FreshBooks Is for Service Providers

May 10, 2007

You can’t serve everyone, and we’re not going to try.

We recently received this feedback from a user:

From my limited usage, FB is a fabulous app. – its commendable what you folks have done and made it look/feel so simple and easy. I just hope that you could customize it to the needs of “product sellers” as well.

We could design FreshBooks for “product sellers” too, but…

FreshBooks was originally designed to serve the needs of our web design and development business — a professional services firm. Some of our largest customers are product based companies, but that’s beside the point. FreshBooks was, is, and continues to be designed for service based businesses.

Let’s take a look at what our service based business needed and how it did its work. The firm was a team of five. We needed to generate invoices from the hourly time we tracked or for flat rate projects. We also needed to generate a lot of estimates/quotes [Note: FreshBooks will be releasing a new tab dedicated to estimates soon]. These were our basic needs, along with the ability to generate recurring invoices and automate the charging of our clients’ credit cards for value added services like web hosting, domain registrations and monthly retainers, so we were technically a service provider as well as a professional services firm.

FreshBooks is designed — and will continue to be designed — for professional services firms, teams, and recurring billing service providers like these. It would be great to design a web application for product based firms, and I guess someone should — it just won’t be us, at least not anytime soon. Why stay so narrow in our focus? For one, there are millions of service based business that need to spend less time managing their invoices and less time collecting their money from clients. For these businesses, FreshBooks is there. Also, by staying focused on designing solutions for businesses and business process we know intimately, we are able to design a better experience for our customers and their clients. Why? We know their pain…and as you will see in the coming months and years, we will develop groundbreaking ways to deliver value to service based businesses — like our report card service. That is just a glimpse of where we will be taking things.

about the author

Co-Founder & CEO, FreshBooks Mike is the co-founder and CEO of FreshBooks, the world’s #1 cloud accounting software for self-employed professionals. Built in 2003 after he accidentally saved over an invoice, Mike spent 3.5 years growing FreshBooks from his parents’ basement. Since then, over 10 million people have used FreshBooks to save time billing, and collect billions of dollars. A lover of the outdoors, Mike has been bitten so many times it’s rumored he’s the first human to have developed immunity to mosquitoes.