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Make Stripe Invoice Envoice Integration

The small business industry has evolved from its humble roots. Professionals were and are still hired directly through one of several dedicated freelance platforms.

However, more and more people are jumping on a new trend and start their own small business. Choosing the path of entrepreneurship, and working on your small business idea, is without a doubt riskier than being content with holding a 9-5 job, but if you stay true to what you’ve imagined, it can be rewarding in countless of ways.

One of the core features of doing good business is making quality invoices to your customers. A client, customer or a receiving party require an official statement on what they are paying for and the easiest possible ways on how to do it.

Very often the payment process for your clients can often be a chore.

In this article we’ve decided to simplify to process on how to make Stripe invoice using our invoicing tool.

Make Stripe Invoice Using Envoice

As you probably already know at Envoice we can help you send online invoices for your goods and services and get paid instantly using a credit card, debit card, or online ready-to-use payment gateways like PayPal, Stripe, Square but to name a few.

When it comes to pricing, there are two key factors: fairness and simplicity. Click To Tweet You want straightforward, easy-to-digest pricing plans that are affordable enough to grow your business without impeding it.

Our pricing plans offer just that. We do not charge any fees for the transactions as they’re handled by the payment providers themselves.  

Speaking of Stripe, it offers a great pricing balance on their part, with a reasonable pay-as-you-go plan of 2.9% + $0.30 per valid card charge for all major credit cards including Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Discover, JCB and Diner’s Club – with no extra fee for international transactions, failed transactions or refunds.

There are no hidden or ongoing fees, set-up charge, or monthly maintenance fee. You just pay for the transactions when they happen. Fee reporting in real time is available, so you can keep solid track of where your business is at, right now.

By using our guidelines below you can help your customers and yourself alleviate the invoicing process by making invoices like a superhero in the future.

1. How Does Envoice Work with Stripe?

Envoice can automatically generate invoices for Stripe as your desired payment method and delivers them to your customers. There is no code needed.

It only takes a few minutes and couple of steps to integrate Stripe with Envoice and get paid.

Let us show you how you can do that in 3 easy steps:

Create New Invoice Draft

The first thing you need to do is simply create new invoice, provided you’ve already registered for your Envoice account. (if you don’t have an account, you can sign up here).

Make Stripe Invoice New Invoice

a. Adding Company Info & Logo Customization

To add/edit your or your company details, click on Edit my Profile and bank information. To save the details, click Save/Preview next to the Name, Country and Email Information.

Envoice will save your company info for future re-use and will automatically pre-populate it on every new invoice you generate next time.

 

Make sure to upload a logo. Invoices with logo are instantly recognizable and look more professional.

b. Invoice Terms & Billing

This section contains details about your client/customer. Envoice allows you to easily manage your clients from the My Clients section in the main panel view.

From there you can edit and add new clients, see total amounts of income generated from a particular client, number of invoices issued throughout the year and general client profile card.

Make Stripe Invoice Profile Cards

d. Item/Product Description

In the Summary Section you can insert full description of the services offer or work item and add price, quantity and tax which allows you to calculate the total amount that is going to be invoiced.

Make Stripe Invoice Products Summary

e. Currency option

This is the preferred currency which is used to charge your customer. Envoice uses the official ISO 4217 currency standard which specifies three-letter codes for currencies worldwide.

If you are receiving invoice payments with Stripe, the currency should also be supported by Stripe. You can find a list of all Stripe supported currencies here.

Make Stripe Invoice Currency Option

2. Connect with Stripe

In order to make Stripe invoice using our software, you need to connect your Envoice account with your Stripe account:

1. Login to your Envoice account

2. Go to Settings and click Connect with Stripe or alternatively got to Choose Your Type of Payment then click on Connect With a Payment Provider

Make Stripe Invoice Connect Button

3. You’ll be redirected to the Stripe website and asked to enter your Stripe credentials, then taken back to the Envoice’s website. And voila! – your Stripe account is connected with Envoice.

Make Stripe Invoice Redirect

3. Don’t Forget Your Customers

Now that you’ve connected Stripe as a payment provider for your services it’s time to get paid for your services.

There are 2 main ways for your customer to pay the issued invoice:

>>By sending them a payment link directly, they can open the link in their browser and pay your invoice with this link. Just click and paste to share your link. The invoice you create with Envoice is similar to the conventional paper-based invoice, but it is accessible online from any device at any time via a unique link.

Make Stripe Invoice Link

>>By “invoice-is-in-the-email” principle, meaning anyone with an email address can receive an itemized invoice from you. An automatic email is generated that reaches your client’s inbox.

This online invoice contains an embedded Pay button which allows your client to pay instantly with a card, in this case. The process is fast, secure, and error-free; and usually results in receiving payments within minutes of sending the invoice.

Allow your clients to conveniently pay you online through your customized invoice payment portal. They’ll be able to obtain all required details you included in your invoice for bank transfers.

Clients can also download their invoice in a PDF for their own accounting purposes.

It only takes a few minutes to get set-up with Envoice and Stripe. Try it today!

ecommerce-sales

Setting-up an eCommerce store is an excellent way to make money online. However, just setting it up is not enough; you need to undertake certain measures to boost your eCommerce sales. When we say certain measures we mean implying the knowledge and tactics to market your store and drive traffic and sales to that particular store.

We’ve compiled 7 strategies worth considering if your really want to take your eCommerce sales to the next level.

1.       Upsell Your Products

Upsell and cross-sell offers make an average of 10-30% of eCommerce sales. However, upselling on eCommerce sites is 20 times better than cross-selling. This is according to Econsultancy.

Two main things you should know about upselling are: relate your upsells to the original product and know the price range of your customers. The product that you are selling must fit the original needs of your customers. Bear in mind that your customers may not like being offered a higher product price, especially if they already have a certain price in mind. Make sure that the new product is indeed better than the original.

