5 Best Ways to Get Paid Online

The Internet is truly a wondrous invention. If three decades ago, you’d told people you could earn money virtually, via a computer, they would have looked at you as if you’d lost your mind. Yet here we are, with more and more of us now receiving online payments than ever before.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a freelancer or a business owner, there’s a good chance that you receive payment, at least in part, online. But exactly what are the best ways to get paid online? Well, in truth, there is no right or wrong way, as different people prefer different methods.

For example, nowadays, some people earn their money and are paid in digital currency, such as in BitCoin form. Others, however, prefer a good old fashioned, tried and tested bank transfer. Some of you out there reading this, may not actually care how you are paid, providing you receive your money, but you should.

Here’s a look at several of the most popular and most efficient ways to get paid online, so take a look and see what you think.

Credit cards and debit cards – First and foremost, we’ll begin by looking at credit and debit card payments. If you’re a larger business, as well as making use of the various forms of accounting software currently available, you may also wish to enable your clients to pay you via credit card or debit card.

Now, if you do decide that this feature is for your business, you will need to decide whether you wish to use an intermediary holding account, or your very own dedicated merchant account. Whichever one you choose, will be based on a variety of different things, so do your research.

Ideally, you want one which will accept all major credit cards, including Visa, American Express, and MasterCard. If you go with credit and debit card payments, there is the bonus of the fact that payments can often be made right away, plus, as virtually every single person you deal with will own one card or the other, there will be no excuses for not receiving a payment.

Click-to-pay email invoice – Accounting software is now becoming more advanced than ever, and when it comes to invoicing your clients, you will instantly understand why that is. Nowadays we have what is known as click-to-pay email invoicing, which is where your client will be sent and invoice, and will then be able to pay you with a few simple clicks.

This is ideal for you and them because they can pay in seconds, you can receive payment in seconds, and they can instantly receive a receipt in the process. This payment method helps streamline your entire operation, plus it helps with security, it saves time, and it is better for the environment as it is paperless.

PayPal – You’ve heard of PayPal, right? Of course you have, everybody in the world pretty much knows about PayPal, and of course, PayPal is certainly a very viable method for receiving payment. With PayPal, funds can be taken from your account to make payment.

This could be a PayPal account, or the account itself can be linked to your bank account so it will automatically remove the funds for you. You then send the money to the recipient of your choice, often via their email address, and they then simply accept the payment and hold it in their account.

PayPal is simple, it is quick, and it is dominant, as pretty much everybody in the business world will own a PayPal account. PayPal is simple but there are processing fees as PayPal obviously have to take their cut, so you do not receive the total amount you have invoiced for, as you obviously have to pay your PayPal fees. With that being said, their charges are very reasonable, and using it does make life that little bit easier.

Stripe – When it comes down to the battle of the online payment gateway giants, it is often Stripe VS PayPal that people tend to focus on. Just as we have Apple VS Samsung we also have Stripe VS PayPal.

The thing that tends to make stripe more appealing than PayPal for some people, is the fact that Stripe charge 2.9% + 30cents for every successful charge. This is the same rate as PayPal, except for the fact that PayPal sometimes decides to throw in additional fees.

For example, with PayPal, if you charge cards from your website, you pay $30 per month, whereas with Stripe it is free. For recurring billing, with Stripe it is free, whereas with PayPal you pay another $10 per month. There are also many other small charges with PayPal, which, although small, do quickly build up. For these reasons, if you are a fairly small business, Stripe could be the better option for you.

Bank wire transfer – You can talk about advanced accounting software all you like, but sometimes, a simple bank wire transfer is all that is needed. With this, you simply provide your clients with your account sort code and bank account code, and they then simply send money from their account, over to yours.

Whilst this is considered very simple and straightforward, the biggest concern with this is the fact that people are in possession of your account number and sort code. Whilst this alone is nowhere near enough to be deemed dangerous in terms of being hacked etc, if they were also able to gain access to your bank card or pin for whatever reasons, they would theoretically have access to your entire account. As you’re probably aware, however, the chances of this ever happening to you are incredible, incredibly slim so truthfully, there is very little to worry about at all.

Now put these tips into practice and get paid faster with SlickPie!

 

 

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Why Automated Receipt Data Entry Works

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a new small business owner, the owner of a huge corporation, or a freelancer looking to expand your reach and grow your client list, if there is one thing we can all agree on, it’s the fact that you simply must ensure you have your finances in order.

All businesses, no matter how big or small, will have numerous aspects of their finances to consider, and when it comes to your finances, you simply cannot afford to cut corners or take any risks. Pretty much every business out there will be familiar with accounts payable and why it’s such a pain in the backside getting your receipts and finances in order.

This, however, is why accounting software and automated receipt data entry tools are so popular. Sending out invoices, chasing up discrepancies and missed payments, and general inefficiencies regarding your billing processes can make life much, much tougher than it needs to be.

