• BEST INVOICE SOFTWARE FOR WINDOWS 10

Why Does Your Business Need an Inventory App?

Inventory control is one of those small business functions that a lot of entrepreneurs just don’t like doing. It’s time-consuming. It’s tedious. It eats into the precious minutes you could be devoting to other aspects of business growth. And yet, inventory control is utterly necessary. You can’t just not do it, any more than you can just not do, well, invoicing. But that doesn’t mean you have to handle inventory control all on your own. What we recommend is that small business owners invest in a productivity tool that will help them manage their inventory more effectively, more seamlessly—and more quickly! And certainly, there are a number of small business solutions that fit this description. Do a quick Google search for inventory software and you will find page after page of possibilities and recommendations. Or, you could simply try BizXpert, the small business solutions app that provides not just invoicing

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Productivity Software: Which Apps Should You Invest In?

There are plenty of apps out there to waste time or provide distraction—but remember that there are also plenty of apps to help entrepreneurs and freelancers be more effective, more efficient, and more productive. Even business owners who are generally hesitant about technology are wise to investigate the small business software that’s out there, especially those programs and tools that fall under the category of productivity. Indeed, within the category of productivity apps alone, there are many timesaving programs that we might recommend to small business owners. You can classify all of these apps into two subcategories. The first category is apps that are designed expressly for scheduling and time management functions. The second category encompasses those apps that perform certain daily tasks with greater expedience than would otherwise be possible—apps that help you be more productive by reducing the time it takes you to invoice, for example, or to

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Five Reasons to Use an Online Invoice Generator

Small business owners have to invoice; there’s no way out of it. How you invoice, though, is totally up to you. Consider, though, the value of the online invoice generator—a great, affordable tool that many small business owners neglect. Why should you use an online invoice generator? What are the benefits, and how does the online invoice generator stack up against invoice templates or invoice apps? We’ll explain everything—starting with five quick reasons to use an invoice generator. Reason #1: You can build a simple invoice. An online invoice generator is not a complex thing; it provides you with a bare-bones template that you can customize, then either print or send. There’s nothing flashy or ornate about it, and in many ways that’s the primary advantage of the online invoice generator. You see, a good invoice is always a simple one. Yes, you want to provide customers with all the

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Could Your Business Benefit from Free Inventory Software?

We always say that invoicing is a necessary evil. Small business owners don’t necessarily like doing it, and it can prove tedious and time-consuming. Certainly, nobody ever starts a business just so they can invoice. And yet, at the end of the day, it must be done. If you don’t invoice, you won’t get paid—plain and simple. We feel much the same way about inventory management—and perhaps you do, too. Nobody launches a company just so they can count and manage the inventory. Most small business owners find this task to be pretty laborious—and yet, proper inventory management is necessary, the ramifications of neglecting it pretty dire. The happy news is, you don’t have to handle inventory management all on your own. Inventory management tools abound, including some free inventory software, as well as some higher-end, paid software options. The question is, could your business really benefit from an inventory

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The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Inventory Management

Sound inventory management is essential for proper cash flow, and ultimately necessary for small business success—and yet, many business owners are haphazard in their approach to it, or unaware of the various inventory management apps and tools that are available to them. In this blog, we’ll quickly cover some of the basics of inventory management, including some software recommendations. What is Inventory Management? Let’s start simply by defining the term: When we talk about inventory management, what exactly are we talking about? Most fundamentally, inventory management is the process by which a business owner ensures that there is a sufficient quantity of products on hand—that is, that you never run out of the products your customers are asking for, or the supplies you need to build your own new products. On the flipside, inventory management also encompasses price maintenance; you don’t want to invest in so many products or supplies

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Three Ways to Use Your Free Invoice Templates

So you’ve downloaded your free invoice templates—from BizXpert or from somewhere else. You’re ready to start using those free invoice templates to improve your company’s invoicing process. There’s just one problem: You’re not quite sure how to use those templates most effectively. There are three basic ways to put invoice templates to use. One, you can study them, building your own understanding of invoice design. Two, you can use them as foundations for your own invoices, saving you time and making the invoice process smoother. And three, you can use them to help you transition from paper to e-mail invoicing. We’ll share some tips and reflections on all three of these approaches in the paragraphs that follow. Using Your Free Invoice Templates to Enhance Your Invoice Design Here’s what we recommend you do first: Just take a couple of minutes to study your invoice templates. Either pull them up on

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Five Reasons to Download Our Invoice App Today

Small business owners sometimes grow weary of apps, software, and computer programs; they know that these tools can be helpful, but fear they may be far more trouble than they’re worth. Take the invoice app, for example. Yes, an invoice app offers robust functionality, and can help business owners streamline their own invoicing process—but is it really worth the time and effort it will take to download the app and learn how to use it? We will be so bold as to say that yes, an invoice app is worth mastering—in particular the BizXpert app, which is not only free but has a very manageable learning curve. Watch the BizXpert demo video and you’ll be ready to start invoicing in no time flat! But why exactly is this invoice app worth your time? We’ll fill you in, one reason at a time. Reason #1: BizXpert allows for easy invoice management.

