Want an easier way to manage invoices? Blinksale is for you. And even if invoices aren’t a problem for you, take a minute and check out their site. It is visually and functionally stunning. It oozes AJAX and Rails, and thoughtful, creative design. That’s not surprising, since a design company specializing in AJAX, Firewheel Design, created the site. But it is also wonderfully easy to use – the features are not just there to visually impress. I love it, and I never send invoices.
Blinksale tackles a simple need in a straightforward way. Invoices are always a hassle for small businesses. You either need to hack up a Word or Excel document and forward it, or use expensive accounting software. Some people just send text invoices in email. It’s not very pretty, and unless you are using accounting software there are few or no tools to help you follow up and manage invoices after they are sent.
Blinksale solves all of this. First, it takes moments to create and send a very professional invoice. I literally registered a new account, created a faux invoice and sent it to my partner at Archimedes Ventures, Keith Teare, in about 5 minutes (I billed him $25,000 for “services” – let’s see if the deadbeat pays).
Blinksale currently supports 160 currencies. You can include your paypal information in the invoice and be paid by that method, if you can do business with paypal (in my opinion the world is divided firmly into two types of people: people who’ve used paypal for one year or less, and people who’ve been ripped off by paypal and subsequently have been ignored and/or berated by paypal “customer service”). By the way, after registration, blinksale creates a unique home page for you – ours is techcrunch.blinksale.com.
After creating an invoice, there are a number of management tools at your disposal.
First, Mac users can sync their invoices with iCal. For the rest of us, an xml feed is available and you can subscribe to invoices via RSS. Reminders and Thank You notes can be sent to clients. Paid invoices can be marked as paid and closed out.
Blinksale has a number of account options, ranging from free to $29/month. The paid plans all have a 30 day free trial, and there is no minimum period (and no refunds for termination before the end of a month). The paid plans allow for customized templates (using CSS), more users, more invoices, more clients, etc.
Put simply, receiving payment for services performed or goods sold is why most of us work. While many small business owners, contractors, and freelancers enjoy the work they perform, most of us would rather be skiing. Or on a lake. Or in front of a 60-inch plasma TV. We work so we can get paid. And if we get paid enough, perhaps we won’t have to work as much. Getting paid for your services should be easy, painless, and quick. This is why we created Blinksale. Link
Meyerweb, Anil Dash, WorkHappy #1, WorkHappy #2 (Interview with founder Josh Williams), Signals v. Noise, Jeff Perrin, Marko DugonjiÄ‡ (excellent review), James Archer, Colin Devroe, JasonSantaMaria, Michael Raichelson, Mixed Content, LeapFrogLog, ifthensoftware, Marcus Zillman, Cameron Moll