web and mobile platforms for greater convenience. Features include service ticket billing and online customizable invoicing. It also has many currency tools, notifications, and payment processing.  The customer features like a portal and database are also present.

6. Zoho Invoicing

Zoho is a comprehensive platform for invoicing and payments. Options include branded and customizable invoices, a time tracker, and shareable data. It is integrated with payment gateways. There are PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, and 2Checkout.  They offer a range of payment processing options.

7. AccountSight

It starts at just $10 per month per user. AccountSight provides a way to invoice unlimited clients and projects. The scalable, cloud-based software includes time tracking and resource planning. It also has expense tracking, estimates and invoicing, reports, and a dashboard. Other features include notifications, many currency tools, subscription and recurring invoicing and payment processing.

8. Paymo

Paymo provides some comprehensive project management features. It offers free online invoicing system. Features include time tracking, desktop, and mobile access. Also offers customizable invoices, an estimate, and invoice template library, and recurring invoices. Payment methods include payment gateways like PayPal and Authorize.net.

9. Online Invoices

The free plan allows for 15 clients, 15 invoices, 7 subscriptions, and 30 estimates per month. It also includes two invoice layouts while other plans increase the number of each. Features include estimates, recurring invoices, time tracking, expense, and income tracking. Other features are many tax settings, document attachments, security features and invoice templates. Many payment portals can be integrated, such as eWay, Paymate, Authorize.net or PayPal.

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10. InvoiceOcean

InvoiceOcean has tools for invoices, buy orders, receipts, disbursements, and receipts. It also has tools for reports on cash flow and fiscal health. Many currencies and languages are available to better service international clients. Its primary payment system is PayPal, providing a way to accept bank and card payments.

11. Invoicera

Freelancers love Invoicera because of the number of free features it offers. It includes tools like online estimates and invoices, time tracking and invoice templates. it also has tools for subscription billing and many currencies. The dashboard offers an overview of revenue, expenses, and finances. it also gives the overview of projects, staff, tasks and clients, and outstanding invoices. it gives all the overviews in one location. Payments can be accepted through Authorize.net and PayPal.

12. Hiveage

Hiveage is a free online estimate, invoice, and payments platform. It offers a standard account for free as well as other fee-based accounts for larger businesses. Hiveage features include unlimited invoices and customers, many currencies, and PayPal Standard integration. A low-cost premium account includes other tools for mileage, expense, and time tracking. It also has tools for subscription and automated billing and financial reports. Besides PayPal, other processing systems can be integrated within the premium account. Other systems include Stripe and 2Checkout.

13. FusionInvoice

Although it’s not free, there is a low one-time fee of $60 that makes it worth consideration. That’s it. No costs will pop up later. Hosting it on your own server, this invoice tool comes customized with estimates and invoices. Also has many currencies, the ability to import data from anywhere. There are recurring invoices and a dashboard as well. It provides real-time updates on your billing and payments process. To accept and process payments, Fusion Invoice integrates with PayPal, Stripe, and Mollie.

14. Invoice Machine

Invoice Machine offers a free account for one user with up to three estimates and three invoices per month. Other accounts are low cost and increase the number of users. It also increases estimates, and invoices allowed each month. The invoice company has many features. It has customizable estimates and invoices, many languages and currencies. It also has recurring invoices and automated notifications and acknowledgments. Options include email invoices or PDF invoices. It integrates with Basecamp for project management. It also integrates PayPal and Authorize.net for payment processing.

15. Simple Invoices

Simple Invoices is a basic, open source invoicing system. It allows you to use and even contribute to improving this tool without charging you. Features include an invoice template library and export capability to Word or Excel. PayPal integration lets you receive payments to your PayPal account. Also allows you to receive a bank account, or credit or debit card.

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16. FreshBooks

FreshBooks comes with a 30-day free trial and then has a low-cost plan. It is perfect for small business owners and freelancers. Its features include customized quotes, estimates, and invoices. It also has the ability to print, download a PDF, or email invoices to clients. Other features are time tracking, expense management, and receipt inclusion on an invoice. Payment processing capability includes PayPal, Stripe, or Authorize.net.

17. Harvest

Harvest offers a 30-day free trial as well as offers a free account for one user and up to four clients. Other low-cost account options upgrade you to unlimited invoices and clients. The features include basic time tracking, many currencies and online invoicing. Also offers mobile functionality, reporting, and data import and export. It integrates with a diverse amount of third-party apps. It brings your business tasks altogether in one platform. Payment processing for invoices includes Stripe integration.