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Three Cheap Alternatives to Invoice Software

It’s foolish for small business owners to invoice from scratch, yet it can be just as foolish for them to pay top dollar for pricey and complicated invoice software. There must be some middle ground, entrepreneurs say—but finding it can be tough. According to BizXpert, though, there are in fact three helpful alternatives to from-scratch and software-based invoicing—affordable solutions that include invoice generators, invoice templates, and invoice apps. You may believe that there is no wrong way to invoice—but frankly, this just isn’t the case. For one thing, there are agreed-upon standards for invoice layout and design, and a failure to abide by them can result in delinquent payments or confused customers. Moreover, though there are many different ways to invoice, some of them are needlessly complicated and time-consuming—and there is simply no reason for small business owners to use these methods. Start at one extreme: Invoicing from scratch. Some

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Why Every Small Business Needs Simple Invoice Solutions

Your small business really has no choice but to invoice—well, to invoice or to simply not get paid! How you invoice, though, is up to you. You can choose to invoice from scratch, a process that can be tiresome, time-consuming, tedious, and needlessly complicated. Or, you could invest in some simple invoice solutions—not necessarily erasing the burden of invoicing, but lightening the load considerably. Those simple invoice solutions can come in many forms. You may decide that invoice templates are all you need—and that’s fine. You may decide to kick it up a notch with a free, online invoice generator. You may decide to go all the way, investing in an invoicing app. Note that BizXpert offers all three of these solutions, and all are free. What you are ultimately looking for, though, is a simple invoice solution—something that makes your entrepreneurial life a bit easier. You want something that

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Three Reasons Why Invoice Templates are Worth Your Time

Invoice templates take an instant to download and mere seconds to use, yet many small business owners still think they’re not worth the effort. In reality, though, invoice templates come with a number of distinct advantages—including their adaptability, their accessibility, and their seamless implementation of proper invoice layout. Who has time for invoice templates, anyway? The answer many entrepreneurs will give is, not me. We can’t say that we blame you. After all, the life of the small business owner is always hectic, and there is never a shortage of things to be done. Downloading, exploring, and implementing invoice templates might seem like just another thing to add to the to-do list—an unnecessary waste of time. But please, think about it from another perspective. Invoicing itself is not a waste of your time. In fact, it is an essential use of your time, a core business competency that no small

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Three Things You Can Learn from Invoice Samples

You’ve seen invoices before, and in fact you’ve probably been invoiced for goods and services fairly recently—but have you ever really paused to study your invoices, beyond the amount you owe? Spending some time perusing sample invoices can be a great way of mastering the art of invoice structure. And that’s very much an art worth mastering. Small business owners have to invoice in order to get paid, but the quality of your invoices will determine both the promptness of payment and also the satisfaction your customers feel in doing business with you. So by all means, download some invoice samples or invoice templates; we have some free ones right here at BizXpert, and a quick Google search will yield plenty more. In studying invoice samples, there are three basic things you can learn—proper invoice design, smart invoice layout, and true invoice simplicity. Aesthetics Matter: The Basics of Invoice Design

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Use a Free Invoice Generator for Quick-and-Clean Invoicing

For small business owners, there are many ways to invoice—including such high-tech options as software and apps, and comparatively simple tools like invoice templates. Given the array of options out there, though, where exactly does a free invoice generator come into play? Is this middle-ground tool a good option for entrepreneurs and freelancers, or is it mostly redundant and unnecessary? The answer largely depends on your own invoicing needs, and the specific invoicing problems faced by your small business. What we can say with certainty is this: You have to invoice, and there is really no reason why you should attempt to invoice without some sort of invoicing tool. From-scratch invoicing is time-consuming and tedious, so whether you pick the app, the templates, or the generator, make sure you’re invoicing with some kind of technological leg-up. 5 Advantages to a Free Invoice Generator But what, specifically, works in the favor

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Free Invoice Tools: What’s Best for Your Business?

Some business owners pay big bucks for the privilege of using enterprise-grade billing software—but with so many free invoice tools to choose from, what’s the point of spending all that money? Yes, we know, we know: An old saying tells us that you get what you pay for, and as such free invoice tools really shouldn’t be trusted over the paid stuff. And to an extent, there is some truth to that; if you pay a lot of money for an invoice software suite, you’re going to get an awful lot of features. The thing is, though, a lot of those features are frankly not going to be necessary; they’re bells and whistles that might make sense for massive companies but offer little impact for your small or mid-sized company. Meanwhile, most invoice software suites have tiered pricing, so to get the good features you’re really going to have to

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What to Look For on a Simple Invoice Template