This is where it pays to automate your accounts payable processes. In the world that is becoming increasingly reliant on modern technology, it pays to stay with the times rather than being stuck in the past. With that said, if you haven’t yet embraced automated receipt data entry, here are a few benefits associated with automated payable processes.

Paperless – If you have not yet gone paperless, you will only be able to fight natural progression for so long, before you eventually forced to do so in one way or another. Switching to paperless, however, is not a challenge, it is actually a reward as there are numerous benefits to enjoy.

Not only are you helping the environment, but you are also helping your business in general. You see, by getting rid of paper, you make info available right away. Take receipts for example, with paper receipts, if your clients require one from you, you will have to send them out, which takes time, effort, and money.

With automated receipt data entry, however, the receipt is digital, so it can be sent to them virtually and can be viewed instantly. This will cut back on manual labor, you will save money in the form of less paper being used, fewer postage costs, less electricity being used on printing, and less printer ink constantly being used. Ultimately, you get all of the rewards, with none of the drawbacks.

Keep your finances in order – Another very useful benefit associated with automated receipt data entry is the fact that it will allow you to keep your finances in order. Whether you make use of accounting software yourself, or if you pay an expert to handle your books for you, with everything being automated and digital, keeping things more efficient and better organized is easier than ever before.

Everything will be available to you with just a few clicks of a mouse so you will save time, and you can keep everything neat and tidy. If for example, you are being audited, rather than having to dig through mountains upon mountains of receipts for the tax man, you can simply hop onto your computer or smart device, and find whatever it is you need to find, all in a matter of seconds.

Less room for error – Let’s face it, we’re all human and we all make mistakes, that is what sets us apart from machines. However, in business, human error can cost money, and can potentially be catastrophic.

When it comes to your invoices for example, if you’re going with a paper-invoicing approach, these invoices must be filed by hand and entered into various types of the accounting system. If for example, this piece of paper was lost or even stolen, it will take time, money, and effort to put things right. In business, time is money, so it pays to have everything as streamlined and as efficient as possible.

With accounting software, automated accounts payable processes run smoother than ever, as it cuts back on the risks associated with human error. By going with an automated process, often you can set up the system so that, each month, without fail, it will automatically send an invoice to a client for you, for a pre-determined amount of money.

Basically, the software takes care of all of the hard work for you, so you don’t have to. This cuts down the risk of a lost invoice, duplicate invoices, incorrect invoices, or anything else associated with paper-based systems.

Improved staff efficiency – In most businesses, you will find that a lot of the time, staff members have to spend a significantly long amount of time answering telephone calls, emails, and queries in general, regarding misplaced invoices, duplicate invoices, or incorrect invoices. With automated accounting software, however, as there is a much, much smaller risk of a discrepancy, this frees up your staff members and allows them more time to focus on other aspects of your business which were perhaps deemed to be more important.

Speed things up – As mentioned, in business, time is money, so every second count. You need to receive payment for jobs well done, and if you don’t, your business may suffer. You have bills to pay like everybody else, and if your clients pay you late, or fail to pay you the correct amount, because a paper-based invoice was lost in the post, or was unreadable for whatever reasons, you then have the foot the bill some other way.

Put simply, you need paying on time to ensure you pay your bills on time, which is why automated accounting software is so useful. You see, rather than having to print out the invoices, seal them in an envelope, and take them down to be posted, you can simply set them up in advance to be sent out whenever you like.

If you invoice the same company, on the same date, for the same amount, you actually won’t need to lift a finger once you’ve set the software up to do just that. The quicker your invoices and receipts are sent out and received, obviously the better this becomes for your company.

Put these tips into practice and improve your business today!

 

 

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How to Improve Your Business Finances

When you’re in charge of running your own business, it doesn’t matter how big or small you consider the business to be, you and you solely will be responsible for every single aspect of running the business in question.

This ranges from everything from making sure you have enough paper in the office, to balancing your books and submitting your tax return each financial year. When it comes to running a business, more commonly than not, the thing that most freelancers and business owners seem to struggle with the most, is the accounting and the financial side of things, and you can see why.

You are a business owner, and you specialize in whatever it is that your business model is based around. You are not, however, an accountant or professional bookkeeper, yet in the eyes of the taxman, that is irrelevant.

Failing to have your business finances in order can make life much harder than it needs to be, plus it could cost you and your business money in the process. To help you get a handle on things, here’s a look at a few simple and effective ways of improving your business finances.

Draw up a budget – When it comes to managing the finances of your business, one of the most important things you need to know, is exactly how much you have going out each month, and what you have coming in.

Now, for freelancers, this can be tricky because like all self-employed entrepreneurs, no two financial months will be exactly the same. Some months you will make a lot, and some will be slightly quieter than others. It’s the nature of the beast, unfortunately, so obviously you won’t know exactly how much you have coming in.

When you obtain regular clients, however, and when you’ve been trading for a long time, you will, of course, get a pretty accurate idea of how much you have coming in each month. This is where it pays to draw up a budget because you can then plan accordingly for incomings and outgoings.