Encourage the customers to spend some more money to buy a better version, or an upgrade of the product they are buying.

A nice example is the way Apple sells iPads. The options in the red box are Apple’s attempt to persuade customers to buy an iPad.  

apple-upsell-ipad

For Apple is easy, we get it. For you we can suggest using some of the many Shopify upselling apps. The Shopify app store is a valuable resource if you are looking for a solution to boost up your eCommerce sales. Good news is that a lot of them are free like: Recover Cart Pusher, Kit, Smile.io. etc.

Spending $0 is not so bad if it means getting an immediate boost in sales, right?

2.       Paid Traffic

Have you considered paid traffic to quickly generate sales for your ecommerce store?

If done correctly, paid traffic can really increase your eCommerce sales. People will tell you that it is expensive and that you will spend a lot of money without any results. Very often, those people who have failed with paid traffic have made some common beginner’s mistakes.

We have several advices that you need to know about paid traffic:

  • Spend small amounts of money just to scan and test the situation. There is no need to spend a lot of money just to see if this concept is right for you.
  • Have multiple campaigns and multiple ad variations. Never spend all your money on one ad variation.

Facebook, for example, is one of the most effective marketing method available, in many cases much better than your own website or email lists. However, paid traffic can come from more than just Facebook, though. Just some of the big ones:

  • Display ads, appearing on the side of the page;
  • Paid search like Google AdWords or Bing Ads;
  • Social media ads, the sponsored content that appears in your Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook feeds;
  • Sponsored content — a type of content marketing aimed at specific targeted audience;
  • Influencer marketing —  where certain social media influencer promotes your product or brand to their audience thus driving bigger eCommerce sales for your brand;

You must know who your target customers are. Always tend to understand the needs of your customers. We will elaborate on targeting your customers in more detail in the next item.

3.        Target your customers

The key is to target your customers as wisely as possible.

You cannot treat all your customers equally. Identify the most valuable types of visitors to your website and keep showing them the right content on important pages in order to keep their attention. Showing your ads to the right people will increase the sales on your eCommerce site.

Try to focus your efforts on customer retention instead of customer acquisition.

This is important, because unlike the new customers and customers who will make only one purchase on your page, loyal customers add more items to their shopping carts, they have higher conversion rate and they will definitely generate more revenue with every visit to your page.

In the picture above, we can see how the loyal customers affect an eCommerce site.

Let’s get one thing straight, having new customers is not a bad thing. On the contrary, it’s great; however, that is a more expensive strategy. Focusing on your existing customers is more cost-efficient, because they are already acquainted with your products and familiar with your brand.

A good idea is creating a customer loyalty programme which will motivate the customers to spend more money.

4.    Increase eCommerce traffic with social media

Using the big platforms for social media marketing such as Facebook or Instagram can help you generate sales.

Facebook Exchange is Facebook’s proprietary platform advertising service for desktop users where online advertisers place ads on the Facebook sidebar or directly on the users’ timeline. This platform is very effective in reducing shopping cart abandonment.

Facebook Exchange leaves a cookie on the user’s computer when they visit some page on your site. Let’s say the user adds a certain product to the shopping cart, but doesn’t buy it. A cookie will be left on their computer which will alert Facebook to show an ad on the user’s timeline which is to motivate them to complete the order.

With approximately 800 million active users monthly, Instagram is a fantastic place to skyrocket your eCommerce sales. Instagram gives brands 25% more engagement than any other social media platform. In fact, Instagram announced that they are establishing a team of 50 persons who will focus on the eCommerce features for the app.

Engage with your users by running campaigns and contests, use the right hashtags and filters and post at the right times. This will increase the number of followers on Instagram.

instagram-ad-campaigns

5.       Use video demonstrations to display popular items

Images are good, but they don‘t guarantee sales. If you want to boost your eCommerce sales, you need to add more details in your item presentation. Prepare promotional videos where you are going to display your best items. This may take some time, but videos will increase your sales and conversion rates.

Making videos for your products does not have to be complicated. However, if you want your videos to look great, ask a professional to make them for you.

live-video-engagement

Customers love videos and they spend more time on pages that contain videos which increase their engagement and interest in what you are selling. Customers are more likely to remember what they watched rather than reading about it, because videos provide better explanation about the product.

6.    Optimize your site for mobile devices

Ecommerce does not mean that customers are solely shopping from their computers. In practice, they do most of their online shopping on their mobile phones and tablets.

A research shows that 40% of the mobile users have purchased something online from their devices. Therefore, if you want to increase the eCommerce sales on your website, optimized it for mobile devices. Otherwise, there is a chance you will experience a decline in sales.

Even better idea is to build a mobile app for your site.

Check out these numbers:

app-vs-mobile-site

Notice that customers prefer apps compared to mobile websites.

Optimizing your website for mobile eCommerce will improve your customers’ experience on your website. Find the way to focus on the needs of the customers. And what do customers actually need? They need:

  • Personalization
  • Speed
  • Benefits
  • Entertainment
  • Convenience, etc.

Implementing the aforesaid items will get you increased sales.

7.       Discounts, discounts, discounts

Offering discounts is never a bad idea, if you want to increase the number of visits on your eCommerce website. Discounts will improve the loyalty and lifetime value of your customers.

Just do the old and simple trick, raise the base price of the products and put it on sale.

Or, provide a discount for customers who will decide to purchase a more expensive option rather than a cheaper one.

discount-example

Discount can also persuade people who have abandoned their carts to complete their purchase.

This is a great opportunity to implement exit offers. No matter how good your eCommerce store is built and looking, there will always be people who will think that a certain product is too expensive.

So, when the customer tries to leave your store, you can make a special offer or a discount pop-up that will try to convince the customer to buy the product.

Wrap-up

Bear in mind that the customers must be comfortable entering their personal information and credit card numbers on your website and you have to provide that comfort.

