Global March 26, 2015 Last updated March 24th, 2015 553 Reads share

6 Simple Tools Which Help to Eliminate Extra Expense from Your Micro Business

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Innovative technology not only helps businesses to run smoothly but also

Nutcache is an invoicing and time management application, which is specifically designed for small business and freelancers. This multilingual online application provides a quality invoicing experience and allows you to create an unlimited number of professional-looking estimates and invoices with your own logo.

You can even track time using this app and bill your clients accordingly. It’s Time Logger app is available for both iOS and Android devices. The key features include:

  • Access to all companies where you have access rights
  • Add notes to your time entries
  • Link time to various projects and tasks
  • Allows pause and resume features
  • Run and record time in the background even when your smartphone is turned off
  • View your activity in the last 30 days

Nutcache also allows attaching documents to your estimates, invoices and expenses. Besides, it allows multi-user collaboration. The free version offer unlimited number of transactions. It also has a PRO version starting from $14 per month with more advanced features.

#2. Solo

This is a great tool for freelancers and single entrepreneurs. Using this tool you can plan, track, and appraise your business via an elegant interface. From maintaining client lists to managing project timelines, you can do everything using Solo.

You can even use this tool to create quotes, track billable hours and create invoices. Solo can help you determine the profitability of client by collecting business analytics. Solo starts from only $14 a month ($140 a year) and it also offer a 30 days free trial. Businesses with heavy client/project loads will find this tool amazingly helpful.

#3. Dropbox

Cloud-based applications are becoming highly beneficial for small businesses, especially for sharing documents and large files with employees and associates in remote locations. Dropbox is one such tool, which is easy to set up and very popular with small businesses. You can get this tool for free for under 2GB of file space. The charge for 50GB and 100GB of space is $99 and $199 per year respectively. 1 TB of file space is available for teams of 5 for only $795. In addition, Dropbox offers a plan that allows unlimited file recovery and file sharing control for $15/user per month.

You can work with your co-workers or clients around the globe using this cloud-based app. This is a great tool to share and edit documents, proposals and pictures or share videos from anywhere. Everything’s automatically private and all your documents are secure in Dropbox, even if your computer or mobile device goes for a swim.
Dropbox also offers apps for iPad, iPhone, Windows, Android, BlackBerry, Windows, Mac, and Linux. You can even work offline; however, you need Internet connection to synchronize files.

#4. Shake

One unfortunate event almost all businesses, both large and small, have experienced at least once is running into conflict with their clients over ownership of work, payments, and/or some other complicated legal issues. Mitigating conflicts like these takes time; however, the easiest way to down them is through contracts.

The issue with contracts is that the attorney fees can easily break your budget. This is where Shake comes in. This is a free mobile app for Android and iOS devices. Shake helps you create a binding legal document with easy. Defining the terms is as easy as answering a few questions and you can then sign it digitally and send the document to your client/other party to be countersigned.

This app provides preinstalled templates for NDAs, independent contractor agreements, renting or lending property, buying and selling of goods, and lending money. In addition, you can create a legal document on your own from scratch. There is a free version of this app and the PRO version starts from $10 per month.

#5. Bidsketch

Writing business proposals is a daunting task for many entrepreneurs. Bidsketch, a web-based proposal generator, is a nice tool that helps you create proposals in minutes. There are various templates such as ‘consulting estimate’ and ‘web design proposal’ etc. to choose from. Bidsketch also allows you to define your services and set your fees.
You can even customize sections and language with this tool. You can either use its preinstalled templates or create your own. For a single user, Bidsketch will cost $29 a month.

#6. FreshBooks

Forget print out and mailing invoices. FreshBooks is a great tool that supports a number of features including:

  • Create & send invoices
  • Capture expenses
  • Time tracking
  • Reporting such as expenses overview, sales reports, tax summaries, and so on

Using this tool you can easily identify clients who are slow to pay and you can accordingly follow up with them regarding the outstanding invoices. However, the transactions need to be manually imported. FreshBooks also offers a full-feature mobile app through which you can track your time, do full accounting and take a picture of your invoices.

The time tracking feature is available on both desktop and mobile. Once a task is accomplished attach it to the specific client for detailed time recordings to be included in the invoice. FreshBooks also offers an add-on for payroll, which is available at $19.95 per month with up to 25 clients.

Conclusion

It is important to keep up with latest technologies and innovations. It not only helps you streamline the business process but also cut expenses and save big bucks on various tasks. These tools also help you improve relationships with customers/clients and vendors alike by enhancing their ability to interact with your business.

That being said we are not asking you to jump on every new technology that comes out. But you should be at least aware of the tools and technologies that most businesses (especially your competitors) are adopting and see if you can also leverage upon them.

Images: Author’s Own

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loridwagoner

loridwagoner

Lori Wagoner is a market research consultant. She advises small businesses on new ways to find local and national business. You can catch her on Twitter @loridwagoner.

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