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!



Image: GraphicStock

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!


Image: GraphicStock

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!

Why Every Small Business Should Have a Website

People often ask me “do I really need a website for my small business?”, my answer to this questions is always the same: “absolutely, if you own a business, you should have a website even if your business is small and sells products or services that you don’t think can be sold online”.  Most customers prefer to visit your website to check your company or products than to visit you in person. A study conducted by MineWhat showed that “81% of shoppers research online before buying.” This statistic shows the importance of owning a website for your small business growth.

There are many ways that your business can be benefited from owning a website. I summarized five main advantages of owning a website for your business below.

Gain business credibility

A study conducted by Verisign stated that 84% consumers consider small businesses with a website are more credible than ones without. Nowadays, most consumers are surfing the internet to search for local products and services they need. With this in mind, your small business will gain credibility by owning a website.

Your business online identification card

Similar to your identification card, your website is your business online identification card. It is the first place where your customers or clients will do research about your company, and your products or services before they decided to do business with you. Furthermore, your website provides an instant visual presentation of your business. It is quite expensive especially for a small company to advertise on a local television, but your business website can provide those visualization elements and it is always available to anyone. If a customer has questions that can be better answered on your website than over the phone or email, this will be a good addition to your customer service.

Increase your potential target market

One of the major advantages of having a website is that you get more exposure nationally and internationally. Although it may not be the goal of every small and medium size business to go international, your business website can help you to increase exposure to more people all over the world. For a company that provides niche product or services, your website can be a very powerful advertising tool to reach out to your specific target customers.

Increased convenience for your customers

In this day and age, many business transactions are happening online. This is because people seek convenience shopping experience and your company website can fulfill those needs. Your customers or clients can get information on a specific items or services easily, they can purchase your products anytime and most importantly, they can conveniently contact you through your website and give you feedback.

Access to valuable information

Your website is a good place to collect valuable information that can be used to evaluate your business performance. For example, you can use digital market intelligence platforms like SimilarWeb to get statistic data on how many people have visited your site and your website ranking. In addition, your website can offer other information such as how many people have messaged or emailed you. You can utilize all these valuable information to make an update and make an adjustment to your product and marketing materials anytime.


Overall, the money and time that you invested in creating a website will be all worthy because it can improve your business performances significantly by facilitating online presence for your company, marketing channel to target your target audiences and statistical information to monitor your business growth. Apart from an Alexa ranked website as SlickPie, you may need good online accounting software to run your bookkeeping and accounting tasks. SlickPie is free online accounting software designed for small businesses, offering a delightful and easy-to-use interface with many great features. Try it now and see it for yourself!

The Many Advantages of Doing Online Business

The Internet opened a door of opportunities to a new economy and it has changed our perception of the traditional way of doing business. Just a few years ago, traditional brick-and-mortar companies were dominating the retail industry. Now, immense companies such as Alibaba and Amazon have successfully conquered the online retail market. Nonetheless, to be successful in the online business industry, you don’t have to run a massive corporation like these. Many small businesses have managed to seize their share of profit from online markets. In fact, the latest trends show that the growth of e-commerce market in the upcoming years will come from small to medium size businesses.

E-commerce is growing rapidly and more business owners are now taking advantage of this opportunity to grow their business online. However, not many entrepreneurs are aware of the benefits that online business can bring to their operations. Here are 5 advantages of doing business online.

Cheaper start-up cost

For new business owners, overhead costs can be overwhelming and it may impact your financial health negatively. However, high start-up and overhead costs only occur if you are planning to open a brick-and-mortar business. Online businesses, on the other hand, only require you to purchase a domain name and hosting packages. You may incur extra cost to hire a professional web designer to design an elegant and professional-looking website for your business. Alexander Reichmann, iTestCash, pointed out “It also saves us money on taxes and rent that we would have to pay for a storefront.” Thus, online businesses are comparatively cheaper than brick-or-mortar businesses in term of start-up cost and overhead expenses.

Low Marketing Cost

The internet is a cost-effective tool. There are numerous online platforms you can utilize to market your product such as online advertising and social media. Online advertising is relatively affordable and it allows you to track your communication value. This means you can identify which advertising message is working and which isn’t. One way to advertise your product online is through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Social media is known to be a very powerful tool to increase product awareness because customers tend to spend a significant amount of time surfing there. Regarding ads, Andrew Legrand, SperaLawGroup, mentioned that a great “advantage of doing business online is the business’ ability to target its audience with online advertising and converting that audience into paying customers. This means that marketing efforts can be more efficient with regards to time and money, and the business’ customer base is expanded beyond the local audience.”