Always try to find new and creative ways to market products and services on your eCommerce site. Give yourself a couple of weeks to try all of these tricks and tactics and then evaluate, analyze and figure out which one of them is best for your business and will yield best results.

Electronic commerce or eCommerce is barely a new concept, but it has expanded rapidly over the past five years resulting in businesses increasingly using eCommerce marketing tools to increase their sales and make lives easier for their customers.

eCommerce is a term which denotes any type of business, or commercial transaction which includes transfer of information across the World Wide Web. eCommerce uses technologies such as electronic funds transfer, mobile commerce, supply chain management, Internet marketing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, online transaction processing, and automated data collection systems.

Without using fancy words it simply means commercial transactions conducted online whenever you buy and sell something using the Internet.

The secret to eCommerce great performance is not only building successful online eCommerce store, but also getting your products out there and see how they perform. To do this marketers and business use different eCommerce marketing tools and sources to improve their sales and start selling their products cost-effectively.

Below is a list of 7 eCommerce marketing tools you can find very helpful in your mission of achieving higher sales.

1.      Envoice

The company behind Envoice utilizes knowledge, creativity and technologies to provide your business with progressive solutions making it an amazing eCommerce marketing tool. Its main purpose is to research and deliver high quality products and software solutions.

Envoice is automated invoicing software for online businesses. It significantly simplifies your invoicing processes and enables you to quickly and easily generate and deliver invoices to your clients. As a result, you get paid faster than ever.

envoice-ecommerce-marketing-tools

Using this software is easy and with it, you can create and send invoices in less than a minute. The system also predicts your next invoices based on client history. Product’s design makes navigation seamless.

You can easily attach files to your invoice via integrations with Google Drive and Dropbox. Envoice also includes tracking features which will help you monitor your invoices, get notifications about updates and reminders for due invoices. There is also a reporting tool via which you can see how much you have earned.

envoice-ecommerce-marketing-tools-integration

Envoice integrates with Razorpay, Stripe, Payoneer, PayPal, WePay, Klik & Pay and Square which provides your clients with an option to settle their invoices with a click of a button after they have read them.

Other Envoice features include:

  • Super-Fast Invoicing
  • Custom Invoices
  • Accept Payments Online Via Credit/Debit Card
  • Custom Branding
  • Multiple Tax Settings
  • Templates And Help Content
  • Data Security, etc.

2.       GetResponse

GetResponse is an email marketing app which automates your emails sent to your subscribers via the use of ‘autoresponders. It can also import and host a mailing list, capture data, create e-newsletters with the possibility to be sent to your mailing subscribers list, view and analyze statistics related to your email marketing campaigns and many more.

Use this eCommerce marketing tool’s services to promote the products of your business without the necessary  technology background. Getresponse is a very attractive app with extra features at low price.

getresponse-ecommerce-marketing-tools-dashboard

Its powerful features and tools will improve the effectiveness and results of your email marketing campaigns. For example:

  • Create amazing emails. Optimized on any device enabling your campaigns to reach people who are on their smartphones and tablets more than their desktops with easy-to-use email creator.
  • Create a subscriber list. If you want to create a relatively small contact list, simply enter or copy and paste the email addresses. For larger lists, upload file types or connect to third-party services, such as Zendesk, Google, Salesforce, etc. If you want to import your list, run it through a partner service called BriteVerify which will remove the invalid email addresses.
  • Create campaigns. By using two tools use the Email Creator tool that includes hundreds of templates, and if you want to use your own code, use HTML tool.
  • All your campaigns are displayed in one place. Here, you can view useful information such as how many contacts received your email and how many of them actually opened it.
  • Campaign tracking tool. Integrates with Google Analytics and thus GetResponse makes it very simple for you to find contact information, view the campaign history and the open and click-through rates.

getresponse-ecommerce-marketing-tools-integration

3.       Shippo

Shippo is a shipping platform that greatly simplifies the eCommerce processes. This API platform is intended for eCommerce businesses and platforms that integrate shipping with major carrier service providers such as:

  • FedEx
  • UPS
  • DHL
  • Magento
  • Canada Post
  • Bigcommerce
  • Ontrac, etc.

Shippo enables the users to ship out their orders with no effort and with minimal risk and cost locally and globally.

Shippo charges per shipment and in that manner it differs from the other shipping software that charge users a flat monthly rate, which makes this eCommerce marketing tool an excellent option for smaller merchants.

With Shippo, companies can customize their shipping processes based on their requirements and specifications. As a result, they get resulting efficient shipping processes, faster delivery of orders, and great customer satisfaction.

Another good thing about Shippo is its customer service, where a real person will address your issue in only a few hours.

Shippo sends tracking and email notifications to the clients and helps them monitor the location of their shipments and the estimated time of arrival. If you ship out large quantities with Shippo, you get discount.

4.       Cyfe

Having a good control over your data can help you run successful business and drive higher sales. One of the eCommerce marketing tools that can help you in this is Cyfe.

Cyfe is a comprehensive, all-in-one dashboard app that helps you monitor and analyze data spread across the online services such as Google Analytics and Salesforce.

With Cyfe, users can create interactive and custom dashboards through pre-built and custom widgets. Users can share the dashboards with their clients, management, associates and other users via public URLs, scheduled reports and Cyfe accounts. We recommend Cyfe for companies working with large and complex software architectures.

Cyfe’s data processing system provides detailed insights on your web analytics, SEM, SEO, social media profiles, email marketing channels, etc.

cyfo-ecommerce-marketing-tools-dashboard

As Cyfe contains a lot of useful dashboards, there is also a possibility for monitoring multiple websites at once.

cyfo-ecommerce-marketing-tools-data-collection

Cyfo contains a lot of pre-built widgets that help the users collect data from commonly used services. The users can easily export and import data from every system or application thanks to Cyfe’s numerous integrations.

The TV mode, which is another Cyfo feature, makes a great tool for meetings because you can automatically rotate dashboards on a big screen monitor.

