Hi, I’m Josh Simmons. I’m a self described emerging yuppie living in sunny San Diego. I wear many hats, but mostly I’m an independent web designer, developer, and entrepreneur. Oh, and let’s not forget, I’m a totally thrilled FreshBooks user too.
I’ve worked in the industry for quite some time now (relatively speaking) and, while I love my line of work, I always seem to get stuck on trying to figure out the best system for managing billing and aiding in communication with client relationships. Being that I’m very much so an idea person and a freelance developer to boot, I always wanted to create my own solution to these sticky problems, but how many freelance developers do you know that actually have their own website, let alone their own CRM system? I think the point is moot.
“I’ve got four clients that I’m doing work for on a consistent basis, and while this would have been a hellish scenario just a few months ago, it couldn’t be much easier than it is right now.”
Fast forward through four years of torturous billing solutions and half completed CRM systems and enter FreshBooks.
Now, I’ve used online CRM systems for a year or two now, but now that I know how easy things can actually be, they’ve all been judged and found wanting. I may only be working with about three clients at any given time, but nonetheless keeping track of billing terms, project resources, and hours logged for both old clients and new clients alike is a monumental task in and of itself, and unfortunately, I don’t get to bill clients for administrative work, so that’s ultimately money lost.
“My clients [are] happier because of the control they’re given and the ease with which they can pay invoices among other things.”
Right now I’ve got four clients that I’m doing work for on a consistent basis, and while this would have been a hellish scenario just a few months ago, it couldn’t be much easier than it is right now.
If a client requests some maintenance on a website, I bust out my handy dandy time clock from the Timesheet section, specify what it is that I’m working on, and click “Start.” I think that takes me all of 60 seconds, if even. When the work is done and I’m ready to bill the client, I click on “Generate invoice,” fill in some details and choose how I want the hours to be listed, and bam, I’ve got myself an invoice just waiting for me to click “Send by Email” or “Send by Post” (the fact alone that you can have them mail things out for you is pretty amazing).
If I’ve got a new client or a large project, I go to the Estimates section, fill in the obvious information (what services, how long, and at what rate), and in no time my client has an email in their inbox inviting them to view the invoice at which point they can choose to accept the estimate. At the risk of sounding cheesy… can you say easy?
“The fact that I’m up at 3:30am writing a guest blog post is a testament to the quality of the service and the resulting loyalty of the users in and of itself.”
The fact is that FreshBooks has not only saved my bottom line, but it has also made my clients happier because of the control they’re given and the ease with which they can pay invoices among other things. My bottom line is looking better than ever, my clients are happy, and guess what? I’m pretty darned cheery myself.
Sure, it would have been superb if FreshBooks was around four years ago, but, it’s around now and I’m quite in love with it. I think the fact that I’m up at 3:30am (ah, even working a 9 to 5 job I manage to have the sleep cycles of a true developer) writing a guest blog post is a testament to the quality of the service and the resulting loyalty of the users in and of itself. Do yourself a favor and spend a little time with FreshBooks, even if you’re already a user, try exploring more, I know that I find new and useful features frequently. Let’s just say that you and your clients will all be grateful.