Calling all photographers; dog trainers and dog walkers; handymen; hair stylists and makeup artists, plumbers and pool boys. Your on-the-go businesses now have access to the same type of management software tools that other, more sedentary, small business owners have been working with for years — thanks to the efforts of PocketSuite founders Yang Forjindam and Sam Madden.
The two have been laboring away on an app for iPhones that can offer an Uber-like booking, scheduling, and payment service for the nearly 3 million freelancers and roughly 50 million independent contractors that act as their own bosses, secretaries, and maintenance and support staff.
“We help self-employed professionals run their business,” says co-founder Sam Madden. “What PocketSuite gives these people the power to do is to schedule appointments and receive payments.”
The company’s app, available in the iTunes store, integrates with software like Yelp and Thumbtack, and leverages the iPhone’s built-in calendar to ensure that schedules are up-to-date and accurate. Any appointment is confirmed with a credit card, so payments are more convenient for customers and more timely for small business owners.
For Forjindam, the work at PocketSuite, which began six months ago after a conversation with his house cleaner, is a continuation of the application development and programming he’d previously done as one of the wunderkind first engineers at the online business management software behemoth, NetSuite.
Actually backed by some of NetSuite’s executive team, including Chief Scientist William Bailey, PocketSuite extends a NetSuite-like functionality down to small businesses and independent contractors.
The company was founded by Yang Forjindam, one of NetSuite’s first engineers, and has received seed-stage funding from multiple members of NetSuite’s founding team, including Chief Scientist William Bailey.
So far, the company has 1500 business users on the app and, according to Madden, engagements and transactions have tripled as new users begin to book more and more clients through the app.
At the moment, the PocketSuite app is free to download, but the company charges a 2.99% processing fee for every payment. “You can basically analyze where your clients are coming from and what’s the average spend of each of these new leads and are you keeping them as a full-time client,” says Madden. “And the other thing we’re focusing on is growing as people’s business grows.”
Early entrepreneurs typically start with one business, and then hire more staff as they become more successful, which means that they can bring more users onto the platform, says Madden.
“We want to become the ERP tool for the fastest growing part of the U.S. workforce — the micro-business,” says Madden.
Photo via Flickr user JD Hancock