I've written pretty extensively about the Apps I use for running my business, but I've had a few updates to my arsenal and wanted to provide you with those updates.
For more information about how I run my business you can view my original post here.
FotoBiz X | $149
The features within this software are extensive and I have to admit I only use some of them. I intended to purchase only FotoQuote, but the entire business software was the same price, so I acquired the additional features for free. FotoBiz X is a great way to generate and track image licensure. It automatically sends reminders when a usage is expiring allowing a client to easily renew their license. Stock image pricing and sales are calculated based on usage rights as well. The complete software allows me to easily track my equipment by bag. This comes in handy for insurance submittals and claims and has the added benefit of setting equipment weight and assigning each item a bag for generating packing lists. If you've read this post you know I'm a fan of lists. I do not, however, use this software for billing, invoicing, or tracking clients and potential customers.
My biggest problem with the software is that neither FotoBiz nor FotoQuote are cloud based. As a result, I am required to have multiple seats for multiple computers where other applications I can access anywhere via the web.
HARVEST | Free
I still use Harvest for generating estimates, invoicing, and tracking hours and expenses. Because I invoice and estimate from Harvest, I also track all of my clients and their contact information within the application.
STRIPE | 2.9% + $ .30
Stripe is a credit card processor that works seamlessly with Harvest. Accepting credit card payments from your clients adds an additional level of credibility and allows you to demand and receive payment more quickly. I understand there is a cost associated with this, but having that cash in the bank and not in transit allows you to more easily run your business. The wonderful thing about Stripe is you don't need an additional gateway (Authorize.net or the like) to accept credit cards. Their pricing might be a little higher than some, but at least I know I'm not paying per month for something I may not be using. I like having a fixed cost associated per transaction. This allows me to account for it in my estimation process and charge the fee even if a client pays by check.
Line 2 | $15/month
Ever get a business call to your cell phone after hours? Separate work from home using Line 2. It's an application that allows you to call and text from a second phone number for your business from your personal phone. All calls and texts go directly through your cell phone using WiFi or cellular data. The reception is clear and the features are great. They have a cheaper plan, but it doesn't allow you to set after hours call handling.
There you have it. Those are the big operational changes I've made to my business in the last year. Let me know what you think using the comments below. Is there something I should be using that I'm not?