Every single incoming and outgoing should be accounted for, no matter how insignificant you may think it to be. This is important because seeing exactly where your money is going will give you a clearer idea of what you could potentially do to cut back on your expenses.

Fast-track the invoicing process – For businesses of any size, it’s important that you have a handle on your invoicing process because it is this process which basically ensures you get paid by your clients.

If you’re constantly having to create custom invoices, and make changes and alterations here, there, and everywhere, obviously this will slow down the invoicing process and make it tougher for you to get paid. For this reason, accounting software could prove very useful.

These forms of software are designed to help improve all aspects of your business accounts, including the invoicing process. For example, if you have regular clients whom you have to invoice at a certain date each month, the accounting software in question can be programmed to automatically send out invoices to the clients in question, whenever you like.

Basically, you program it in advance to invoice for you, so you don’t need to worry when the time does come to invoice, as it will already have been sent out for you.

Ensure clients pay on time – As a freelancer/business owner, it is down to you to chase up payment. Some clients out there will be sporadic with payment and may simply pay as and when they decide to check their emails and notice that they’ve received an invoice from you.

This, however, is far from ideal for you because not knowing when you are going to get paid will make it much harder to budget and plan your incomings and outgoings. So then, it is down to you to set your terms and ensure clients pay you on time.

Before agreeing to take on any work for the client in question, make sure they are serious about paying you on time at a predetermined date, providing you have completed the work of course. You could impose penalty charges for late payments, which obviously will be an incentive for the client to pay on time.

If they don’t, your job is to chase up the payment and find out what is happening. Now, you needn’t send the boys around with baseball bats, nor should you lose your temper or get confrontational, but as it is your money you are owed, it is down to you to ensure clients pay in full, on time.

If you do a good job and show that you are willing to accommodate them wherever possible, they will be more than happy to pay you on time anyways, because it will be in their interests to keep you happy, as they will be impressed with the work/products you have provided.

Speak to an expert – If numbers are not your strong point, don’t try cutting corners in order to save yourself the odd bit of loose change here and there. Instead, speak to a professional accountant/bookkeeper and consider hiring them to keep your finances in order instead.

These experts work will make use of the latest accounting software, they will have years of experience, and they will be highly skilled with what they do. Obviously you have to pay them in exchange for their services, and their knowledge and advice, but in the long run, doing so will save you a great deal of time, effort, and money, plus it will provide a great deal of peace of mind as you won’t need to worry about getting your taxes in on time, or submitting the wrong ones.

Only borrow what you need – Finally, the last thing you need to remember is to only borrow what you need. A lot of freelancers and small businesses will be tempted to borrow more money than what they need, though, in reality, this is not beneficial in the slightest. All money you borrow will have to be paid back eventually, and the more you borrow, the longer it will take to pay off your debts, plus the more interest you will pay.

 

 

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Useful Tips for Invoicing Your Clients

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a freelancer, a small business owner, or a large business owner, one thing we can all agree on is the fact that one of the most rewarding aspects of starting your own business, is receiving payment.

When you work for somebody else, you don’t really need to worry about getting paid, unless they happen to mess your wages up of course. More often than not, however, you either sign in and out and get paid for the hours you have worked, or you’re on salary and you will receive the same amount each month.

As a freelancer/business owner, however, your payments will be a great deal more sporadic. Rather than getting paid on, say, the last Friday of the month, each month, you get paid basically whenever your clients pay you.

Most customers are perfectly reliable and will pay you when requested, with no trouble whatsoever. Others, however, can be a little more unreliable and frustrating, which is where it pays to know how to invoice a client. If invoicing is not your strong suite, worry not, because below we’ll be outlining a few tips on how freelancers can invoice their clients efficiently and professionally.

Set up your own terms and policies – As a freelancer, the good thing is that you are your own boss, so you call the shots. You get to decide how much to charge your clients, you select the currency and payment method, and much more besides.

When invoicing, it is important to make these terms and policies clear to your clients. For example, if you are worried about clients withholding payment (more on that shortly) you could perhaps invoice half the payment up front, and the other half upon completion of the job you have been hired to do.

You could impose penalties for late or incorrect payments, and you can request payment within 7 days of completion of the task at hand. It is, however, very important that you make sure the client is made aware of these terms, and that they agree to them before you go any further. Sending late payment reminders is also one of the best ways to increase payment rate.

Stand your ground – Remember, as a freelancer, you are your own boss, so it is down to you to ensure you get paid, the full amount, on time. Some freelance clients try to dictate the market and will try to bully you into lowering your prices or threatening not to pay you whatsoever.

In these instances, it pays to stand your ground and to stand firm. Obviously, you should never become confrontational, but you must let them know that you call the shots. They need your services, which is why they have contacted you in the first place, and if they try bullying tactics, make sure you let them know that you will seek legal advice if they persist in withholding payment after you’ve completed the work. Make sure you hold onto as much documentation as you can, including email exchanges, just in case you do need to seek legal advice.