18. Ronin

Ronin is a scalable invoice solution built for every company type and size. Their free plan includes one user, two clients, and SSL security while other tiers offer up to 30 clients. Payment processing integration with PayPal or Authorize.net is available. itcomes with their $29 per month plan. The free invoicing plan includes a dashboard, estimate and invoice capability. It also includes client and project management, and user profiles.

19. Invoice Journal

Invoice Journal has a free account that includes one user, unlimited customers, and 30 invoices per month. Other plans increase user access and the number of invoices per month. All plans come with customized estimates and invoices. The invoice templates, many currencies, and languages are also included. There is invoice and payment tracking, reminders and acknowledgments as well. It includes reports, data export to Excel, and contact import from Gmail. You can integrate PayPal and Amazon payment gateways.

20. Box Billing

Box Billing is a free tool. For just $5 per month, most of these features can be upgraded to unlimited status. Other tools include automated invoicing, invoice tracking, customization, and many languages. Payment integration includes PayPal, Payza, AlertPay, PaySera, 2Checkout, and WebMoney.

21. Apptivo

The free plan offers you access to 50 of Apptivo’s standard apps. It offers functions like billing, supply chain, CRM, project management and more. The invoice tool offers customization, automation, and notification features. Payment integration is available in the $10 per month plan and offers PayPal, Zipmark, or Authorize.net. By upgrading to this fee-based plan, you will also get all Apptivo’s mobile apps. You will also get unlimited customization, Google apps integration, and email integration.

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22. Wave Accounting

Wave Accounting is a large suite of programs and tools designed to cover all the financial tasks in your business. You can build the solution that fits your business and budget. Among the available tools is online and mobile invoicing and payments, which is offered for free. Payment processing involves a small transaction fee. Features include customizable invoices, payment, and overdue invoice tracking. It also has invoice templates and custom messaging to personalize your invoice communications.

23. Quickbooks Online

Quickbooks Online is an affordable solution that averages $12.95 per month. It is the cheapest plan although there are regular promotional discounts and discount options for paying in advance. Its online invoice solution offers customizable estimates and invoices. It also offers the ability to synch your bank account. Other features include a variety of payment processing integration options and mobile capability.

24. MakeSometime

This is a free online invoicing system and business management platform. It allows you to create customized quotes, estimates, and invoices. You are alerted when the invoice has been viewed and paid. You will be able to accept online payments through the web and mobile channels. Features also include an automated time tracker, multiple currencies, notifications, recurring and subscription billing. It also has customer features like a database and portal.

25. BillBooks

This online invoice company offers a free plan. It includes three invoices and free estimates as well as unlimited staff and client. While a $10 per month plan offers all that, but increases invoices to 20 per month. Available in 120 countries, it is a favorite among freelancers and small business owners. Features include many currencies, notifications and complete customization on invoices. It offers other things like recurring billing and online payment processing, and mobile payments.

Take Control of Your Cash Flow

While there are many more invoicing products and platforms available. These 25 options stand out for their value with free or low-cost plans. They are packed with practical features for your small business. By using one or more of these payment choices, you will be able to focus on your core business. You can rely on an efficient, professional, and fast invoicing and payment solution.

Featured photo credit: imore.com via cdn.imore.com

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Last Updated on May 28, 2020

How to Succeed in Business: 10 Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs

How to Succeed in Business: 10 Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs

Learning how to succeed in business used to be a case of being really good at one skill or area and milking it for all its value. Today, we are fast becoming a “skills economy”[1], driving trends in employment and even the way we approach entrepreneurship.

To succeed in today’s business landscape, business owners and executives need to possess a mix of skills that enable them to stay ahead and adapt to change.

1. Digital Savviness

As the adage goes: “If you’re not online, you don’t exist.” Today’s entrepreneurs need to take to the internet to increase their presence and to remain relevant in an evolving business landscape.

Companies like Amazon, Netflix, Airbnb and more are a testament to the disruptive impact of technology and the new image of what it means to be a skilled, successful professional. Think about today’s Mark Zuckerberg versus a banker from the 90s.

Being able to quickly adapt to new technology, like cloud applications and collaborating remotely across the internet, is fast becoming the expected norm for executives.

For businesses, discoverability on the web is becoming a quick litmus test for credibility. Potential customers and investors bank on the first page of Google to make up half their minds about making further transactions with a business. GE Capital Retail Bank found that 81% of retail shoppers conduct online research before buying[2].

How to Develop This Skill

For a start, begin by hosting your website and reserving all of your brand’s handles across social media platforms. While hiring a web developer might sound like the next step, consider first hosting your company’s site on more user and budget-friendly options like Squarespace, Wix, or WordPress.