Some of the other Cyfo’s features include:

  • Automatic email reports
  • Branded reports for clients
  • Custom data sources
  • Multiple sharing options
  • Real-time reports
  • Unlimited users and dashboards, etc.

5.  Shopify

One of the leading platforms in the eCommerce area, and maybe the easiest to use tool for your online store, is Shopify. It is an online platform for all forms of eCommerce which allows you to organize your online store and sell all kinds of goods and services. Shopify also contains tools for offline retail.

Using Shopify is very easy. You just need to sign up and the Shopify’s wizard will lead you through the whole process of building your eCommerce store.

shopify-ecommerce-marketing-tools-dashboard

Shopify provides many advantages and benefits for individuals and businesses who want to start their online stores, such as:

  • You can set up your online store by choosing from the many professionally designed themes. There are over 100 optimized online store designs.
  • As Shopify hosts your store, you don’t have to worry about the maintenance and running of the online store, because the software keeps your servers secure and updated
  • Easy and quick import of catalogues
  • 24/7 customer support, etc.

Shopify features include:

  • Web-based website builder
  • Customer profiles, accounts and groups
  • Your own domain name
  • Multiple languages
  • Mobile commerce ready
  • 70 payment gateways
  • Order fulfillment
  • Analytics, etc.

6.       MailChimp

One of the fastest growing email marketing providers in the past years is MailChimp. It is a popular email marketing service that offers plans for small and developing enterprises.

MailChimp offers low-cost plans that are ideal for startups, as well as business-enhancing analytical features and technology tools that enable users to easily and accurately contact their clients and potential customers, market their products and services.

MailChimp has great features and an easy-to-use interface which make it an excellent choice for sending a family newsletter to few people or a professional marketing campaign to thousands of people.It holds the top spot for email marketing software due to its high success rate for email delivery.

You can create segmented lists or send your email to partial lists with MailChimp. Import names and email addresses in bulk, enter individual entries, create a form, or connect MailChimp to another contact app. Similar to other online marketing systems, this eCommerce marketing tool integrates with CRM and contact management systems and you can tie your email campaigns to the customer activities.

Due to its flexibility in campaign creation, responsive list-management system and high delivery success rate, MailChimp is one of the best email marketing software applications.

MailChimp integrates with Google Analytics which provides insightful stats on how your email campaigns impact your website traffic and online sales.

The developers constantly update MailChimp, and therefore it has many features among which are:

  • Email Designer
  • Multi-User Accounts
  • Segmentation and Groups
  • Spam Filter Diagnostics
  • Email Client Testing
  • MailChimp Editor
  • Social Sharing and many more.

7.     DrumUp

DrumUp is an easy-to-use and an all-in-one platform for discovering and sharing content. It connects with LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter accounts and does all the heavy lifting for you in terms of mining the web for contents in real time. It uses advanced algorithms to recommend new content and stories that companies want to share with their audiences.

DrumUp has features such as:

• queue calendar
• analytics
• content library
• drumup employee advocacy platform
• url shortener

This tool’s content discovery engine uses keywords. First, you need to register your account on the application and add all the social media profiles that you want to manage. Next, enter the keyword on which you want to focus your content. This way, you are able to personalize the content recommendations which give you excellent results.

drumup-ecommerce-marketing-tools-settings

When you come across a relevant or interesting article or story for your audience, you share it simply with a click of the button, and you have two options for sharing: automatically select a time for the article to post, and manual scheduling of the post.

The best part about DrumUp as an eCommerce marketing tool is that you can save precious time and effectively manage your social media presence.

Wrap-up

There are many eCommerce marketing tools that will help you drive higher sales.

The list of 7 eCommerce marketing tools above will definitely help you in that endeavor. Try several of them; spend some time to see which one works best for you and your business. Choose the tool that best suits your needs and exploit its benefits and advantages.

Old clock time management tools

The old saying “Time is money” has never been more true about today’s hectic reality of leading our busy schedules. Therefore, time management tools come in very handy these days, especially if you want to succeed in your work and further develop your professional career.

There are many applications and tools that can help you organize your work and personal life, in general and, of course, boost your productivity at the same time.

We’ve come up with a list of top 10 ten time management tools that are easy to use and that can take your your work efficiency to a whole new level of organizing yourselves.

1. Mind 42

 

Mind 42 is a collaborative browser-based online mind mapping tool that you can use to create mind maps in structured diagrams on your computer. This tool will help you visualize your thinking in a meaningful way. With it, you can organize your events, manage your ideas, create to-do lists, which result in better time management and higher productivity.


Mind 42 is a classical desktop application which you can launch in your browser. It is private, but you can share your method of thinking publically.

Its main features include:

  • exporting projects to Mind Manager, FreeMind, Mind 42 XML and PDF
  • managing time with its organizational tools
  • having productive and unique output
  • automatically saving your work in Google Drive

Mind 42 is a free tool.

2. Toggl

 

Toggl is a cloud-based time tracking application which helps you with your project management. It is an excellent tool for freelancers and small business holders alike. It has very simple functionalities. It can track time from anywhere on the Web via its browser extension. Users can export timesheets and email reports to customers or superiors.

With Toggl, you can have a complete overview of your team’s work. You can see who works on what tasks, how long a certain task takes, how many hours are spent, etc. You can monitor whether your project is within or over the budget. Basically, this application contains everything you need to plan your time and resources. Mobile applications are available for Android and iOS.

It has four levels of service. The first level is free and you get all basic features such as: time-tracking, idle detection, the ability to edit time tracked, the ability to work offline, to create as many projects and clients as you need, and more. It integrates with other tools such as Asana, Trello, Basecamp, etc.

3. Hubstaff

 

Hubstaff is another time tracking application for Windows, Mac, Linux, Chromebook, iOS, and Android. This time management tool helps companies effectively manage the productivity and workflow of their teams. Hubstaff has numerous features and it is excellent for the employers as well as the employees.