Invest in accounting software – If you have yet to invest in professional accounting software, make this your next business purchase. No, really, we mean it. Online billing and accounting software is designed to help you create professional invoices which look the part, and are also very easy to understand and monitor.

What’s more, many of these pieces of software can be setup so that they invoice automatically. This means that, if you have a client whom you invoice on the 1st of the month, every month, you can set up the software to automatically invoice them for you, on that particular day. This accounting software is also very useful because it will allow you to monitor which clients have paid, who hasn’t, and how much you received.

Organize, organize, organize – It doesn’t matter how busy you are, when it comes to invoicing, you simply must ensure that you are as well organized as you can possibly be. You must make a list of all clients you are working with, make note of whether they are regular clients or not, provide a brief job description, and of course, make note of how much they owe you.

With PayPal for example, when you create an invoice for the same client, it will automatically designate a number for that invoice, which will increase each time, starting of course, with 1. You simply cannot afford to leave anything to chance when invoicing a client as you need to know how much you are receiving, plus you will need your records when the time comes to do your taxes, or perhaps, for when you are audited.

Be polite in the event of late payments – Sometimes, no matter how great your clients may be in terms of paying on time, there will almost certainly be times where payments are received late. Now, when you’re snowed under with work, with bills to pay, and late payments to chase up, of course, you will get annoyed.

There will be a big part of you that wants to pick up the phone, or jump on your email, and give them a piece of your mind for wasting your time. However, in business, it never pays to lose your composure, so try to remain calm.

Though you may be tempted to lay into them via email, instead, send them a polite reminder that payment is late, and could they pay as soon as possible? By doing this you are letting them know that you aren’t happy, without upsetting them and potentially ruining an otherwise stellar business relationship.

Never undercharge or overcharge – Virtually all businesses are extremely competitive these days, so of course you should make your prices competitive, but you should never undercharge. Look at your competitors, look at the quality of your services/products etc, and make sure you charge accordingly.Before you get carried away, you also need to be aware that overcharging is the easiest way of losing a client you could ever wish for, so price fairly, not greedily.

Start invoicing today and get paid faster with SlickPie!

 

 

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Accounting 101 for Freelancers

Making the decision to go freelance will be one of the most empowering and exciting decisions of your entire life, but it is not without its obstacles. When you make the decision to go freelance, that’s it, it is just you, by your lonesome.

This means that you are essentially your very own business owner, so you have to ensure you have the skills, knowledge, and dedication required to run and manage your business.If you aren’t working, you aren’t earning, and there is no sick pay, no holiday pay, and no days in lieu for public holidays.

You set the hours you work, you take on the jobs you want to take on, and it is down to you to ensure you do the best job possible and that you meet your targets and objectives. One aspect of freelancing that is not all that appealing to many people is the accounting side of things.

You have to manage your ingoings and outgoings, you have to keep track on what you’ve learned and what you’ve spent, you have to chase up invoices, you have to balance your books, and you have to do your accounts every financial year.

Whilst testing, especially as you begin to expand and take on much more work, there are things you can do to help keep your books in order. Here are a few handy tips for freelancers looking to manage their accounts.

Keep track of all of your expenses as you go

You would think that this would be the most obvious tip of all, but you would be amazed by just how many freelancers fail to keep on top of their expenses. In order to make it much easier to submit your books at the end of the financial year, make sure you keep track of all of your expenses as you go.

This basically means that you can keep your personal spending separate from your business spending, so you know exactly how much is being put into your business. A lot of freelancers fail to do this and simply try to estimate roughly what their expenses for that fiscal year were.

The easiest way to keep tabs on things is to open up a checking account which is separate from your other accounts, which you then utilize for every business transaction that you make. In terms of keeping things simple to understand, this is an incredibly effective strategy.

Always document your receipts

How many times have you gone to the store for small, yet essential items for your business, only to throw the receipt in the trash afterward because the amount you spend was so small? All of your receipts which are being spent on your business should be kept in a tidy and organized manner, at all times!

Keeping receipts will not only help you to offset your taxes against your expenses, but they also come in very handy if you happen to be audited. They are also useful if you simply can’t remember how much you spent on something. Whilst it is best to keep physical evidence, I.E paper receipts, there are now also mobile apps which you can use, but we’ll cover those in more detail shortly.

Never fall behind

When you do your books, no matter how busy you are, or how in control you may think you are, you should never, ever fall behind. Your books should be updated on a weekly basis, though some freelancers actually update them several times per week.

Exactly how you keep tabs on your accounts is up to you, but just make sure you get into a routine where your books are being updated at least once per week. It may seem like unnecessary work at first, but once you get the hang of things, it will come as second nature to you, and it will save you a great deal of time and money in the long run.

Make use of accounting software

The business world is changing and evolving at a very rapid rate, and modern technology is at the forefront of many of these changes and advancements. As a freelancer, you shouldn’t fear technology, but rather, you should embrace it instead.

For example, there are numerous forms of accounting software out there for you to take advantage of, with each one being designed to serve a very real purpose. As mentioned previously, there are apps out there for tracking receipts where users simply take a photo of their receipt and then log the image securely, so that the paper can then be recycled.