Looking to step up your invoice game—to provide a more customer-friendly invoice experience while also ensuring that you get paid on time? The first step is to master invoice layout and design. And there’s no better place to start than with a simple invoice template. You can find a generic invoice template almost anywhere. In fact, we have some on offer here at BizXpert. This can be a much more efficient way to invoice than starting from scratch. Starting with a blank Word or Excel document provides you with no structure, no parameters for your invoice. A generic invoice template, meanwhile, can provide you with a kind of road map—a sense of what does and doesn’t need to be included on your invoice design. Why Invoice Design Matters This is actually an important issue, with real-world consequences for your business. A good invoice must include all pertinent information, or else

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Discovering the Best Free Invoice Software

Is it time for your small business to take the plunge and invest in some invoice software—perhaps even some free invoice software? Make no mistake about it: Even free invoice software can be something of an investment. It may not be an investment of actual dollars and cents, but it will surely be an investment of your time. Invoice software is often pretty intuitive, but even the simplest programs come with a learning curve. At the same time, this may well be an investment that yields huge dividends. Small business owners need to invoice—it is imperative for proper cash flow—and they are smart to find some invoicing tools to help them do the job better. Invoice templates and invoice generators can be helpful here, but often, free invoice software is advantageous where templates and generators fall short. Templates and Generators: The Good and the Bad To understand the importance of

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How Valuable are Invoice Templates?

Invoice templates represent just one category of the invoicing tools that are available to small business owners. Other options include invoice generators, invoice apps, and full invoice software systems. Of these options, invoice templates are the simplest and the least technical—which begs the question: What good are they? Is there any merit to using invoice templates over these other, more complex and sophisticated tools? When it comes to the invoicing process, entrepreneurs and freelancers face a number of questions. What invoice tools should be utilized, for example? Is it best to start with invoice templates, or start with invoice generators? Are invoice apps all you need, or is it worthwhile to take the plunge and make the investment on robust, enterprise-grade invoice software? For all of these questions, there is one point that is clear: Invoicing itself is non-negotiable. Business owners have to invoice if they wish to get paid.

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4 Reasons to Use an Invoice Generator

Wondering which invoicing tool will prove most helpful for your small business? Certainly, there are a lot of options to choose from, including the invoice generator, the invoice template, the invoice app, and invoice software. As a small business owner, you’re smart to think through the pros and cons of each category, and ultimately to play with different options to see what works best for your business. To be sure, you need to find some kind of an invoicing tool. You can’t just not invoice; to not invoice is to not get paid! But you also cannot afford to invoice totally manually. Frankly, this would be a staggering waste of your time! So we’re back to those basic invoicing tool options. Today, we will make note of one specific tool—the online invoice generator—and share four specific reasons why this tool might be the one for you! Encountering an Online Invoice

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What Can Invoice Apps Do for You?

There are a number of invoicing tools out there today, including not just BizXpert and related invoicing apps but also invoice templates, invoice generators, even invoice software suites. All of this begs the question: Of the available invoicing tools, which one should you use for your small business invoicing needs? The short answer is that it’s up to you. All of these tools have their own pros and cons, and some small business owners simply feel more comfortable with one over the others. If you are a techie and enjoy full software automation, software may be the way to go. If you are not tech-inclined at all and prefer the control of a more manual approach, invoice forms and invoice templates may make more sense. For most business owners, though, we feel like invoice apps will provide the best balance—the richest array of features, without high prices or steep learning

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Is Invoice Software the Best Solution for My Needs?

Small business owners need to send their customers invoices. There’s just no getting around it, tedious though the work may be. Without invoices, customers won’t know what their obligations are, which means your business won’t get paid. The bottom line: Poor or lazy invoicing will wreck your cash flow. You have to do it, then, but you don’t have to do it alone. There are plenty of tools out there to help you, including invoice apps, invoice generators, and invoice software. There are also invoice templates you can download if you’d like to take a more manual approach. Note that many of these resources are available from BizXpert, and all for free. What small business owners will want to know, however, is which of these options is the best fit? There’s not necessarily a single right answer here. It just depends on what you’re looking for in your invoice tool.

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Do You Have a Billing System in Place?

Small business owners, here’s an important question: Do you have a billing system in place for your company? It may be an actual billing system—a software application that you use to invoice your clients and keep track of payments as they come in. Or it may be something a little less formal than that—just some protocols you use to ensure prompt invoicing and thorough invoice management, perhaps aided by an invoice automation app. However you choose to do it, having a billing system in place is essential—and for several reasons. A Billing System Ensures Invoice Consistency Nobody likes to be surprised during the invoicing process—least of all your customer. If you do some work for your customer and tell them to expect an invoice within 48 hours, you need to send the invoice within 48 hours. If you do recurring work for a client and agree to invoice them on

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Set the Right Invoice Terms – And Get Paid on Time

Setting the right invoice terms is an essential part of the invoicing process; while entrepreneurs want to provide their customers with a high level of convenience and total ease of pay, they also need to set some boundaries if they wish to get paid on time and in full! But what should these boundaries look like—and how should business owners communicate invoice terms to their customers? The comparison between entrepreneurship and parenting is hardly unfamiliar, and indeed, there are many parallels between nurturing your actual baby and your “business baby.” The one we want to seize on today is simply this: With your kids, you want to be nice and sweet and warm for as much of the time as you can, but there comes a time when you simply have to lay down the law, enforce the rules, and keep everything in line. In much the same way, business

