Superhero designer Jasmine Holmes is about to hit her million-dollar moment. But she wouldn't have been able to do it without her loyal sidekick, FreshBooks.
Jasmine Holmes was still a TAFE student in Adelaide when she landed her first professional gig working as a graphic designer. In the 12 years since then, her impressive portfolio has grown to include projects for global and Australian brands, such as Red Bull, Officeworks, the Australian Open, Subway, and Rolex.
It’s an impressive roster, but no project is too big or too small for the Melbourne-based Jasmine Designs. That’s because Jasmine is a self-described design superwoman. Her superpower? Flying in to fix creative problems, and then flying away until her clients need her again.
But like any superhero, she also has a weakness. Her Kryptonite is time-consuming tasks like creating estimates and chasing clients for payment. Luckily, Jasmine has her loyal sidekick FreshBooks to help with some of the heavy lifting.
We caught up with Jasmine to learn more about how FreshBooks helps her fight design crimes—and how it’s helping her to reach her million-dollar moment.
You’ve been a graphic designer for 12 years and a sole trader for 5 years. How has your accounting changed during that time?
Jasmine: Before FreshBooks, I was using a Word document. It was not pretty. I feel very terrible for my early-days accountant who had to sift through what I believed was a successful accounting system. It was embarrassing, but it was also detrimental to my brand because it gave the impression that I wasn’t professional, and therefore, I couldn’t charge higher rates.
I was put onto FreshBooks by a fellow creative back in Adelaide when I was wanting to find a way to communicate to potential customers that I was valuable and professional. So, I’ve been on the platform since 2015.
As my business has grown, FreshBooks’ capabilities have grown with it, which has been really beneficial to my business. It’s been the reason why I’ve stayed brand-loyal for so long and haven’t wavered even though others have said, “Oh, have you tried Xero? Have you tried Wave?”
When you’re actually able to communicate back with the help desk and feel like the system works, then you’re not going to stray. No one’s going to sell your business like someone who’s a happy customer, right? And I am a happy customer.
Without FreshBooks, I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be able to run a business that is likely to have its million-dollar moment in the next year.
What is it about FreshBooks that helps you communicate professionalism to your clients?
Jasmine: It gives it legitimacy. It makes it so that you’re not looking like a hobbyist, because a real business has accounting software that works. That’s just the long and short of it. It’s not a situation of like, “Okay, well, I’ll send you something that I’ve made in InDesign or Canva.” It doesn’t matter how pretty the document is. If it doesn’t have a system with it, it doesn’t feel as legitimate.
When you’re in FreshBooks, invoices and estimates get sent from the FreshBooks’ system, rather than as an attached PDF—or God forbid—an attached Word document that can be edited. It’s communicating that professionalism.
How does FreshBooks help you meet the needs of your design clients?
Jasmine: I have large business clients, small business clients, and single-person-hustling-their-butt-off-to-make-sure-they-can-make-ends-meet clients.
With FreshBooks, I can say it’s a 50% deposit to start the job for business clients. I can also say to a small business, “Here’s the invoice, and I’ve set up a payment plan.” I can split the payments up so that clients can pay in smaller chunks, and I don’t have to chase them for their next payment.
That’s something that a lot of other creatives can’t offer because it means they’d have to do a new invoice each month. Clients can also pay with the click of a button, which they see value in.
How do you think FreshBooks supports Australian small businesses, specifically?
Jasmine: I’ll be honest with you; I don’t do as much of the accounting side as I used to. I’ve literally just linked my bank account to the system, and then every month I have a conversation with my bookkeeper and she reconciles it all.
So, whilst FreshBooks is made with Canadian and American users in mind, the Australian adaptability has been thought out. It does have the GST capability and Australian currency capacity, and if I do have an international client, I can bill in their currency.
But FreshBooks also recognizes that there are always improvements to make. When I was talking to my account manager, Thomas, he said to me, “Well, I would love to have a sit-down conversation with yourself and your bookkeeper and ask the questions that need to be asked to be able to improve our system.” And you don’t get that from most places, right? They kind of just go this is “This is the solution. We’ll do the updates that we see fit.” Whereas FreshBooks actually talks to their community, which is just kind of freaking cool.
FreshBooks is recognizing that Australians are not all Dollarydoos and “G’days, how ya goin’?” Like, we’re actual, legitimate businesses that aren’t trading out of the pouches of kangaroos. We’re actually building businesses that have global scope and we need a system that can be used.
How much time or money have you saved using FreshBooks?
Jasmine: For me, FreshBooks’ value is not in the time that its saves, it’s in the value that it has added. It’s the value of not having to create a new invoice each time or in knowing that if I have to write up a proposal, I can use the template in FreshBooks and alter it to suit that client. It’s the value of the communication that I’m putting out there.
Without FreshBooks, I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be able to run a business that is likely to have its million-dollar moment in the next year. Without the FreshBooks system, I wouldn’t have that total number at the bottom of all my invoices, showing how much I’ve made over time because I wouldn’t have a system to communicate that.
What’s next for Jasmine Designs?
Jasmine: This last year has really opened my eyes to the possibility of teaching, which is something that I wanted to do, ever since back in TAFE. So, these last 6 months have been dedicated to developing my first online course called Easy As Pie Pricing, where I help creatives, designers, and freelancers bake more profit into their creative crust and bake a better business for themselves. Can you tell I’m food-driven? It’s going to be the first of 5 courses over the next year.
The course is looking at actually putting a dollar amount on what you do, but also being able to communicate it in a way that you’re going to get paid. How can I, as a professional creative, send a quote or an invoice and have the conviction to say, “I’m the professional in the room.” And that, in part, has to be about the accounting side of things, as well.
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.