Unlike traditional brick-and-mortar businesses where someone has to be present in the store at all times, online businesses allow you to run your company from anywhere, anytime. Thus, online businesses give you that work-life balance. Brady Keller, Atlantic.Net, added “[the] benefit of an online store is that you can operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Since your retail store is virtual, you can potentially be making money while you sleep.” Hence, the flexibility of online businesses can be translated into flexible location and time of doing business.

International Market

One of the significant impacts of the internet is globalization. Online businesses can facilitate the demand from global consumers by allowing business owner like yourself to sell your product internationally without setting up the physical vendor in that region. Najeeullah Babar, Interloper Inc., said: “It expands your reach from local to national and international no matter how small a company you are.” Another unique advantage of online business is that you can set your website in different languages to accommodate people from different locations. Therefore, online businesses allow you to capture a wide range of customers globally.

Easier and faster financial transaction

Online payment services such as PayPal and Stripe allows you to receive a transaction from customer directly to your bank. This will save you a lot of time in terms of the transaction process. For your global customers, they can make payment conveniently in their own currencies because online payment services will automatically convert their currency to the currency that you will receive. You can also utilize free accounting software like SlickPie that offers all these payment gateways with multicurrency features to help you to manage your day-to-day business transaction, sending invoices and tracking your financial performance.

In a nutshell, an online business can offer you cheaper, easier and faster business environment. Online business is suitable for those who are seeking to start a new business but having a tight budget. Start-up and overhead costs are relatively low and you can start implementing zero-marketing strategies through online advertising and social media from day one. Furthermore, transaction process between your business and customer can be done in a matter of seconds and you have the flexibility of doing your business in terms of time and location.


How to Use Cloud Software to Improve Your Business

Do you remember the time when you have to drive to the computer store in order to purchase a physical copy of a software? If you do, you probably used to live in the era before cloud computing. Nowadays, people do not have do that anymore. With cloud technology, you can simply sit at home and download you desired software directly from the internet. The cloud technology is so fascinating that it allows people to share files within seconds. Many business owners have been taking advantages of this opportunity to improve the level of productivity and efficiency of their businesses.

Below are some of the comments from business experts about the advantages of using cloud software in their businesses.

Everything we do is in the cloud, from using Google Docs to Google Spreadsheets. All of our files are stored in the cloud through Dropbox. It allows my employees that span from San Diego to Serbia to work on the same files at any time, from anywhere. It also allows our team to access the same files from any device. From their phone to their home computer. Not only does it allow the world to be flat, but it also gives me the pieces of mind that everything is backed up. Since moving everything to the cloud, we have not lost any data. Plus, it is even easier to find since you can search everything. – Daniel Passov, Greek U, Inc.

The cloud-based software I can’t live without that helped me start and manage my business is Trello. I use a framework called the problem/solution canvas” We have it set up in Trello and it’s a repeatable framework that we use on a weekly basis to identify our top three problems and how we are going to solve them for that week. The best part is their mobile app interface is simply amazing it is intuitive and extremely powerful allowing you to upload ideas, pictures, notes and files from your mobile on the go. You never know when a good ideas going to come to you and you need to appended to a certain thing that the team is working on. This allows us to make small changes that compound off of one another inching our way towards the end zone rather than making huge bets we make small ones. Because it’s cloud-based, Trello allows us to coordinate tasks across or 20 members team distributed across four different countries. The best part that I love is that you can set due dates for each individual task that will nag your teammate until they get it done, it’s the ultimate set it and forget it cost to get stuff done. – Bryan Clayton, GreenPal

About 90% of the software we use on a daily basis is in the cloud now and we would never go back to the old way of using software. The main benefits to using a web-based software is the cost savings. Desktop software always cost more and constantly needs updates or security patches. With a cloud-based system, you do not have worry about any of this. The vendor takes on the maintenance and security risk. This software is also always much easier to scale. If you hire five people you can get them setup in minutes versus having deal with getting more licenses and then installing the old software. – Mark Tuchscherer, Greeks Chicago

Cloud databases are critical to our product. As a small business it can be extremely difficult to manage the hardware in such small numbers of a workforce and time can be much more effectively spent elsewhere. We look for the most scalable systems to utilize as our cloud infrastructure which means we can easily expand and shrink our cloud database footprint as our customer base grows and shrinks. Our model of business would be nearly unsustainable if we had to maintain the same size and costs without the customer data to fill it with. We are able to process data at the same speed and performance as the big guys which puts us at an even playing field that 10 years ago would be almost unheard of. – Ty Van Ry, RYIT SOLUTIONS