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Five Reasons to Download Invoice Templates

For small business owners, there are plenty of invoicing tools available, ranging from invoice templates to online invoice generators to invoice apps. All of them have their distinct advantages, and our recommendation is to play with each one, discovering the solution that’s best for your company. With that said, we want to take a few moments today to show you why invoice templates are worth your consideration—five reasons, in particular. Reason #1: It helps you master invoice layout. Invoicing is critical for all small businesses, but it’s important to remember that not all invoices are created equal. There are such things as effective and ineffective invoices, and the difference usually comes down to invoice layout. Your invoice design, when it’s done well, will facilitate a quick and convenient payment process, not just for you but also for the customer. This will ensure fewer late or delinquent payments, as well as

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The Merits of Using a Free Invoice Generator

There are many methods available for invoicing—including the use of invoice apps, invoice software, a free invoice generator, or free invoice templates. For small business owners, then, some deliberation is necessary: Which of these tools offers the soundest solutions for your invoicing needs? Invoicing: What Works and What Doesn’t While there are many viable invoicing options, there are a couple of non-viable options. One is not to invoice at all. Simply put, if you don’t invoice, your customers won’t pay you—and why should they? Invoicing is a critical part of the customer experience, and of maintaining proper cash flow. Something else we would strongly advise against is invoicing totally on your own, building your invoices from scratch—perhaps starting with blank Word or Excel documents. We recommend against this because—for one thing—it is wildly slow and inefficient. Additionally, it offers no guarantee that you are invoicing correctly. Some sort of invoice

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Do You Know How to Make an Invoice That’ll Get You Paid?

Small business owners, do you know how to make an invoice—one that will actually get you paid on time and without any fuss? All invoices are designed to do basically the same thing—that is, to alert your customers to their obligations toward you, and to convince them to settle up as promptly as possible. Not all invoices are equally effective, though. One invoice may lead to quick payments and minimal headaches; another invoice may cause confusion among customers and ultimately lead to tardy or slow payments. The difference is all the difference—and it all hinges on the concept of invoice design. Why Invoice Design Matters Invoice design may not sound like the world’s most exciting topic. And true enough: As an entrepreneur or a freelancer, you probably didn’t go into business just so that you could do invoice design. And yet, a well-designed invoice—one that is both simple and thorough—will

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Why You Should Stick to an Easy Invoice (Or: Don’t Overthink Things!)

It’s no secret that invoicing is important. Without sending invoices, you’re not going to get paid, which would have obviously disastrous effects for your business’ cash flow. When it comes to invoicing, then, it’s best not to mess around. But just because something is important, that doesn’t mean it has to be complicated. That’s certainly the case with invoicing. While you want to invoice strategically, to make sure your invoices have all the critical components in place, you also want to keep things simple. Overthinking it will slow your processes and potentially confuse your customers! Invoices should be complete, in other words, but also simple—and we’ll tell you why. On the Merits of Keeping Things Simple You know the old saying: Keep it simple, stupid. That’s pretty much the way we feel about the invoicing process. Remember that your invoice has a very basic function. The reason you invoice is

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The Benefits of Online Invoicing — for Your Company, for Your Clients

How well do you know the online invoicing benefits? Hopefully by now you’ve made the jump from hard copy/snail mail invoicing to the use of a trusty invoicing app, like BizXpert. But if not, then listen up: Invoicing online carries some significant and surprising benefits—both for you as a small business owner and for your customers. In fact, it is not unreasonable to say that online invoicing can boost your efficiency while also heightening customer loyalty—a true win-win (and how often do you run into those?). We’ll take you through some of the specific benefits to online invoicing in the paragraphs that follow. Online Invoicing: Benefit to the Company First, consider some of the ways in which online invoicing can benefit you, the small business owner. First, it ensures a consistent invoice process. When you automate your invoicing with an app like BizXpert, invoices don’t slip through the cracks. You

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6 Best Small Business Project Management Software – Boost Your Productivity

Why take the time to find the best small business project management software? Because a good software management program can revolutionize the way your team works. It can enhance collaboration and communication. It can boost your productivity. It can help your team members take a big project and break it down into more manageable pieces—allowing each team member’s individual gifts to shine through. The bottom line: Investing in a good project management system can take your team to the next level—but of course, you have to find the best program to meet your team’s needs, and that’s not necessarily easy. We have a quick guide, highlighting some of our favorite programs, and we’re going to present our options in two basic categories—the best overall programs, and then a few stripped-down/simplified versions, for companies that don’t quite need all the bells and whistles. Project Management Solutions for Small Businesses: Our Picks

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The Best Small Business Software, Paid & Free: What’s Essential, What’s Not

