Friday, June 28, 2013

FreshBooks review (and coupons)

Daily Advice Link - How I Increased Sales 350% With Press-Releases
FreshBooks (claim your $50 FreshBooks coupon here) is known for weird titles.Corey Reid, for instance, is Chief Cat Herder. That's Director of R&D Talent for us mere mortals. Saul Colt is Head of Magic. Perhaps you'd prefer Marketing and Customer Experience Design. And don't even ask me what Freshbooks CEO goes by.

So perhaps it shouldn't be a surprise that FreshBooks isn't really about bookkeeping. Instead, FreshBooks is really one of the first timekeeping and invoicing software turned SaaS (it'll be interesting how FreshBooks reacts to the recent onslaught of free CRM with invocing).

FreshBook is now used by over 5 million users and known for it's "braindead simple" approach. One of the reasons for that that one year after being launched in 2003, it had only 6 clients. That's six. And 24 months into operation, it had only 10. This is how Mike McDerment recalls these days:

"So we tried a PR firm and I like to say that I got my Masters in Communication through that process because we basically…we didn’t get any awareness built out of it whatsoever. And so we shelved that and we went back to putting our heads down and spending our money on direct response type marketing, like being in an email newsletter or pay-per-click. You know, started trying to learn a little more about who was being successful marketing themselves online. So we started learning more about blogging and that kind of thing."

Two things saved FreshBooks - first they changed their pricing. Not once, not twice but actually four times, and every with every time they'd get more and more paying customers. Second, FreshBook decided to become a 'human' company, meaning that if you call their number, you actually get a human being on the other end. And if you have a question, you can an answer. And corporatespeak was banned at the company as well.

Becoming a user centric company transformed FreshBooks in a number of ways. Feeback was collected not as a formality, but in order to stay ahead of competition, so it's no wonder that FreshBooks one of the first to offer iPad app, when others weren't so sure about that anyone would use mobile apps for their invoices. Addition of expense tracking and cloud accouting significantly expanded FreshBooks use beyond its core market of small business owners, lawyers, designers and other professionals (my girlfriend uses iOS mobile app to track her daily expenses). With WaveAccounting and Bitrix24, FreshBooks makes the Holy Trinity of SMB and Productivity 2.0 tools that every business owner should be aware about. Oh, and if you want to try FreshBooks, here's your $50 coupon)

[Via - MadConomist.Com]

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