The biggest advantage would be it much more mobile, in that I can login to it from any PC without having an agent installed on my workstation. Another benefit is that the vendor is always doing updates to the software without the end-user having to do anything to make sure the updates are functioning properly. As far as functionality, the cloud-based software performs 100 percent of the functions we had with the old software system. It is a good fit for many small businesses in that it has all the functions you will need for finance and reporting, along with so many business moving from brick and mortar offices to employee home offices. It can be used in any location without the server costs associated with putting the software on. Vertex needs are well met with our new cloud-based solution. – Kip Sharp, Vertex Innovations

This is some of the ways you can use cloud software to improve your business. Another great way is by using SlickPie and being able to run your entire business accounting from anywhere with absolutely no effort, try it out now and see it for yourself!


The Advantages of Starting Your Own Business

The idea of starting your own business is very alluring to many people, especially those who have been living on yearly salaries. In fact, there are very limited rewards for our hard work when we are working for a Company. Starting your own business is not an easy quest. There are a lot of things to consider such as looking for investors, finding good distributors, marketing efforts with minimum cost, and many more.

David Karp, Tumblr founder and CEO, once said “Entrepreneur is someone who has a vision for something and a want to create.” He believes that as long as you have strong ambition and willingness to make your dream becomes reality, you will be rewarded handsomely from your own business.

Below are some of the comments from business owners and experts about the advantages of starting your own business.

When you start your own business, you are really creating something from scratch, and if you solve a problem, provide a service or make a product that makes people’s lives better to the degree that they are willing to pay for it, you are really creating value in the world. Earning a dollar that you created out of thin air is more rewarding than earning a dollar being a cog in someone else’s wheel. Also, when you start your own business and it’s successful enough to hire people, you are really changing people’s lives. To me, when I hire someone, it feels like I’m taking on a great responsibility to make sure I make the right decisions to be able to keep providing for them and their families. It can definitely keep you up at night, and for me that responsibility is a reason to really give my all to the company. When you employ people, they are putting their trust in you, and I believe that there is a tacit contract that you will give them your best as a leader and steward of their career, stability, and livelihood. There are great risks in starting a business, not only the risk to your money and reputation, but also including opportunity costs of the salary that you are forgoing. But if it does work out, the rewards can be more meaningful than you can earn at a salaried job. Not only in terms of absolute dollars, but also in terms of career satisfaction. – Steve Benson, Badger Maps

[First,] “You’re your own boss”. You set your hours, and you don’t have anyone telling you what to work on next. [Second,] if you work from home like I do, my morning commute is to the coffee pot, and the only traffic jam I deal with is my dog and cat racing down the stairs. [Third,] I can do my job from anywhere as long as I have an internet connection. [Last,] I don’t have to worry about using up my vacation days or sick days. – Marry Ellen, Parker’s Voice

No more commuting, you are in control of your own schedule, and have the freedom and flexibility not to have to make tough choices but rather have your cake and eat it too. You are only doing the work you love, and working with only people you love. You don’t have to feel guilty thinking about home when you’re at work and vice versa. You are getting paid what you worth,and having the ability to travel while working, and no more wasted time! – Melissa Smith, The PVA

Starting your own business can be the best thing you do in your life, if you get out of your own way. What I mean is that many start it for the ego, and that is what adds to the 2-5 year failure of most small businesses. Rather, start off strong, with a solid yearly, monthly, weekly plan in the areas of finances, marketing, and operations and you will beat those statistics. Starting your own business is easy. Keeping it open and thriving is the tough part. The advantage is that your success all depends on the decisions that you make. The world can be at your fingertips. You can make your own hours and you can create your own destiny. – Bella Vasta, Jump Consulting

I would say some advantages are being able to set your own schedule. With 2 small children it can be tough working nights and weekends sometimes but if anything is important I will always be there. One example is that my 5-month-old son usually wakes up around 5:30 am and I spend 20 minutes every morning hanging out with him in bed. This is something that might never be possible if I had to set an alarm and be somewhere at a specific time. By setting my own schedule I can make sure to carve out quality family time every week. -Doug Darroch, 21st Renaissance

Some huge advantages of owning your own business:
The Thrill of the Chase – As a business owner, you are largely responsible for business growth. In my role, that’s business development in the form of new partnerships with industry leaders. Every new partnership is hugely rewarding and another chance to gain feedback on your product and learn more about future growth opportunities.
Variety – Being a business owner, every day can be a new challenge. This is the biggest change from being in a day-to-day position where your role is well defined. On any given day, you may have to tackle anything from IT to Marketing to Legal. It’s like a giant real-world MBA wrapped up in a jigsaw puzzle.
New Relationships – The best part of my position is the new business relationships. If you have a good product and can confidently show it to new business partners, the feedback you get that validates your direction and product is hugely rewarding. – Kelly Bedrich,

These are the advantages of starting your own business. SlickPie is great all-in-one accounting software for small business owners to run their entire business accounting from anywhere with absolutely no effort, try it out now and see it for yourself!