From here, you can start on some simple search engine optimization techniques that will increase your discoverability over time. Through keyword research, organic content creation, and external back-links, your site will, eventually, slowly but surely garner more traffic.

Note, however, that an increase in search traffic does not immediately imply an increase in revenue. But it’s a start for delving into customer conversion rates in the future.

2. Financial Forecasting

Let’s face it, many business owners feel that time could be better spent on developing and running the business instead of planning for it financially. However, a financial forecast serves as a roadmap for shaping any kind of business and is not just reserved for the likes of listed companies providing financial guidance to shareholders.

Largely, forecasting and planning your financial goals will give you a clearer idea of resources required and ways to measure success. It can also provide assurance to investors as a testament to the thorough research and planning you have done when included in business plans.

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However, inaccurate forecasts can lead to livid investors and mismanagement of expenses, which could potentially result in financial teething problems. When creating a detailed financial forecast, a rule of thumb is to always start with your expenses.

How to Develop This Skill

Generally, it is easier to calculate and predict your expenses compared to your revenue, so noting down your expenses is a starting point to benchmark how much you might need to generate in sales to turn a profit. It is a good habit to regularly update and evaluate how adjacent your operations are to what you have forecasted.

Building a precise set of growth forecasting will take time, but, remember, you are an investor in your own business. You must have confidence in the validity of your business concept.

3. Video Production Skills

The rise of visual mediums and the dopamine boosts it gives to users has long been researched and proven as providing an unfair advantage to businesses that leverage it[3].

If you’re a heavy user of social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and even YouTube, you’ll know that it’s pretty hard to stop once you get started on a binge-watching session.

In fact, video marketing is seeing a non-stop rise in popularity and effectiveness when used in conjunction with social media to drive traffic and boost conversions[4]. According to research, by 2019, 80% of global Internet consumption will be video content[5]. With video marketing becoming more ubiquitous, businesses that fail to leverage the power of video are almost certain to lose out.

How to Develop This Skill

Some ways to get started with using videos for your business would be:

  • Creating a series of educational videos that cover useful information for your audiences
  • Live videos interacting with your community at large (these can be shot on your smart phone)
  • Using videos on landing pages to boost your customer conversions

4. Benchmarking Personal Goals to Business Performance

As far as you get into achieving endeavours on your business bucket list, it’s important to remember that being an entrepreneur is just one facet of your identity. Don’t forget why you started in the first place.

Ambition usually stems from some lifestyle goals you’ve always wanted for yourself and the people you might be providing for today or in the future. Working 24/7 is a surefire route to burnout and may manifest in an unhealthy interaction between partners and employees as well.

How to Develop This Skill

Money can’t be your only motivation, but look into the positives of how having more financial freedom and time can impact your life. In the short term, involving your interests in your businesses can make everyday tasks feel less like mundane errands. In the long run, your business may also bring you fruitful rewards, including personal fulfilment.

Set realistic income goals to manage expectations for your performance and your company’s revenue, especially during its earlier stages. See how projected growth can align with your personal goals and make adjustments accordingly to maintain a balance between growth and your personal values.

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5. Leveraging Healthy Competition

Some of the best athletes who have spent their careers neck-and-neck with each other have changed the standards in their respective sports. The notion of healthy competition applies to the business world more than it may seem on the surface.

Innovation has always been a key driver in free markets, which were intended to boost economies and provide customers with more choices. Just like the biggest sporting rivals that build on each others’ game, you can use your biggest competitors to hone your strategies.

How to Develop This Skill

Turn a competitive market landscape into an advantageous one by leveraging on long-established systems your business proposes an alternative to. Learn from the mistakes of predecessors once you discover their product or service loopholes.

For example, the Dollar Shave Club’s viral video[6] became a big hit because it hit the right buttons of consumers being tired of purchasing expensive but low quality shavers from incumbent retail giants. Going in second meant they could fill a gap competitors might not even have been aware of.

Apart from lifting off from what could have been your second-mover advantage, solidify your place with your business’ own first-mover advantage — whether you’re tapping into a new geographical region, unexplored market sector, or introducing a business model that proves more viable than others. There’s always room for improvement in business from mature markets to newly emerging ones.

6. Honing Pitches to Investors

Stand out in a broad mix of budding entrepreneurs by mastering the art and science behind a solid investor pitch that can determine the acceleration of growth for your business. Get comfortable talking about your ideas and receiving feedback or questions from peers, partners, and advisors before setting out to make a good impression on potential customers and eventually investors.

