Small Business Software: Easier Invoicing

By Andrew Lock | Posted February 16, 2010

Andrew Lock

FreshBooks

Business is hectic enough.  There’s so much to do to stay on top of your business, ahead of your competition: find more business, be professional and look like you are completely organized and in charge.

small business software FreshBooks screenshot
FreshBooks.com, a small business solution that simplifies invoicing.
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Here’s a great small business solution, called FreshBooks that actually simplifies one aspect of your business: invoicing.  Now, invoicing requires an endless amount of paperwork.  Then you have to come up with mailers, put stamps on envelopes, and go to the post office. 

Imagine if you could go online and automatically generate these invoices for people.  Freshbooks can automate the whole thing.  If you have a regular billing that goes out, you can automatically charge your client’s credit card.  You can also create very professional looking invoices — complete with your company’s branding — that’s a great thing. 

Here’s a great piece of news for you: You’ll get paid 14 days faster if you use Freshbooks.  It allows your clients to view and pay the invoices online without any hassle.  They can use PayPal or they can use their credit card. You can automate late payments so that you don’t have to keep up with that yourself. 

You don’t have to stuff envelopes and send them through the mail.  You get the data backed up; it’s safe, it’s not going to get lost.  So you’ve got the flexibility to generate invoices on time and get them to the clients quickly.  If it’s a regular, recurring payment you don’t have to remember it.  It’s going to be automatic.

Freshbooks also offers other services such as estimating, time tracking, expenses, working with your client and the team, branding.  Go take a look at Freshbooks.

Copernic Summarizer

In business it seems like we’re called on to read more and more just to stay ahead.  Many people now put out summaries of newspaper articles and summaries of books so you can get the basic information. 

But what if there’s not something like that available?  Well, the Copernic Summarizer uses special statistical and linguistic algorithms to take a large document and summarize it as if by magic. 

small business solution Copernic Summarizer screenshot
Copernic Summarizer, analyzes documents and generates an accurate summary of the text.
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I don’t know how it can possibly work, but look what people have said: “Applications like this renew my faith in the innovation of the internet and Windows developers.  This is purely amazing.” 

The idea is that this application, which costs $59.95, takes a large document whether it’s in Word or a pdf document and summarizes what’s in it for you. They take the key concepts and key words and then they generate this analysis, and apparently it’s remarkably accurate.

Now the beauty is you can get a download trial for 30 days to try it out.  Take a large document that you may have, let it take a look at it and see what it does. 

Copernic offers a few other services such as Copernic Agent (the Basic version is free), which lets you search all the leading search engines around the globe at once and returns with the information it finds there. 

Copernic Tracker looks at Web pages and lets you know when those web pages have changed.  So if you’re trying to keep up with content on various Web sites, this does the leg work for you.  Take a look at Copernic’s remarkable collection of tools.

CyberHomes

My phone rang today and my real estate agent called to tell me about a house that he thought I might be interested in.  Well, fortunately I had just come across CyberHomes.  Right off the bat is I put in the address that he was telling me about.  I clicked on Search, and it found the house he wants to show me. 

small business web resource CyberHome.com screenshot
CyberHome, provides Information on property values — a useful tool for small business owners in the real estate market.
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Now the beauty of this remarkable site is it gives you a picture of the house from the air; as it looks on the ground and, even more importantly, it provides a little thumbnail sketch of the neighborhood.  The house I’m looking at is worth $175,000.  It’s surrounded by houses that are of greater value, all the way back up into the $300,000, $400,000. What a great thing to know. 

It gives you all the information about the house.  If you’re looking for real estate, if you’re in the real estate business, this a great tool for you.  It offers a ton of information.  For example it lists 75 million homes and their values. 

They’ve got more than 2.7 million homes for sale, a half-million foreclosures, 700,000 neighborhoods listed. 

You can peruse the really expensive housing; you can go back and see some of the places you used to live. I put in an address where I used to live and wow, it’s worth a lot more than when I sold it.

CyberHomes  is a great place to go if you’re looking to buy real estate, if you’re in real estate or you just like being in the know about housing values.
You'll find lots more marketing tips and resources from Andrew Lock in our Small Business Essential series, Lock in Your Marketing Resources.

Andrew Lock is a self-described maverick marketer and the creator and host of Help! My Business Sucks, a free, weekly Web TV show full of practical marketing tips, advice and resources to help small businesses "get more done and have more fun."

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