6 Tips to Make a Killing Product Pitch



Presentations can be quite intimidating, especially for those who are not used to it. This is because you need to stand in front of people and talk about a certain topic. For some people, this can be a very uncomfortable situation in which they have to draw a lot of attention to themselves and one small mistake can lead to embarrassment. Although having confidence is important, a great presentation must also have well-thought and well-organized content. In product pitch presentation, investors are looking for specific details of both your product and your aggregate business performance. They require you to be precise, knowledgeable, and informative in short amount of time.

Below are the 6 tips you need to know to be successful in your next pitch.

What are you going to tell them?

The first step is to tell investors about your idea or product. The key to success is to keep it short and interesting. This step is very crucial to your whole presentation process because it is your chance to capture your investors interest so they will want to hear the rest of your presentation. You may use personal story to engage with the investors but the important point is to rise their interest level.

What is your vision?

The next step is presenting your idea or product in short details so you can start by talking about your vision. For example, what is currently happening in the world? Then, you can talk about your analysis of the situation such as the problems that people are having and how your product can be the solution to those problems.

Is there space in the market for you?

Your investors want to know how well you know your industry and your competitors. Every businesses faces competition. Otto van Bismark once said “Only a fool learns from his own mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others.” What he meant by that is it’s important to be able to identify who your competitors are, and what they are doing differently, so it can help you to make your product stands out in the market. There are a lot of things you can learn from your competitors such as their marketing and distribution strategies. Investors want to hear that you are able to identify your competitors and what can you learn from them. Also, research on the competitors can help you to position your product in the market and help you to build strong competitive advantages in the future.

How will your product benefit your customers?

Customers are not just the most important part of your business, they are your business. The first thing you need to tell your investor is your target market. For an example, the kind of customer or geographic area you are targeting. Investors also want to know how much do you know about your customers. What they want from your product, how customers can be benefited from using your product, and why customers want to use your product again. These are the questions that you can ask yourself to get an idea of your customers’ behavior and their value to your product.

How do you make money?

In this part, you need to be able to tell investors how do you deliver your product to customers. For instance, do you use any online platform, social media, outlet, or delivery services? It is important to disclose your expenses and sales revenue to your investors. This is to give them an idea of how effective your distribution channels are.

What are you asking from your investors?

Last but not least, you need to tell your investors what do you want from them. You need to be specific on what you are asking for. You can ask for mentorship, networking, or money, then you need to explain to them why you want it.

5 Reasons Why You Should Take Your Business to the Cloud

The Cloud computing technology has brought so many benefits to businesses. With the growing number of web-enabled devices, such as smartphones and tablets, being used in business environments, it becomes essential for many business owners to utilize cloud computing technology to be more efficient and improve their business performances. In order to understand how cloud computing system works, let’s think of it as a virtual invisible storage. Users can retrieve or access their data from this virtual storage through internet network. In other words, as long as users are connected to the internet, they can do their businesses anywhere, anytime.

In today’s reality, many small businesses require the latest technology to run their business with very limited amount of time, space and even expenses to waste. Cloud computing system provides the solution to these problems. Below are the 5 main reasons why you as a small business owner should take your business to the cloud.


The main goal for any business is to make money. This can be achieved by maximizing profit and reducing expenses. Cloud computing system allows your company to cut back a lot of expenses by spending less money to buy hardware, facilities and equipment to store data. Your company will also save a lot of office space that can be utilized for other important things.


In order to be more efficient in your business, you need a great tool to access data from anywhere and anytime. This is possible with cloud software because your data is stored in the invisible storage system and it can be access anywhere as long as you have connection to the internet.


Every business owner understands that effective collaboration within the company is one of the most important aspects to build good organization or businesses. In the old days, businesses used e-mail to communicate with one another. Imagine how many hours you need to spend to send e-mails with the same content to thousands of people. Cloud computing technology can solve this problem by making it easier to share files. For example, you can simply upload the file to the cloud and give access to people that you want to share the file with. Then, they can simply download the file from the cloud. This process will save a lot of time since you only need to upload the file once.