Its features include:

  • Time Tracking
  • Screenshots
  • Activity Levels
  • Automatic Payroll
  • Advanced Reporting
  • Hourly Employee Tracking
  • Mobile Apps

With Hubstaff, you can put all your projects and all the teams that you manage in one account and organize them on a project basis.

Hubstaff also takes random images of the screen during working hours and measures mouse and keyboard activities. It can support online invoicing models like the one we offer at Envoice so you can invoice your clients for the time tracked or the job done.

 4. Trello

 

When we talk about time management tools, Trello is one of the highest ranking tools available on the market that will help you organize your time and substantially boost your and your team’s productivity.

Trello is an online, collaborative workspace that is very simple to use. It operates on the principle of boards and cards. Boards correspond to the projects and card to various tasks.

Some Trello features include:

  • drag and drop functionality
  • in-line editing
  • checklists, with progress meter
  • easy uploading of files and attachments
  • data filtering
  • deadline reminders
  • easy organization with tags, labels and categories.

In terms of technical details, Trello is supported on Windows, Android, iPhone/iPad, Mac as well as it is web-based. They also have an amazing blog which is a must for everyone interested in getting useful tips on productivity.  

5. Wrike

 

Wrike is the winner of Finances online best project management software award for 2017.

Wrike will provide you with flexibility which will improve your speed and efficiency. As a time management tool, it provides collaboration of various groups and completion of tasks from a single location.

It has user friendly navigation and high level of security which means that no one without an authorization can access your databases.

Some of Wrike features include:

  • interactive timeline (Gantt chart)
  • document collaboration
  • task prioritization
  • discussions in tasks
  • workload management
  • time-tracking

Wrike as time management tool also offers integration with other tools such as Google Docs, Dropbox, SalesForce, Slack, and Adobe Creative Cloud and offers open API.

6. Asana

 

 

Asana is a cloud-based solution that is rated very highly among time and project management tools. If you have a team or a company, this tool will help you organize and manage tasks and projects in a seamless manner.

Asana can be accessed on Android and iOS smartphones, laptops and tablets. Your team’s communication and collaboration will be significantly simplified with Asana and you can use it to create projects and tasks within the existing projects. The important thing is after the initial set-up, there is no need to use e-mail or other apps for corporate communication.

There are many ways in which you can benefit from Asana. For instance, it enables you to prioritize daily tasks, create, categorize, and schedule projects, track the status of your tasks and projects.

A very interesting detail about this tool is the smart inbox. The users will receive only important messages and updates.

Some of Asana features include the following:

  • automatic updates to email/inbox
  • email bridge
  • multiple workspaces
  • activity feed
  • real-time updates
  • track tasks and add followers

Asana integrates perfectly with systems such as: Harvest, WordPress, Wufoo, Usernap, Google Drive, Dropbox, Slack, and many more.

7. TimeCamp

 

TimeCamp combines features like time tracking, invoicing and billing.This app will assist you in tracking attendance, calculating billable tasks, creating invoices, time management etc.

What distinguishes TimeCamp from other time tracking apps is the reporting. You can choose from 5 types of reports which you can share, filter, or export. As a time management tool, TimeCamp provides automated tracking of computer usage and generates productivity analyses for each employee.

You can send emails about completed work, productive hours and lists of time-consuming websites. In a nutshell, TimeCamp helps you improve project budgeting, has automatic time tracking for employees and sends detailed reports on particular projects.

We must also mention that TimeCamp has an amazing customer support service. You can contact the experienced professionals who are ready to answer your questions any time, from every device.

8. Replicon

 

Replicon is a cloud based time tracking and expense management platform that is very easy to set up and requires no training. There is no need of installing additional hardware and with its flexible client management and billing features, you will be able to manage your employees more effectively.

In terms of the benefits, features and strengths of the product, Replicon has timesheets that capture billable hours accurately and your billing process will be easier with the time approval system.

Another useful feature coming from this time management tool is the professional service automation that will give you many time tracking options. Replicon helps you easily manage your customer and project portfolios. With the Payroll Management feature you can easily manage employee statistics in terms of absences, leaves etc.

Replicon makes it very easy to monitor different project levels and the real time access to all the details makes the process much easier and clearer. One of the best advantages of this tool is its transparency.

9. Gqueues

 

At first glance, Gqueues looks very basic and resembles the classic pen and paper task organizer. It is very popular among users of time management tools.

Gqueues is available as a desktop website program and as a mobile app. In this app you can create tasks and assign due dates; create task categories. You can also share your task lists with other.

The modus operandi of this time management tool is simple. You create a task and after that task is completed it is checked off the list and moved to an archived list. With Gqueues, your tasks will be better organized through a system of categories, queues, and tagging.

Gqueues integrates perfectly with Google apps including Google Calendar, Google Drive and Gmail.

10. RescueTime

 

Do you want to improve your productivity and efficiency? Do you want to get your work done without being distracted? RescueTime is a tool that enables all these things and even more. It is a time management and productivity app that works mostly behind the scenes and it tracks, measures and automatically categorizes your activity.

RescueTime monitors the websites and applications you use and how much time you spend on them. This tool helps you work smarter and you can improve your productivity by setting goals which will help you stay focused and keep on track of work. You can monitor your progress via the dashboard with detailed reports that show you the amount of time spent on various websites, applications and documents.

RescueTime has additional features that will block distracting websites for certain periods of time and track offline activity such as meetings, calls, or commuting.

Conclusion

None of us can afford to waste time. In business, as well as in everyday life, getting things done on time is very important. Deadlines can put a lot of pressure on us which can affect our work to a great extent.

If you have problems organizing your time or tasks, do not hesitate to use one or more of the time management tools mentioned in this post. That way you will greatly facilitate your work, improve your functionality and most importantly your productivity.