There is accounting software that includes databases, software that includes spreadsheets, software for managing clients and invoices, and much more besides. If you wish to manage your accounts and keep your books in order, make sure you make use of tried and tested accounting software.

Ensure your clients pay you on time

Another tricky aspect associated with freelancing is the fact that it is down to you to chase up payment from your clients. Most clients will pay you on time, every time, without any issues at all. Occasionally, however, you get the odd one or two troublesome clients who simply cannot seem to pay you on time.

This can be bad news for people trying to manage their accounts because it can make managing and tracking your earnings each week/month, tougher than it needs to be. However, when trying to get your accounts in order, you need to be firm when it comes to your clients and late payments.

How you ensure your clients pay you on time is up to you, though obviously, you must always be respectful and professional, no matter how frustrated you may be. Once you are receiving regular payments when you are supposed to be receiving them, keeping your projected earnings, your income, and your general cash flow in order, will be easier than ever.

Now that you know these precious tips you can start improving your finances today!

 

 

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Top 5 Accounting Tips for Small Businesses

Running your own business is no small feat, even if you class yourself as a relatively small start-up. Running a business takes time, it takes effort, it costs money, and it takes a whole heap of commitment in the process.

No matter which services and/or products you provide, you will always have competition in some form or another, which is why you simply cannot afford to cut corners, no matter what. Take bookkeeping and accounting for example.

A lot of small businesses tend to overlook the importance of keeping their financial affairs in order, and consequently, they end up paying the price further down the line. The good news is that thanks to accounting software, as well as accounting experts, a solution for your accounting woes is never far away.

If you thought that accounting was simply a matter of keeping invoices, receipts, and proof of earnings, in an old drawer or filing cabinet, you are very sadly mistaken. To help you get a handle on your accounts we’ve compiled this list looking at 5 of the top accounting tips for small businesses, ranging from everything from accounting software, to simply opting to go paperless. So take a look at the following, and see what you can do to help keep your accounts in order.

Separate your finances – In the small business world, one of the most common mistakes that professional accountants come across on a regular basis, is when business owners fail to keep their personal and professional finances separate.

These business owners basically use the same bank account for personal use, and business use, and needless to say, things quickly get very confusing. When you use just the one account, this makes it so, so much harder to separate business expenses from personal expenses. Potentially this means that you could miss out on claiming back expenses which were tax deductible.

Not only that, but when you take money from the same account as your business, you are basically taking money from your business, and who knows when you might need it again? To make life easier, make sure you have at least two bank accounts – one for personal use, and one for your business.

Switch to paperless – By going paperless, not only are you helping the environment, you are also helping your business, and subsequently, yourself in the process. You see, many small businesses often print out receipts and invoices, and mail them to clients, which is not cheap.

Not only are you paying for paper, stamps, printer ink, and postage, you are also wasting time in the process. When you embrace modern technology by going paperless, you will quickly find that it is not scary, and in actual fact, it is much easier for you and your company as a whole.

And not just that but by keeping records online, you can easily refer back to a certain date and time if you are unsure about something. Keeping records on paper is risky because paper gets lost easier, plus it could end up in the trash by accident. With online bookkeeping, however, this isn’t a concern, providing, of course, you perform regular backups.

Embrace modern technology – Expanding on what we’ve just spoken about in regards to modern technology, if you embrace it, rather than fear it, your business as a whole will benefit hugely. You see, by using technology, such as accounting software, you have specialist software which is designed primarily to help businesses keep their books and accounts in order.

Then of course, there is cloud technology which ensures that you can backup your data, keeps it safe, and access it from virtually anywhere, on any device. You can also actually save money on backups and servers, which is certainly not something to be sniffed at.

By using accounting software, and modern technology in general, keeping your accounts and finances in order is easier than ever, plus it helps reduce the risks of human error, whilst simultaneously saving time.

Whilst there are many different forms of accounting software to choose from, you will find that generally, most of them will allow you to automate any recurring transactions and payments, whilst importing invoices and bank statements.

Take the time to find a good accountant – Another very, very common mistake that small business owners make on regular basis, is trying to handle the accounts themselves. They worry that bringing in an accountant may wreck their systems, or make life harder than it needs to be, when in reality if you choose the right accountant, the exact opposite will be true.

Professional accounting companies and bookkeepers work with small businesses like yours for a living, and many of them know exactly what they are doing. Whilst these accounting services don’t come for free, they are certainly well worth investing in, and as the saying goes ‘you have to spend money to make money’.

When searching for an accountant, take the time to read reviews, look at their experience, and follow your own gut feelings and instincts. Some business accounting companies will indeed be better than others, so try to find the best one that you can, and don’t be afraid to speak to multiple companies before you begin narrowing down your search.

Don’t overcomplicate things – One reason why accounting software in small businesses is so popular is that it helps simplify business accounts. The simpler things are the more efficient the business becomes, and the more time you will save.