Automatic Software Updates

The Success of your business relies heavily on the latest version of the software that you use. The are no perfect software and that is why software companies are constantly enhancing their software. In order for the software company to improve your experience in using their software, they need to constantly give you the updated version of their software. Some software updates can happen numerous times in a year. Cloud computing system allows your system to be updated with the latest technology. This can include upgrades to the software as well as updated version of the software.


The Loss of the data is one of the major problems that many businesses have to faced. This is because the cost of retrieving the data is expensive and can take a lot of time. Many unexpected events such as stolen laptop, damaged computers, or even fire are some of the factors that responsible for business owners to lose valuable information. Cloud computing system can prevent your business to lose valuable data in case one of these incidents happens. Since your data is stored online in the cloud, you can still gain access to it no matter what happens to your computer. All you need is to access it with different computer. Furthermore, in case your computer is stolen or lost, you can remotely erase all the data from the stolen or lost computer to prevent your data falls into the wrong hands.

Environmentally Friendly

When your business is in the cloud, you will use less papers in your office. The Cloud technology makes it easier for you to access your business files in digital format. This is not only saves your business from using a lot of papers, but also reduce paper waste to the environment.

After checking these 5 amazing reasons for why you should take your business to the cloud, I bet you are feeling like start doing it right away. So, waste no more time and kick things off with SlickPie today!


So You Want to Work for Yourself?

9 out of 10 small business starting this year, will fail. The 10% that succeed, execute on a careful business plan. How do you know that you have that will succeed and what steps you can take to ensure you don’t become part of the 90% that fails?

Failing to plan is a good plan to fail. Many quit their job in the hopes that there are plenty of contracts or freelancing work. Even though it may look like that guy over there is making a ton of money, the truth may be something different. They may be successful but it does take years of connections, effort and work to reach a certain level. Let’s discuss what exactly is the secret ingredients for success that will avoid failures.

Failure to cut costs

You should be ready to ruthlessly cut costs in the initial years of your business. Being a business owner doesn’t mean that you need to buy everything. That is the wrong mindset.  If you can start your business from a small warehouse, you don’t need to lease huge commercial space in downtown. Lease or rent the equipment whenever possible instead of buying it (you could even take advantage of an equipment leasing calculator to assist you with that). If you are someone with the mindset that “I need to buy everything upfront so that I can focus on producing”, buy used hardware or equipment from Craigslist instead of brand new. I met a business owner in Canada who drove more than 150 miles to buy and pickup equipment’s from a USA based business who happened to be upgrading themselves and thus saved more than $12,000. These savings are of immense value when you are just starting out. If your business is successful, you will get plenty of opportunities to buy brand new stuff.

Cash Flow is important

When you are new and have little brand awareness, your prices may not be at the top level. Asking for 50% or more deposit as soon as an agreement is signed, can protect your bottom line. Most clients will agree to it as they know they are getting a good deal.

You may not know all about tracking income and expenses in the beginning. Start using online accounting software’s like SlickPie, right from away when you met a client for a coffee or paid for something from your pocket. Doing this will ensure there is no leakage of your money. Send your invoice right after work is done. Most businesses fail due to poor cash flow. What if your biggest client where you spent your most of your time didn’t pay? Or if they pay late in 60, 90 or even 180 days? There would be always some surprising extra costs that you didn’t plan for foresee. This all can lead to long sleepless nights. A good accounting software should follow up with clients that have not paid you on time and allow you to take an action to save the day.

Be ready for lifestyle change

Mostly qualified and experienced employees do earn more than freelancers. They have a stable income and a nice lifestyle. If you are someone who thinks that have something that will take you to the moon, go ahead and start your own business but be willing to live at basic income for years without any social life and no lifestyle. You will end up working 12-14 hours a day during the prime years of your life, but there is also a possibility that any success will bring more money and a better lifestyle with the option of being your own boss.

Most freelancers start small, providing superior services to a small set of clients for a few months and build upon that base. Ideally, current employers should be your first client. You know the process, they have the tools you need to perform and you just sell your expertise as a contractor without any social security net that you get as an employee. This potentially puts more money in your pocket to save or reinvest into your nascent business. Never steal clients from your employer, but build those valuable relationships and they will start referring you some of their friends from their group. Bounce ideas off your existing connections to see who can be a part of the team at some other stage of your business.