Starting a business

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing apps/services/programs for your new business. And you are going to need a few, if you want to run your business smoothly.

It’s easy to think that it’s clever to save a couple of bucks by doing things by hand, especially as you’re just starting out. It makes perfect sense, too. If you save 10 bucks a month by doing your accounting by hand instead of paying for the service, you’re gonna save 120 bucks a year. So you’re thinking that “Hey, do I want to waste 120 bucks? Of course not”. But time is money and if you take into consideration how much time those 120 bucks could have saved; time that could have been spent making MORE money, you’ll soon realize that it was a bad decision in the end.

First of all, compare invoicing software before you commit to one, if you’re going to use one. They can be very expensive. A good invoice template can be a quick fix to get started, but sooner or later, you better switch to software. Invoicers is the best online service to compare these solutions currently (Oh, and it is free). Using a third-party invoicing service is not only good in the sense that it will save you time. It’s also good in that it makes you (and your new business) look much more professional. While it’s not the biggest deal, by a long shot, it may still add a little flair of “we know what we’re doing”, and this is REALLY important in the early days.

Second, consider outsourcing your accounting/bookkeeping to a third party. Sure, you can find good software for this as well, and good invoicing apps make your bookkeeping that much easier. But stil – bokkeeping isn’t easy, and one small mistake can prove very costly in the long run. Trust me, I’ve fallen into this trap myself on more than one occasion.

What typically happens is, you make a tiny mistake, which in and of itself isn’t that bad or that big of a problem, but then you don’t notice it until a month or two later. And when that happens, it’s much more difficult to fix the error, as your fix will be at a later date (e.g. out of chronological order). If you’re lucky, your corrections will just be a few hours of extra work – which is bad enough – but if not, you may need to start over. Yep, you heard that right, you may need to redo your ENTIRE books for the whole period, which can take days.

In summary – get a good invoice template, or invoicing software. Then, outsource your bookkeeping. Do not try to do it yourself, unless you have a lot of spare time and a desire to learn how to do it properly. Bookkeeping can be simplified with apps and services, but it’s still hard to get it right.