Small business owners increasingly turn to software-based solutions to automate and systematize their business competencies—but what are the best programs available for accounting, e- mailing, CRM, project management, and invoicing? Entrepreneurs need to rely on automation for the same reason they need to delegate: Because there are only so many hours in the day, and even the most proficient and energetic small business owner can’t do everything. To name but one example: Invoicing could potentially eat into hours of your time each day, but by automating and systematizing it, you can get your invoicing done in mere minutes—freeing an awful lot of time for you to focus on strategy, customer service, product development, and business growth. As more and more small business owners automate more and more of their competencies, small business software has become an increasingly crowded and versatile field. The question is, what are the best small business

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The Best Small Business Accounting Software: The Good, the Great, & the Free

Why do entrepreneurs care about finding the best small business accounting software? Frankly, because it’s the only viable option for ensuring a brisk, efficient, and accurate bookkeeping process. The alternatives are to study up on accounting and do it all yourself (which can be time-consuming to an extreme) or to outsource everything to a bookkeeping service (which can get awfully pricey awfully fast). Software represents a good middle ground. You still get to keep bookkeeping in-house and exert some control over it, but you also get to streamline and automate the process—ensuring you don’t eat into all the time you need for customer service, product development, and business growth. This leaves just one question: What are the best small business accounting software products? We’ll offer a rundown—including the best overall product, the best freebie, the best app, and more—in the paragraphs that follow. Small Business Accounting Tools: The Essentials for

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Why BizXpert is the Best Free Invoice Software (And Why You Need it Now)

When it comes to free invoice software, there are plenty of options on the market right now—including several options in the Windows Store alone. You won’t be surprised to hear that, in our view, BizXpert leads the pack—but wait. Hear us out. We’re not just hyping the product. We think we can convince you that, pound for pound and feature for feature, BizXpert packs a mightier wallop than anything else on the market today. Why is that? Because when you get right down to it, this is more than just an online invoicing tool. It offers robust invoice management features, to be sure—but also productivity tools, inventory management functions, and other small business solutions. In short: When you download BizXpert to your Windows Phone, it’s like you have the heart of your business, right there in the palm of your hand—and thanks to cloud syncing, you can just as easily

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Is it Time to Change Your Invoice Software? Here’s How You Can Tell.

There are three reasons why a business owner might wish to make a change in his or her invoice software: To save money; to take advantage of new Windows invoicing technology; or simply to provide better benefits to clients. How do you know when it’s time to change your invoice software? We’ll uncover some of the reasons in this blog. Hopefully we don’t have to tell you, by now, that you should be invoicing online—using a software program or an app to automate and systematize the process. While no small business owner can get out of invoicing—if you want to get paid, you have to invoice—there is much you can do to make the process a little bit more streamlined, a little bit faster, a little bit easier on yourself. However, some small business owners fall into a rut. They start using a particular invoice app, and—due to sheer inertia—never

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The Entrepreneur’s Guide: Best Small Business CRM 2015

Many entrepreneurs are looking for the best small business CRM for 2015—and not without reason. If you want to grow your business—and who doesn’t?—you have to manage your customer relations; you have to continue moving leads through the sales funnel, you have to keep your brand ever visible to those on your contact list, you have to build consumer loyalty at every step of the way. And to do any of that, you need a robust customer relationship management (CRM) program. But of course, that begs the question: Which CRM software suite is best for your small business? We’ve got a quick guide below—including our overall top recommendation, our pick for microbusinesses, our top freebie, and more. Get the Best CRM for Small Businesses: 2015 Edition We’ll offer our picks one category at a time. The Best Overall CRM Program for Small Businesses: Nimble The name Salesforce is practically synonymous

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How to Invoice Online: Three Ways to Streamline Your Billing

Should you invoice online—or is it better to send your invoices to clients the old-fashioned way? This continues to be a topic of some debate among small business owners, yet it is clear that the pendulum is swinging: More and more freelancers and entrepreneurs are choosing to invoice electronically, and the advantages of doing so are considerable. That’s not to say that sending paper invoices via snail mail is without some merit. It ensures that you have a hard copy of important transactional documents, and it also has a certain sense of prestige and professionalism—especially as snail mail becomes less and less common! But for most business owners, invoicing online is the best approach. It ensures a quick and easy invoicing process, and it provides you a way to get invoices to customers and clients promptly. Additionally, when you choose to invoice online, you will find three solid methods for

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Looking for a Free Invoice Generator?