When keeping records of your books and your accounts, don’t try to get too technical, otherwise, you run the risk of overcomplicating things. Whether you use spreadsheets, databases, or anything else, make sure things are simple, concise, and easy to understand.

For example, you may wish to have column or book dedicated solely to your earnings, another one for your expenses, another one for debts, and so on. Everything should be clear, simple, and straight-to-the-point.

By doing this, you know exactly what you’re making, exactly what you’re spending, how much you need, what’s coming in, what’s going out, and more. Nothing will be left to chance, and if done correctly, there shouldn’t be any uncertainty in regards to your business accounts and finances.

Whenever in doubt, just stick to these tips and you’ll be good to go in no time!

 

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Multi-Currency Is in the House!

Exciting news, everyone! SlickPie has just released yet another amazing feature to streamline worldwide online payments. Welcome, multi-currency!

If you are up to date with the accounting software tech scene you know that SlickPie is one the most innovative apps out there. The team is constantly delivering new tools for users to further improve their businesses, rather if it’s a new Stripe integration, a new mobile web-app version, or even an exclusive automated data entry tool like MagicBot, SlickPie is always on the verge of launching something valuable and exciting to benefit users. This time the latest innovation is a highly anticipated one – multi-currency!

“But what is multi-currency anyway and what can I do with it?” you might be wondering, for those who are not quite familiar with the term, multi-currency allows businesses to send invoices in any currency they want by simply making a small tweak in their transactions. Still not getting the picture? Let’s give a face to this tool then. Let’s say you have a company set to be operating in US Dollars as default, but the company will soon start operating both in USD and Euros. It can be quite the pickle to get all the exchange calculations done correctly, or even to be able to adjust the invoice to show Euros instead of USD, right? Well, not anymore! Now you can simply set any currency for any new invoice whenever needed and SlickPie will take care of the rest.

This means that you’ll be able to invoice in any currency you want, to any customer you want, at any time you want and all you have to do for that is to change the invoice currency from A to B. You can select a variety of currencies from almost any country in the world with no limitations whatsoever, which means your business reach will get an instant boost in broadness. It doesn’t matter if you’re based in the U.S., buying from the U.K., and selling to Australia, you’ll be good to start sending invoices and getting paid faster right away. All the financial information such as transaction amount, sub-total, and even taxes will be automatically converted to fit the rate of the currency you input and your customer will get the invoice already showing the selected currency information. That sounds great, doesn’t it? And it is!

Multi-currency even allows you to expand on your current business operations and take a further step into a new country or continent without having to change the way your accounting is done. That’s a major benefit that can generate unlimited possibilities, especially for small businesses and freelancers. Plus, even if you send invoices and get paid in different currencies your financial reports will still be accurately organized to show all the information automatically converted to your company’s default currency! Therefore, your data will look as clear as it has always been.

That is it! Waste no more time and jump on this amazing tool to improve your business today. Multi-currency will certainly make your life easier and your finances more accurate from the start. SlickPie is an ever-improving software and there is still plenty of more new features to come, so get started with this one and keep the hype up for what’s to come!

Stripe Is Here! Get Paid Now at Lightspeed!

 

 

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SlickPie has some quite exciting news to announce – our Stripe integration beta testing is done and it’s now available for everyone to enjoy!

For those who aren’t quite familiar with this tool yet, Stripe is a company that allows businesses and individuals to accept online payments. The software is similar to PayPal, which is another global big player in the online payments scenario and we already have an integration with. Our goal is to provide faster and user-friendly possibilities for business owners to focus on running their businesses instead of worrying about money transfer obstacles, which are eliminated by the easy payment options offered by such tools.

Why Stripe is so awesome for your business

Digital tablet, laptop and financial document with pen at workplace on background of three business partners interacting

There are many ways you can use the combo SlickPie + Stripe to improve your business finances. For instance, you can receive instant payments online right after each sale is made. That is such a priceless convenience for business owners to have peace of mind about getting paid every time their customers are ready to pay. No more waiting and worrying about being available 24/7 to collect payments, no more uncomfortable situations facing lousy excuses, no more time is being wasted. Now on you can get paid anywhere, anytime.

Stripe accepts payments through all major credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, Discover, American Express) to increase the channels for your business to get paid faster, meaning your customers will able to pay you with a single click of a button with no unnecessary efforts or headaches whatsoever. By reducing the barriers for people to pay you, you increase the chances that the payment will be done in time and extra channels are one of the key factors when it comes to making the paying experience easier.

Also, businesses can track all sales made through Stripe, which grants an outstanding enhancement in accessing specific sales information whenever is needed. Plus, it’s also possible to track the amounts that Stripe owes your business, as well as any fees that the program may be charging you. These tracking resources make possible for business owners to keep a keen eye on their business financial health while providing real-time feedback for them to make faster decisions.

Security is another huge plus with Stripe. The platform uses encrypted data in all its transactions, which means it’s impossible for outsiders to access the information. The credit card data entered into the payment forms is sent directly Stripe. This means that no credit card data would ever be in possession of any third parties.