The phrase “If you can’t convince them, confuse them,” will certainly never get your business funded, especially in front of seasoned venture capitalists who have seen thousands of startup pitches. You should be able to deliver a quick elevator pitch that summarizes your unique proposition and its market viability for casual meet-ups[7] because you sometimes only have a few minutes to make a good impression and move on to another meeting.

How to Develop This Skill

Develop your investor pitch deck by highlighting your business’ strongest points, which will vary for every funding round. Create your deck with the investors’ interests in mind, balancing technical jargon and buzzwords.

You can also introduce your diverse team of experts, some proven traction, or the current state of the market to demonstrate profitability and the attractiveness of the opportunity to investors.

Ensure each slide flows into the other to develop a persuasive narrative, utilizing consistent and intelligent design principles to support your content.

7. Developing a Strong Brand Identity

In a world of saturated content and numerous emerging businesses that offer similar service lines, developing a unique brand identity will help you cut through the noise and stand out from your competition. From aesthetics to the body of clients you’re associated with, these contribute to how you’re perceived by prospects looking to buy.

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Evaluating your brand identity is linked to identifying your target customers, your business goals, a proposed promised land your solution achieves, and identifying values that are aligned to these components. Brand identity serves as a guide to maintaining consistency and creating an image you want your business to be associated with.

How to Develop This Skill

Efforts to strengthen your brand identity are closely tied to giving marketing strategies a direction. By knowing what makes your target customers tick, their values, ideals, and behavior, you will be able to elevate your business from simply being a service or product to be utilized into a projected brand customers and partners would be happy to identify with.

8. Automating to Your Advantage

The need for efficiency is often the general problem new businesses aim to resolve across all markets and industries. Assure that your proposed solution is more efficient than what’s readily available in the market to instill the need for it.

Efficiency is often achieved nowadays through digitalization and new technologies. While your product or service may not necessarily be the most innovative out there, you can apply the same automation concept across your business’ daily operations.

How to Develop This Skill

Shorten turnaround times and conversion rates by investing in small tools for automation where you deem fit. While it may come out of your pocket in the early stages, evaluate the holistic advantages and benefits of automating certain processes. At our office, we’ve tried using collaborative apps like Workplace by Facebook, Slack, Asana and a few other popular apps to reduce human error and friction.

9. Managing Millennials

Your team plays an integral part in whether your business will accelerate at breakneck speeds or be dragged down by dead weight. Hence, it is imperative to be selective and strategic when choosing your team.

In leaner small business teams, the addition of every new teammate can impact how your organization culture evolves.

Today, learning to manage millennials has become an increasingly sought after skill as well due to the increasing proportion of them in the workforce[8]. Some brand them as strawberries that are easily bruised and others loath their need for “meaning” and wearing t-shirts to work.

How to Develop This Skill

Naturally, there are many misconceptions surrounding millennials, and various businesses would do well to leverage their unique skills.

A couple of ways to manage a millennial team include:

Encourage a Flat Team Structure With Open Communication

Maintain clear professional lines between supervisors and subordinates but keep communication channels open to ensure no negativity festers.

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Offer Constructive Feedback

Baby boomers are well known for their straightforward approach to delivering feedback. Millennials, on the other hand, don’t always take feedback in a form that could be construed as deep criticism.

Being constructive with feedback ensures that we don’t coddle millennial workers but also tell them the things they need to hear.

10. Maintaining a Network of Connectivity

Instead of proposing a business that’s ambitiously and entirely disruptive to the supply or process chain in a respective industry, foster connections with other companies that cater to the same target customers as long as they provide a different service.

By creating partnerships, both you and other businesses thrive simultaneously through creative avenues for customers to utilize your products and services for a holistically improved user experience.

Sole market disruption isn’t always the best strategy to take. Not everybody has the opportunity, bandwidth, or financial capacity to dominate and monopolize a marketplace. See your potential for integration into other businesses and services as a good opportunity for co-collaborative marketing efforts with shared campaigns, split costs, and a strengthened customer database for everyone to tap into.

How to Develop This Skill

Regardless of the stage your business is in, never stop looking for ways to expand your network. Keep in contact with mentors you can look to for valuable industry advice that can help you avoid pitfalls and costly mistakes. Strengthen brand awareness by attending cross-industry events and casual meet-ups to open your business to reinvention and innovation.

As the African proverb goes:

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Collaborating will get you where you want to go quicker and gear you up for further growth.

More Tips on How to Succeed in Business

Featured photo credit: Tyler Franta via unsplash.com

Reference

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