It makes sense that small business owners might be seeking a good, free invoice generator. Invoicing is perhaps the ultimate example of the necessary evil, at least in entrepreneurial worlds. On the one hand, business owners cannot opt out of the invoicing process—not unless they also wish to opt out of making money! Then again, you may go your whole life without ever meeting a small business owner who truly enjoys the invoicing process. It’s got to be done, but nobody wants to do it. So why not make things as easy as possible, scouring the Web for a free invoice template or even an invoicing app? Certainly, this is the smart way to go: Automate the process as best as you can, getting it done but maybe not having to sink so much time into it. There remains but a single problem: How do small business owners know which

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Online Invoicing: The Pros and Cons

Increasingly, small business owners are doing their invoicing online, and not without reason: As with so many other areas of business operation, cloud-based tools have simply made it much easier to automate and to systematize. In short, online invoicing helps business owners fulfill this necessary business competency without it draining too much of their time—leaving them free to focus on other areas of business strategy and growth. But in adopting the perks and the benefits of online invoicing—whether with invoice software, an online invoice generator, or whatever else—have small business owners lost out on some of the advantages of paper invoicing? Does online invoicing come with drawbacks that more traditional models didn’t possess? It’s worth thinking about and reflecting on. Small business owners want to avail themselves of the latest and greatest technology, but they don’t want to adopt new methodologies just for the sake of it. Below, we’ll outline

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7 Simple Ways to Increase Customer Loyalty

How do you turn a one-time customer into a regular—and how do you see to it that your customers are eager and enthusiastic not just to do business with you again, but to encourage their friends to do likewise? Of course this is an age-old question, and there is a simple (which is not the same as easy) answer to it: Providing an excellent product, delivering friendly service, and staying in communication with your clients is the best way to ensure their repeat business. But is there anything else you can do to increase customer loyalty? Consider these strategies: Make your values public. Statistics show that customers are more loyal to companies with which they share some values—so whatever your corporate principles or standards of social responsibility may be, make them public. Share them on your company website. Use social media for community-building. Don’t just talk at your social media

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Invoicing App for Freelancers: Where to Begin

It is perhaps the most fundamental rule of business: If you want your enterprise to succeed, you need people to pay you money. This is as true for freelance gigs as it is for Fortune 500 brands. Whether you’re launching a project to write, design, consult, or whatever else, all freelancers need to take the proper steps to make sure they are paid. This effectively means that all freelancers need to invoice—but where to begin? Start by grabbing a free invoice app in the Windows Store. Of course we recommend BizXpert! From there, you will need to put just a little bit of time into creating your first invoice, which can serve as an invoice template for all future invoices. Creating the First Invoice But what should you include on this preliminary invoice? Some important invoicing components include: A professional header. Include your business name (or your own name), address,

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Use Free Invoice Software to Achieve Work-Life Balance

For the entrepreneur, your business can often feel like it’s your life—only, it really isn’t. More likely than not, you’ve got a family and friends who might like to see your face outside of the office every now and again. You may even have hobbies, and you certainly have your physical health to take into consideration. In other words, it’s important to achieve some semblance of work-life balance, a concept that has eluded many highly intelligent entrepreneurs for many years. At the end of the day, it comes down to drawing lines in the sand, forming healthy habits, and utilizing tools that make your work more efficient, and thus less demanding of your time. But how do you accomplish this? Some tips come to mind: Automate what you can. You’ve heard us say it before, but it’s still true and it’s still highly important: Small business owners and entrepreneurs can

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Invoicing Applications (And Other Proven Productivity Hacks)

Time is the most valuable resource we have; we can make more money and we can make more friends, but nobody gets more or less than 24 hours in their day. The daily mandate for small business owners is to make the most of these hours—maximizing their effectiveness by adding value to their company. This means making productivity a priority, and investing some thought into ways to become more adept at using your 24 hours constructively. As such, articles touting “productivity hacks” are plentiful, but which of these productivity workarounds are actually proven to be effective? There are a few that we will absolutely vouch for as relevant and beneficial to virtually all small business owners. Among them: Automate. Get apps and software to help handle as much of your burden as possible, especially simple, repeatable tasks such as bookkeeping and scheduling. Invoicing applications like BizXpert, for instance, can cut

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How Proper Invoicing Can Forge Long-Term Relationships

The invoicing process is obviously important. Without it, you don’t get paid for the work you do for your clients! But there are other, less obvious reasons why invoicing matters, including one that might surprise you: When you invoice properly, you can actually use the process to build strong, long-term customer relationships. It’s true. Consider this question: What turns a one-time customer into a repeat? Obviously, the quality of your product or service is the big thing, and the level of your customer service also matters. But the specifics of your invoicing process can also have an impact—tipping the scale toward increased (or diminished) customer loyalty. This begs the question: How can you use your invoicing process to make all your customer relationships ongoing? Tip #1: Invoice consistently. When it comes to the invoicing process, the last thing anyone wants is a surprise. People like to feel like the process

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How Successful People Stave Off Stress

For many leaders, freelancers, and entrepreneurs, stress is simply the price paid for success. The more you achieve, the higher the stakes become, the more balls you have to keep in the air, and the more stress begins to permeate every facet of your life. Stress, many believe, is inevitable, yet it can also have a nearly crippling effect on your energy and your productivity. Thus, working to stave off stress isn’t just a pipe dream: It’s a necessity. You’ve got to move past the belief that stress is inevitable, and instead consider the possibility that it’s something you can watch out for, fight against, and conquer. But how do really successful people tackle their stress? A few time management tips: Successful people prioritize. Stress often comes as a result of feeling overwhelmed, feeling like you’ve got a million things that all have to be done right now. The answer

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5 Business Skills Every Freelancer Should Master

You don’t have to graduate from business school to start a successful business, or to launch your own promising freelance enterprise. You do, however, need to know some of the basics of business. You need to master the fundamentals, to become comfortable with numbers, and to train yourself to think about your business’ health in the long term. What are some of the key business skills that every entrepreneur or freelancer should work on? Consider some of the following. Consider: Without sales, you don’t have a business. You may have a good idea for a business, but if you’re not selling then you’re not really investing in the growth of your enterprise. Ideally, entrepreneurs and freelancers come with some sales background; even working in sales for a month can be an invaluable “basic training” experience. Else, you’ll definitely want to read up on sales strategies and spend some time honing

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What are the Biggest Small Business Time Wasters?

As a small business owner, it’s vital that you make every second count. Your time is your most precious resource, and you need everything you spend it on to add value to your business. This is the underlying secret of all successful entrepreneurs and freelancers: They have learned to ensure that everything they spend their time on leads directly to growth, or at least potential growth, for the company. This does not mean every minute of every day must be spent behind the desk. On the contrary, smart business owners know that taking an hour to work out, or clocking out to spend time with family, leaves them refreshed, re-energized, and ready to tackle further challenges when they get back to the desk. What it does mean is that simple, repeatable tasks—things that can be done by anyone, not just the small business owner—are usually best farmed out to an

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Launch a Business (While Working Your Day Job)

A business has to start somewhere, and for most of us, the entrepreneurial dream starts while we’re still gainfully employed at a 9-5 job. Launching a new company while working a day job can be difficult, not least because your heart isn’t going to be in your employee life. Your true passion is going to be with your entrepreneurial dream. It’s something of a balancing act: You want to invest yourself in the development of your new business while also taking advantage of the fact that you’re still employed—and even if your heart isn’t in it, you don’t want to phone in your 9-5 performance. How can aspiring entrepreneurs launch a business while maintaining their employee status? Here are a few tips. Keep your day job for as long as you can. Your day job gives you a safety net. It gives you resources to keep your family in good

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How Successful Entrepreneurs Manage Their Schedules

Success often comes down to forming smart habits. For example: One thing that all successful people have in common is that they value their own time. They recognize it as the most precious resource they have, and as such they insist on devoting all of it to things that create value—rather than wasting time on things that entrepreneurs really don’t need to be doing. Part of this comes down to scheduling. How do you manage the timeslots available to you in your datebook or on your Google Calendar? That’s something that all successful business owners have to think about. Smart scheduling is fundamental to success—and while your scheduling policies may be different from the next entrepreneur’s, there are a few basic considerations that everyone should weigh. Routine is good. One of the great things about owning your own business is that you get to decide how you spend your time,

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6 Time Management Tips for Small Business Owners

It’s a question that all entrepreneurs and freelancers ask—sometimes daily: How can I make better use of the time I have? All of us have 24 hours in the day, but some of us are much more adept at productivity and efficiency than others. For entrepreneurs, whose time is their greatest resource and who can’t afford to linger on any task that doesn’t create value, perfect time management strategies are an essential, if elusive, goal. No small business owner ever completely masters productivity; we are all distractible, all prone to investing too much of ourselves into tasks that don’t quite warrant it. Nevertheless, there are always steps that can be taken to do a little better with the time we have. Gauge the way you spend your time. Get a schedule or a logbook of some kind, carry it around with you for a week, and keep thorough notes of

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How Freelancers Can Invoice Like the Professionals

Starting your own business comes with many challenges, which might seem exciting and daunting in equal measure. Toward the top of the list: Maintaining a sense of professionalism. This is especially difficult for those who operate as freelancers. Though you may be working all on your own, out of your home office or your basement, you need to convey to your customers that you’re the real deal. You need to make it clear that you’re not an amateur. This is true even of the invoicing process. Customers expect to be billed for their work with a clean, professional-looking invoicing. Failing to invoice on time and with a certain level of decorum can cause your customers to either lose confidence in you, or feel as though they can take advantage of you. Prevent this by making the necessary efforts to make your invoice design seem truly professional. Here are our tips for doing

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5 Financial Habits Every Entrepreneur Should Form

Some say that success is all about forming the right habits; getting into daily, weekly, and monthly routines that facilitate smart, sustained growth. Taking a lackadaisical or haphazard approach to each day’s challenges is a recipe for disaster; falling back on tried-and-true habits, though, can provide a bedrock for success. Certainly this is true from a financial standpoint. By forming the right financial habits, small business owners can minimize waste, find new savings opportunities, and in short ensure a company that’s ever poised for continued growth. But what are these financial habits for entrepreneurs to form? We’ll offer five of them. Keep records of everything. Good entrepreneurs document everything. They keep track of every purchase they make for the business, every expense they encounter, every penny they have to spend. This is a necessity for getting the best tax write-offs, but it can also provide some useful records to reflect

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Collect More Delinquent Accounts

It’s a simple fact of owning a small business: Sooner or later, you’re going to have someone who just doesn’t want to pay you. The reason is irrelevant. What matters is that you recognize the reality of delinquent accounts, and also the reality that there is much you can do to collect these overdue payments in-house. That’s not to say that you’ll never need to enlist the services of a collections agency; one day, that might become necessary. However, it is clearly a last resort, and before you get to it, you might try the following: Determine whether you have a credit policy, and what it is. Are you willing to issue credit to those clients who simply cannot pay you immediately? Or for that matter, to offer payment installation plans? If so, that can be one way to minimize delinquents and make sure your payments roll in, slowly but

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Don’t Make These Common Small Business Accounting Errors

Bookkeeping. It can be tedious. It can be, for many small business owners, rather challenging. But it also happens to be critically important—one of the most important functions in the life of any small business. What makes this work hard is that it is essentially a matter of repetition: You need to work to ensure that you are being precise and accurate even with tasks that you do repeatedly, such as logging invoices. Consistency is key, and human error is the enemy. There are several particular errors to watch out for, and to seek to avoid. No one is ever going to be perfect in their accounting practices, but being aware of these specific problems, and doing your best to avoid them, can go a long way toward ensuring proficient accounting practices in your small business. Not saving receipts. It is remarkable how many small business owners fail to save

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Why Business Owners Should Stop Ignoring the Benefits of Online Invoicing

Change is the one thing that remains constant in the world of business—and this idea certainly applies to the area of cloud-based online invoicing methods. While this is an emerging process that is currently underutilized, there is no denying that attitudes toward invoicing and billing applications are certainly changing. Currently, there are over 170 billion invoices generated within the business world on a yearly basis. Of this number only 26 billion were actually sent to clients via electronic means in 2014. Obviously, the possibility of a large transition occurring in this space appears sluggish at best. However, the BizXpert team believes that if more business owners were aware of the great number of benefits they could be receiving if they switched to cloud-based invoicing software, the number of users would soon increase. The Benefits of Online Invoicing There are a variety of reasons online invoicing is good for business and the first one

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Invoicing Best Practices: 4 Strategies to Ensure Customer Payment

You are in business to make money—and unfortunately there can be times when your services have been delivered to a customer, and you are faced with playing the “waiting game” over when your invoice is actually going to be paid. Nothing threatens the existence of a business more that slow-to-pay customers. However, if you are a business owner who needs ongoing cash flow (and who isn’t?), it is possible to employ some easy-to-implement best practices in order to move your outstanding invoices to the top of the “to be paid” pile. Follow these four strategies and see your accounts receivable process become more efficient. Double check your invoices for accuracy. It’s true that there are very few business owners who are probably creating an invoice by hand anymore. However, don’t believe that your software or invoicing platform is all knowing either. Make sure items such as sales tax and delivery charges are

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Invoice Payment Terms: 5 Top Tips

As a small business owner, you are well aware that your company’s success depends on receiving prompt payments from your clients. As such, the BizXpert team is always looking to help professionals like yourself get better at what you do, while also minimizing your headaches. We polled active users of the BizXpert Invoicing App, and are pleased to showcase some of the feedback and advice they provided as it relates to running an effective invoicing process. Communication is Key One of the most prominent feedback items we received was that of ensuring communication lines with a client are always open. “It’s one thing to send out a reminder email,” says Bryan S., “but it’s another to pick up the phone and call. Hearing a person’s voice and having a conversation about a past-due invoice is always going to be more persuasive.” Keep Payment Terms Short If you are serious about

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What are the Biggest Hindrances to Effective Invoicing?

Invoicing is one of those business competencies that seems simple and intuitive at first—until you actually start to do it. Many aspiring entrepreneurs hardly give it a thought, perhaps making it one of their lowest priorities when launching the business. When it actually comes time to provide clients with their bill, however, and to manage your invoices and other payment records, you begin to realize how challenging the work can be. The issue is not one of complexity. For most small business owners and freelancers, it’s easy enough to find your way around simple invoices, to get your bearings and wrap your head around the fundamentals. The challenges tend to lie in the level of time and commitment required to invoice efficiently—requirements that all but mandate the implementation of a seamless invoicing system. (But more on that later.) Common Issues Associated with Invoicing Specifically, some of the biggest invoicing problems

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Simple Ways to Get Your Invoices Paid

For small business owners, there are few things more aggravating than unpaid and overdue invoices. You’ve performed a service or distributed a product, and expect to be compensated for it; you’ve dutifully provided your customer with an invoice, yet payment is nowhere to be found. What can you, as a business owner, do to ensure that your invoices are paid in a timely fashion? To be perfectly candid, the best first step is to acknowledge that you really can’t guarantee that your invoices all get paid in a timely manner. There are, however, a few strategies to encourage your customers to do the right thing—and to do it as promptly as possible. You can add overdue fees to your invoices. An invoice that isn’t paid within 30 days’ time will have a $15 overdue charge added to it, for instance—with another $15 added the following month. So long as you

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