When someone asks how to avoid legal trouble in their invoice, they are usually interested in only one thing: how to ensure they get paid for the work they provide.

If you are one of them, you are probably wondering if there is anything you can include in your invoice to make it more binding and make sure that you will get paid on time, because, after all, there is nothing worse than wasting valuable time chasing payments.  

The simple answer is that, there a few things that you can do to make the invoice more ‘enforceable’:

 

  1. The Correct Billing Contact

 

From the moment you start the project, make sure you request the contact details of the person who is responsible for paying you. Depending on the size of your client’s company they may have an accounting department that handles their billing.  It is much easier to deal with this individual directly, because this way you will be sure that the accounting received your invoice, and it might be easier to follow up on late payments with them directly.

 

  1. A Unique Identification Number in Each Invoice

 

Create some sort of numbering system for organizing and arranging your invoices. This could be a basic numbering framework that begins with 001 or it could be by date. This will enable you to keep your invoices organized for tax purposes. A good numbering system will also make things easier and a lot more professional, should you need to follow up with a client on a late invoice.

 

  1. Matching Invoice Terms and Contract Terms

 

When it comes to invoicing clients, you have to ensure that all the data information matches with the details written in your contract. For instance, if your contract says your terms are net 30, you can’t make a request to be paid upon receipt of your invoice. In case you’re not using a contract that includes payment terms, you’ll want to change that immediately.

 

  1. Specific Details Requested by Your Client

 

It is always better to ask your clients upfront if they have specific requirements for what information must be incorporated on an invoice. For example, some companies might require that your invoice includes your Tax ID Number, others may ask for a detailed rundown of the services you’re billing for. Few of them may indicate that invoices should be sent electronically or via snail mail.  Keep in mind that not having the right information on your invoice might delay the payment.

 

  1. Date and Terms of Payment

 

Every invoice should include the date of issue and articulate the terms of payment. The exact terms you use are up to you and your client, but here are a few suggestions:

  • Pay attention to the language you use for payment terms. Studies have shown that this has a great impact on the likelihood and time to get paid. Something like the following is optimal language: “Thank you – we really appreciate your business! Please send payment within 21 days of receiving this invoice.”
  • Be clear and specific. Clients may not know what the term “Net30” implies, so writing “within 30 days” or even include the specific due date might be easier for everyone to understand.
  • Avoid using “Due upon receipt” whenever possible. You might think this language will help you get paid faster, but not specifying an actual deadline can result in delayed payment since some clients may interpret it as “pay whenever you can.”

 

  1. Billable Services Specifics

 

Each invoice line should indicate the exact services that are being billed. Try to be as clear and thorough as possible. If the client is being charged a flat rate for services, use your judgment to determine the level of details needed to specify what they’ve received. If you are billing by the hour, make sure to specify the hourly rate, the number of hours billed and what they’ve received for that time.

 

Final Advice: Always Discuss Payment Terms Up Front

A proactive approach is always the ideal way to ensure your invoices will be paid on time. Talk about payment terms in early conversations with clients. A simple question like “My other clients pay me within 21 days of completing the project. Will that work for you?” might do the trick. If you notice any red flags in their reaction, trust your gut and move on.  

5 Tips How to Find a Friendly Bank for your Business

Finding a bank that is going to handle your small business it’s not a piece of cake and requires a lot of work. When you select a bank for personal checking and savings account, convenience and fees are the two primary factors that influence your decision, but chances are that your business probably has greater needs.

So, whether your needs are simple or complex, choosing a bank that meets your needs is essential. Consider these 5 factors in your search for your small business friendly bank.

 

Factor 1: Business Transactions

First of all, consider the kind of transactions you do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Do you make daily cash deposits? You should also think about the way you receive your revenue from your clients, and how you pay your bills for your business.

You probably should find a bank that doesn’t limit the amount of cash per billing period, and one that meets your needs in order to save you time.

 

Factor 2: Unexpected Fees

If you considered the kind of transactions you’ll need your bank to handle, it’s time to find out how much it will cost. Get a detailed breakdown of the fees your bank will charge for each service and be on a constant lookout for unforeseen fees and  “free checking” advertising tricks. They may have many limitations or charge for online payment service.

Look for a business checking account that closely fits your needs and banking habits and always know what your bank offer includes in order to lessen the impact of fees.

 

Factor 3: Additional Business Services

Many banks that offer small business checking accounts also offer additional services catered to small business owners. They may provide payroll service, employee benefits administration, send invoices, collect client payments, provide investment advice and even tax preparation assistance.

Consider not just the services you need right now, but those you may need in the next two-to-five years as your business grows.

 

Factor 4: Personal Perks and Service

If you value a personal touch than you probably should choose a small local bank where you can develop a personal relationship with your banker. These banks may be more adjusted to local market conditions. On the other hand, large national banks may offer a lot of convenient ATM and branch locations, more online services and greater perk for using their services.

Whether you choose a community bank or a national bank, the most important things is that their hours of operation are convenient for your business. Inconvenient schedules can cost you time and money and nothing can make up for not being able to get help when you need it.

 

Factor 5: Borrowing Needs

Sooner or later, your business may need access to financing, whether a small business credit card or a loan to fund expansion.  Ask potential banks about their loan options for small businesses, like whether they have landing authority and how large a loan can they approve. Compare their published interest rates with those of their competitors.

Take into consideration that smaller banks are generally considered to offer more flexible lending options for small businesses, but larger banks may be more willing to issue corporate credit cards.

 

Once you find a bank, view it as a long-term relationship. Meet with your bank at least once a year to offer an update on your business’ finances. They may see your growing business as an opportunity to provide more useful services. A friendly bank is proven to be a significant partner to your small business, helping you borrow capital and plan for the future, so put some effort into finding the right bank and nurturing your relationship.

