Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My invoicing nightmare!

Excitement filled my mind when the day of business opening finally came to fruition.  All the days of planning, calculating and socializing was finally going to pay off. I had my business process practiced and I was ready for clients. Or so I thought…

When my first client appeared I was elated! Since my service was “pay first” I quickly had to send him an invoice to collect my funds. To my dismay, I had not thought of this part of my business! I quickly searched for invoice templates and found some free ones on the internet. 


I opened Word and created my invoice. Problem averted. I decided to make my invoices fancier so I used my Word prowess to do this.  ALL of my invoices were in word and at that time I also took checks. TWO BIG MISTAKES!

After waiting to receive checks or have them bounce, I found myself in a bit of a mess. My client received the work and I had not received payment. Then the end of the year hit and my accountant asked “how much did you sell?”

My answer was I don’t know! I spent two days sorting through a mass of Word documents trying to make sense out of my receivables. As an executive I had computer systems for all of this and now I was too busy to do “projections!”

Once reality hit that I was in “business” I actually had to think like a business. When I looked at the cost of business solutions I found that none of them really fit my needs. I had to change my business to fit what I could afford. So I looked to FREE technology. THIS WAS MY THIRD MISTAKE!

Free software did not manage my business well. Yes I could collect a few contacts here and there but I could never totally understand my business. Since my background was in technology I hired some of the best cloud developers I could find to build what I needed.

The very first thing we designed on Career Coach Office was a secure environment where your clients could enter their credit or debit information online without worrying. Once they clicked the pay button the approved funds would be directly deposited into your account.

Many of my colleagues have subscription services for their clients so we added this feature.  This had to be simple as well. Set a billing date and an amount and you’re done. Daily, Weekly, Monthly or Annual invoices are sent without worry.

We looked around to find the highest used solutions.  We chose First Data for the direct deposit solution and PayPal for the less integrated solution. First Data processed over $800 Billion in transactions last year and PayPal is highly used because the signup process is very simple. Both solutions are secure and they quickly enable you to take credit and debit cards. They are Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant.