Leveraging recurring invoices in multiple currencies for her business, Carolina can balance her love of travel and her growing business with ease. Click here to watch Carolina's video.
Carolina Ramirez Herrera is a digital nomad and dot connector with brands and people in the travel agency, amassing an incredible portfolio of work and collaborations with her namesake agency CRH Collective.
Prior to flying solo with her own venture, Carolina cut her teeth as a Global PR Director for the Oasis Collections team specializing in strategic partnerships and business development. She has mastered the art of collecting memories without sacrificing her knack for business, but her initial introduction to being a solopreneur was accidental.
“I started consulting kind of by accident,” said Carolina. “I said ‘OK, let me start freelance consulting until I know what I want to do’. One thing led to another, and four years later, here I am. Today, Carolina specializes in consulting across public relations, marketing, and digital media with clients ranging from real estate, hospitality, travel, art, and health and wellness.
Born and raised in Miami, Florida with Colombian heritage, Carolina is fluent in English, Spanish and Italian, and truly embodies a worldly perspective in her business and private life. We sat down with her to understand how she’s able to scale her business with the help of FreshBooks and balance her jet-set lifestyle.
Why Miami for your business?
Carolina: I’m Colombian originally my parents and I grew up in Miami. My parents live in Miami and I grew up there, went to school there. I moved to New York after college and traveled a ton. But my base, I guess, for a while has always been Miami just because my family is there. I guess it’s also a great place to like Hub in terms of travel. It’s super close to travel to Latin America and to Europe. It was only later in life when I noticed people were like, oh, of course, Florida. That’s where you have your company. Taxes. Duh.
How did FreshBooks first get on your radar?
Carolina: I remember it was around the time I was doing my first invoice for my company, and I was thinking it would be easy to just do them in Excel. After using Excel for about a month or so, my business began to grow quickly, and it was hard to keep up. I even tried writing down expenses and owing amounts in my physical notebook. Finally, I realized it just wasn’t the way to move forward.
And then, it was actually one of my really good friends who said “Wait, you don’t have accounting software?!”
After some Googling, I looked at my options and bounced around between FreshBooks and QuickBooks. QuickBooks for me was too expensive, and the user interface of FreshBooks stuck out as it was very simple to navigate. The competitive pricing of FreshBooks and the user interface – it’s just very user-friendly. For someone in branding and marketing PR, that’s important.
What FreshBooks features have been most useful in your day-to-day business?
Carolina: Invoicing and recurring invoices are a life-saver for me. The invoices dashboard is so useful, the fact that it shows you overdue amounts right away keeps me organized. Rather than stressing about it I basically look at it once or twice a day and know what’s coming in and what’s going out.
I love the multiple currencies offered as well because I work with clients in different countries with multiple currencies constantly. It shows me euros and dollars separately, and it’s easy to stay organized and takes away a lot of manual work.
What does that added boost in efficiency do for your business?
Carolina: Consulting in marketing and PR, every client is different from their needs and what they’re looking for. For example, I use many contractors, and then I kind of build mini-teams with the people I am working with.
For example, there might be one client that needs a social media manager and a copywriter, so I need to find a way of tracking that. Now I use the FreshBooks Bills and Vendors tabs in the Accounts Payable section. Before I would just write things down ad-hoc!
What would you tell other small business owners and solopreneurs about investing in accounting software?
Carolina: Well, you should definitely invest in accounting software because your accountant will murder you if you don’t, for starters!
Taxes can be really difficult if you’re not an accountant. If there’s one thing you should be organized with is your accounting and your finances because it’s your money, and there’s no way that you’re going to grow if you’re especially when you work with larger clients with full-on accounting departments, they’re not going to they don’t have time to deal with your invoice mayhem.
How do you and your business plan to evolve and grow in the future with FreshBooks?
Carolina: Honestly, there’s a lot more I could be doing with FreshBooks for my business. I love Recurring Invoices and some other features, but there’s a lot more I have to learn.
What makes it easy with FreshBooks is the customer service. Not to sound like a cheerleader, but support is always so supportive and quick on calls and email. Since I’m always traveling, sometimes I need quick answers and quick fixes, and FreshBooks is very supportive.
about the author
Jessica Wynne Lockhart is an award-winning journalist and fact-checker, who splits her time between Canada and Australia. She has bylines in the Toronto Star, Chatelaine, and The New Zealand Herald. She writes about e-commerce, personal finance, health, and travel. Learn more about her work at jesslockhart.com.