Security

Stripe is one of the best integrations any small business could use along with online accounting software. The tool is secure, simple, straight-forward, and truly help your company to get paid faster. It follows all the security standards and benefits that are in SlickPie’s blood, which makes this a perfect match and the greatest beneficiaries of it are the users.

Implementing Stripe is another way for SlickPie to say that users will always get the best for their business from software. Innovation is what SlickPie is built upon, and making your business to get paid faster is our model. Don’t waste another second and try Stripe in SlickPie right now! Just follow these quicks steps to get you up and going in no time https://help.slickpie.com/hc/en-us/articles/211345289-Adding-Stripe!

 

Images: GraphicStock

How to Effectively Lead and Motivate Salespeople

Group of friendly businesspeople with male leader in front

 

With the advancement of technology and globalization today’s business world is a fast developing environment in which companies need to be in a constant state of change in order to achieve positive results. This rule is the same when it comes to sales management, thus there must be continuous evolution to keep up with the innovations and competition that are always arising in the market.

Although it may sound like a simple thing to be done, changes are not that well accepted by everyone. In the sales management scenario, according to the 20-50-30 rule, “20 percent of people will embrace change, 50 percent will be neutral, and 30 percent will resist change”[1]. It is clear that change is not an easy process, so a strong driving factor must act to help the changing process, and this factor is a good leader. A leader will inspire his followers to embrace change by highlighting the importance of the new process and the relevance that the team will have on that matter. The leader will motivate his team to accept it by showing that the leader himself also accepts it, and the followers will end up doing the same since they trust their leader. Plus, since one of the sales manager’s main attributions is to “develop a clear line of sight between sales actions, sales goals, and business outcomes”[2], a well-developed plan outlining all of the above will show that they know what they are doing.

Prepared leaders will focus their effort on those who want to embrace change, and present little or no resistance, to start working on the project. After doing that, the leader will try to gain the support of the neutral ones, which will come easier after they realize that 20 percent of people are already engaged in the new process. Last, the good leader won’t waste time trying to convince those who already have a resistance to change since they likely won’t accept it, so, unless they are necessary to the team, the leader shouldn’t count on their support. To accomplish this, the sales manager needs to lead his/her sales people both individually and collectively.

Individuals

The most crucial factor that is directly related to a sales team success is the manager’s skills to lead and inspire the team to get the best results from every team member. Regarding individual salespeople, the manager has to deal with every member in a different way because different approaches motivate different people. If the manager, simply tries to push the same leading style to all team members he will not get the best possible performance out of them. This happens because people have different personalities, experiences, and abilities, so the aspects that drive them will also be different.

To achieve optimum effectiveness in leading individuals, sales managers can utilize a technique called Situational Leadership. This technique allows the leader to suit his leadership style to better fit his team members, which can be defined by tracing when he will have a relationship-oriented approach or a task-oriented approach. In the first case, the leader would be more supportive to his team members in order to develop and sustain a positive work relationship. In the second case, the leader would be more directive since his main goal would be to accomplish the task.

When using this technique, the leader can define which leading style he is going to use in each situation to each team member. There are four main styles that can be adopted: Telling, Persuading, Partnering, and Delegating. In the first one, the sales manager is high task-oriented and low relationship oriented, which will make him very direct and unsupportive. In the second one, the leader is high-task oriented and high-relationship oriented, which will make him very direct and supportive. In the third one, the sales manager will be low task-oriented and high relationship-oriented, which will make him very supportive, but he will provide limited direction. In the fourth one, the leader will be low task-oriented and low relationship-oriented, and he will be unsupportive and will provide little to none directions.

When sales managers apply this technique they get a much higher performance from their team members. Tailoring leadership styles to each specific salesperson and situation can better inspire and motivate people to achieve their goals, which is the major part about being a sales manager.

Sales force

On the other hand, when it comes to leading entire sales forces the strategy must be different. The sales manager needs to focus on building a strong and cohesive sales force, which demands the development and maintenance of a results-oriented Sales Force Culture. In this topic, Sales Force Culture can be defined as the “total of values, attitudes, and behaviours that are shared by members of the sales force and that are expected of and reinforced to new members”[3].  It is mandatory for sales managers to make sure that all their sales force is always working in accordance to these principles to get to a common high-productivity standard.

In order to achieve this high-productivity standard, the sales leader can reinforce the Sales Force Culture through four internal marketing “E” behaviours: “energizing, enabling, and empowering your team members, and ensuring that they achieve objectives and are recognized and rewarded for their accomplishments”[4]. Following these “E” behaviours, sales managers will be able to develop “E” employees, which can be characterized by being trustworthy risk takers, supportive, suggestive, and total customer satisfaction driven.