The 6 Best Free Design Tools to Create Social Media Graphics

In the past, it was more than enough to share an image on social media every now and then. Now, if you’re not using images, you’re already behind.  The images you create should immediately catch your follower’s eyes and contain something that will influence them to click and share and continue looking for the next great thing you post. You also don’t want to spend a lot of time or money creating these images, because social media posts have a very short lifecycle.

The great news is there are a lot of tools out there to create engaging images that stand out on social media, and many of the best are free.

 

 

Canva is one of the best free tools for powerful template-based graphics creation. It offers a wide range of templates, image and illustration assets, dozens of fonts and text styles. The best thing about Canva is that it doesn’t matter if you’ve never designed an image in your life. It uses a simple drag and drop interface that allows beginners to start quickly and with just a minimal effort to create high-quality images that are great for sharing on social media or blog, design attractive graphics, presentations, and posters.

 

 

This free tool lets you choose from several professional templates sorted by industry category, design type, and size and then customize that template with easy to use filters. You can also replace template images with one from Adobe’s royalty-free library, or one of your own uploads. Unlike many tools, Spark makes it easy for you to change the design layout or even the entire template. Beyond their “post” graphic design type, Spark also provides two other project types: pages and videos.  

 

 

Created by the social media scheduling tool, Buffer, Pablo is the best tool for quickly creating great social media images.  The workflow is very simple: Choose a template or just an image for your blank template provided by sites like Unsplash and Pixabay. From there, choose from one of three sizes, each fitted specifically for Pinterest, Instagram, or Facebook/Twitter. Image customization is limited—choose from a few preset filters, designed to provide the right level of contrast between your image and your text.

 

 

Desynger is a mobile app that lets you design polished social media images. Start with a template for the social media network of your choosing, or start from scratch. From there, build your design with Desygner’s library of royalty-free images and design elements such as shapes and icons. Even in its mobile app, Desygner doesn’t skimp on features. Multiple menus allow you to hyper-customize image and text settings, while never becoming cumbersome to use on a small screen. Desynger’s web app works almost identically, with sidebar menus to help you select the design assets and effects you need.

 

 

Snappa is ideal for text-heavy social media images. It includes a thorough template library, although it puts more emphasis than other apps on getting the background image just right. From there, Snappa offers an effects sidebar that helps you create the perfect image effects for your post–whether that means darkening or coloring the background image to make white text pop or brightening the image to highlight dark text.  Snappa is similarly thorough when it comes to text. Easily edit your text from the sidebar, adjusting font, size, alignment, line spacing, and opacity.

 

 

Best for more advanced social media graphic design. It includes many of the classic graphic design functions of tools like Photoshop, Sketch, and GIMP—such as layers, drawing tools, grouping, shapes, text, effects with a much more simplified, easy-to-learn interface. While Gravit Designer is ideal for building your own designs from scratch, it does come with a small library of templates, illustrations, and icons that are pre-sized for uses like blog posts and social media images.

These graphic design apps are great whether you want to draw extra attention to a blog post you’re sharing or you want to design a full-blown branded Facebook ad campaign.

5 tips to grow your travel business with online marketing

The internet over the past few years has become an important marketing channel that funnels most of the bookings and sales in this industry. It affects how travel agencies reach their customers, how they promote their tours, and even how they do their bookings.

With that stated – online marketing can be a single marketing tool for tour providers and travel agencies to get started or grow their business.

But in order to grow a successful business, they will need to understand how online marketing works, where can they find their customers and how to optimise to get the most out of it.

Here are several tips you can take into consideration if you plan to promote your travel business using online marketing tools:

Tell a story (Blog)

When you want to promote a travel destination you must be good at digital storytelling. Telling a story in your social media campaigns with quality content is inevitable. To do that use pictures, videos and real-life stories in the description of your travel destination to catch reader’s attention. Know your audience and be creative. Share them on social networks.

Engage Customers through Social Media

Social media is the part of the online marketing that can bring the most value for tour operators and travel agencies. Tough it’s important to know how to use each network and on which of them you can find your targeted audience.

Also, you need to share and post daily, become likable, but don’t go all promotional all the time. Instead, have fun. Publish beautiful pictures, create conversations, answer questions. Join the industry groups on LinkedIn and Facebook to find partnerships and share experiences.

Integrate Direct Booking on your Website

Direct booking from your website can shorten your customers time and increase your conversion rate. Having a multi-function Book Now button on your website allows more control over your small tour business. Once you start driving traffic to one place you can easily have control on the booking process and have a view on the customer experiences in one place.

Use the information from Popular Travel Marketplaces

Tripadvisor, Trustpilot, or Touristlink, promote tours through customer reviews. That is the best option for free promotion with organic traffic. Those reviews are seen from people all over the world. And people trust them. So use this channel to increase the traffic to your website and along with that your bookings.

Be Mobile

Did you know that 87% of internet users have a smartphone? Is your website mobile friendly? A lot of customers today read posts, emails, and website content through their mobile devices. So when you start publishing your content online –   check how it appears on your smartphone or tablet screen. You also need to know if your page has fast load time, big pictures, easy navigation, search and selection, and clear call to actions. There are a lot of tools you can use to make your website more friendly – from Mobile Friendly test to free WordPress plugins perfect for mobile optimization.

3 Science proven Ways to Take Breaks at Work

Have you been at least once in a situation where you have eaten your lunch break at your desk?

We all get so focused in our work lives that often forget that we are humans and we need to do normal activities in order to take care of our bodies, live healthily and spend time for ourselves.

So my question in this post is – do you take proper breaks at work? How long does your usually break take?

Here are 3 proven by science ways to take breaks and feel more relaxed at work:

Distract and Recharge

Studies have shown that intense focus on work makes us less focused in the long run. According to the University of Illinois psychology professor Alejandro Lleras – our brains naturally stop registering sights, sounds, and feelings if they remain consistent for a period of time with how they react to thoughts that remain consistent for long periods of time. “If sustained attention to a sensation makes that sensation vanish from our awareness, sustained attention to a thought should also lead to that thought’s disappearance from our mind,” Lleras explains.

So instead of constantly thinking about a single problem’s solution, you can create distractions that will take away your attention from the task, so after you can come back with a fresh mind.

Regarding that try out this method by watching cute puppy videos, play Scrabble, talk to a friend – but don’t take too long – after all you are still at work!

Relax your Eyes

Most of us spend around 6-9 hours a day on a digital device so it is not surprising that our eyes take the burden of much of our tech-fueled lives. Fortunately, there is a simple exercise that will help you take a vision break and reduce your eye fatigue called: 20-20-20. Every 20 minutes look away from your computer screen and focus on an item at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.  Easy as 1-2-3.

Besides taking breaks to protect your eyes, there are other simple ways to protect your vision throughout the day:

  • Dim your lights: Your computer screen should be the brightest thing in the room.
  • Reduce glare: Try an anti-glare screen cover, clean your screen regularly, and make sure you’re not too close to a window.
  • Make your workspace more eye-friendly: appropriate ergonomics help diminish weakness in your entire body but your eyes especially.

Let Your Mind Wander

There are a couple of various methods of meditation that show positive results – everything from reducing anxiety and stress to increase the ability to focus. If a zen routine isn’t your style, there is another way.

A report published in Science magazine found that simply taking some time to let your mind wander can help you come up with more ideas, clever thoughts and uncover hidden answers when you’re back at work. The best part is that you might not even need to do anything. When we stop paying attention to anything, our brain’s Default Mode Network takes over which gives our mind a well-deserved rest.

NYU psychology professor Scott Barry Kaufman found that daydreaming is an incredible way to access our unconscious and allow ideas that have been silently incubating to bubble up into our conscious. Meaning that while you believe that you’re doing nothing, you’re actually mining profundities of your mind for more creative solutions to the problems you’re confronting.

 

When done correctly, breaks can actually be the ultimate productivity hack, because they help us relax and allow us to do more in less time. Contrary of the popular believes in our culture of doing, where breaks are considered to be unproductive.

To reduce long working hours and burnout, simply take a break. We know we all deserve it.

3 ways to avoid burnout and boost your team’s productivity

The number of tips and tricks to boost your team’s productivity is constantly rising. The problem is that much of these tips focus on short-term performance, and they damage the efficiency in the long run. Instead of focusing on team’s well-being and prosperity, teams are putting too much pressure to complete the ever-growing to-do list which can result in long working hours, stress, and eventually, burnout.

Luckily, there are a number of sustainable solutions that you can implement to achieve team productivity.

Make Work Meaningful

People are satisfied when they work on something that’s important to them and towards something they feel invested in. There is a direct connection between discovering meaning in work and high productivity.

Start by finding out what motivates your team

Create a survey to find out your employees’ satisfaction, asking the question: “What would cause you to take another job with a different company tomorrow?”

Provide regular one-to-one feedback sessions with your team members. These feedback sessions shouldn’t just be a one-way talk on how the team member is performing, but a chance to see how they are enjoying their role, talk about their future goals and plan how they aim to achieve them.  

Implement importance through professional development

Help your team members find meaning in their work by providing them with self-reflection. Ask them questions like: What are you working for? What impact do you want to create in your job?

This can help employees feel that they are trusted and respected, and increase the level of commitment and productivity. Once you’ve identified what impact they would like to make and how you can start by providing them with more investment in their work and create professional development plans so they can achieve that impact.

Ensure Focused Workloads

Prevent your team members from trying to handle too many tasks at once. Studies have shown that switching to a new task while in a middle of another increases the time it takes for both tasks to be finished.

Streamline tasks with project sprints and retrospectives

Sprints can empower all kinds of teams to work in a more focused way. Setting key points with your team is going to ensure that your work is focused and eliminate the chance of bouncing between unrelated tasks. Employees can streamline their tasks over each sprint when moving tasks through to completion. The team can glance back at what has been accomplished during that sprint, in order to improve the work productivity.

Establish healthy working guidelines

In this era of constant Slack notifications, emails on phones, and working across time zones, having a defined working cut-off hours from 9-5 isn’t so easy to implement. Individuals who are unable to detach from work during their downtime experienced more exhaustion compared to the ones who are able to distance themselves from highly demanding work. It is proven that these people can recover from stress more easily, which leads to higher productivity levels.

In order to establish a healthy working environment in which team members should feel free to distance themselves from work in their downtime, you ought to establish some guidelines for when employees are not expected to read and respond to messages, such as 6pm-9am. You can also encourage team members to set up a do-not-disturb period for notifications.

Support the Work-Life Balance of your team members

In order to increase your employee’s productivity, you should make sure that their time at work supports their well-being.

Provide flexible working hours

Support your team well-being by offering adaptable working options. Your employees would like the possibility to work from home from time to time. This practice should be encouraged because it boosts the team productivity. Workers who were allowed to work flexibly achieved more and were much happier in their work.

There are a number of tools that can help you enable effective remote working:  Slack, Uberconference, GitHub, Dropbox, and Harvest or Time Doctor.

Encourage well-being activities at work

Between everyday responsibilities, it is very hard for people to find the time for activities that are useful to their physical and emotional wellbeing. For that matter, some companies are providing the opportunity to support well-being inside the work environment, and there are seeing extraordinary outcomes and productivity.

So regardless of whether you are more inspired by mindfulness sessions or you think that your team would appreciate an additional physical activity, try to get an expert to your office to convey a weekly wellbeing program. You could also offer each team member an individual well-being budget or an extracurricular course of their choice.

 

There are a lot of great ideas on how to improve your team’s productivity. Keep in mind that every team is different, so the best practice is to discuss these issue and come up with a solution that you feel comfortable using and will lead to great results. The best solution, however, is to be strategic, not obsessive with your to-do list.