Another important aspect regarding leading sales forces is leading sales meetings since they are a major factor to determine how successful a sales force is going to be. When leading a sales meeting properly, the sales manager is able to considerably improve the team’s numbers by motivating the staff to give it all to achieve their goals. Sales meetings can be used for man purposes, such as strategy planning (in which many members attend in order to define the team’s overall strategy), recognition (in which public recognition is awarded to members by demonstrating their value to the company), training (to inform and train the team about the company’s products or practices), Motivational (which is all about increasing the team’s morale and bonding between the salespeople), and feedback (which changes the scope from the manager’s perspective to the team’s perspective of how things are going).

Leading a sales force is a highly important task to any sales business. If done correctly, it can shift the company’s paradigm and cause a major impact in every single staff member, as long as the right techniques are applied and the sales force culture is being duly taught by the sales leaders.

 

[1] MACKENZIE, H.F. (Herb). Sales Management in Canada – 1st ed. (Toronto/ON: Pearson, 2008), p. 313.

[2] http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottedinger/2013/06/25/how-great-sales-leaders-coach/(access: 10/10/15)

[3] MACKENZIE, H.F. (Herb). Sales Management in Canada – 1st ed. (Toronto/ON: Pearson, 2008), pp. 320.

[4] DRAKE, Susan M., Gulman, Michele J., and ROBERTS, Sara M. Light Their Fire. (Chicago/IL: Dearbon Trade, 2005), p. 3.

Image – https://www.graphicstock.com/stock-image/group-of-friendly-businesspeople-with-male-leader-in-front-239350

4 Business Lessons to Learn From the Olympics

vector-illustration-showing-the-progression-of-olympic-triathlon-showing-an_zkImAcou_L

The Rio Olympics have officially started. The world is taken by the nice and warm frenzy over the hundreds and hundreds of hours of high-level sport performances. Athletes have been preparing themselves for years for what is about to happen in the next brief 19 days, and the planet will certainly be delighted by what they have to show.

Although the Olympic Games are a sportive event, it is also a multi-billion dollar business that has one of its scopes to infuse some heat into the city-host’s economy. Some of the largest companies in the world spend millions to show their brands during the event, such as  Coca-Cola, Visa, and GE.

Okay, if you are running a small business, there’s nothing really important to learn from the whole thing, right? Wrong! There are plenty of valuable business lessons that can be learned by studying the behavior of the main stars of the show, the Olympic athletes. They are the champions, they are the best, and they know how to win and succeed, and that is essentially what business is all about. Here are four business lessons for you to put into practice today.

  1. No room for amateurs

Olympians are the toughest athletes on Earth. They are the best of the best in their respective fields as they work awfully hard for it. All the athletes competing in the Olympic Games live and breathe sports 24-7, no exceptions. They train, eat, sleep, rest, and live thinking about how to continuously excel at the sport they are participating in. This is no different from the business world because businesses must strive until their very limit, to get a glimpse of reaching success. If you are the kind of businessperson that is 100% business from Monday till Friday but then turns off the switch during the weekends, you would have some a harder time in making your business succeed.

  1. Every winning team needs a winning captain

Leadership is a must when it comes to team work. Undoubtedly, the most important aspect of any team is the human element, but the team leader is the one that can bring order to chaos and motivate the team when challenges seem unbeatable. In several occasions team leaders see themselves facing an imminent defeat and have to take immediate action to change the game, especially in the Olympics where the competition is so fierce. They motivate the team towards change and adaptation to adverse scenarios. Business leaders are also the sparkle needed to incinerate inertia into action, and push the team to the right direction. When everything seems to be crumbling, the business leader needs to step in and present fast solutions to overcome the obstacles.

  1. Ethics are a classic

I can’t stress enough on how badly the business environment needs to learn from sportsmanship. Countless companies believe in winning at all costs, which often include the breaking of rules as long as they don’t get caught. On the other hand, when it comes to sports, the topic is completely different. Olympians have shown their true greatness in many occasions by helping their fellow athletes when they fell down on track races, for example. Olympians compete with grace as well as fairness, because they know that is the only way that is worth winning. I’m not saying that you should call your biggest competitor right now, and tell all about your revenue model’s secret. But what about compliance? What about due diligence? How many companies get caught committing acts of fraud every year? Fair play is the only way to guarantee your business will be allowed to strive without fear.

  1. Never give up

This is probably one of the most important lesson we can learn from the Olympics. Do Not Give Up. Ever. Olympic athletes are globally known for always pushing it to the limit, even when everything seems to be lost, when that last step feels like it’s a mile away, or when that ultimate centimeter seems to be a kilometer long, Olympians don’t give up. They keep on trying, keep on pushing, and keep on BELIEVING they can still win. That is what’s in the very core of being an Olympic champion, and that’s exactly what businesses must do to succeed. Every company goes thru some very tough times, but what differentiates the greatest businesses in history from the regular businesses, is that they never give up and keep persisting despite the pain and misfortune. That is the most important thing your business can do. Remember, even if you crash into a hurdle, just pick yourself up and continue running forward because you will someday get over it.

 

Image: https://www.graphicstock.com/stock-image/vector-illustration-showing-the-progression-of-olympic-triathlon-showing-an-athlete-starting-171394