Running a production company can be a hectic affair. Tools like ScreenLight can help you speed up the video review and approval process, but there are plenty of other tricks we want to share with you on how to run your production business more efficiently.
Cutting down the amount of time you spend on administrative tasks like invoicing clients should be at the top of the list. Why?
Because collecting money from clients more efficiently will immediately improve cash flow, and Cash is King...
A great tool that we have used for this is FreshBooks, an online invoicing service that is designed for small business.
Easily create and send invoices
FreshBooks provides an easy way to create invoices using templates that can be customized with your company logo and information like payment terms. It's easy to add different items to invoices, as well as hours billed for different activities. FreshBooks takes care of calculating taxes, subtotals, and the total amount owed.
When you are ready to send out an invoice, FreshBooks will either deliver it to clients via email, or it will print out the invoice and mail out a hard copy.
Make it easy for customer to pay online
You can really save some time by using FreshBooks to accept online credit card payments from your customers. FreshBooks makes this easy due to its integration with leading payment gateways like PayPal and Authorize.Net. Once this is setup, customers can login to the FreshBooks system (they are given a user-name and password like with ScreenLight) and pay their invoices via credit card, PayPal, or electronic cheque. The easier it is for clients to pay you, the faster it gets done.
Manage your cashflow by tracking outstanding invoices
Regardless of whether you use online payments, or you have customers pay by cheque, FreshBooks makes it easy to stay on top of things. As the money comes in, you can record payments and partial payments of invoices. You can also see at a glance who has paid you and what invoices are outstanding. FreshBooks can also send out friendly reminders that payment due, so that you don't have to waste time chasing people down.
A dashboard for your business
FreshBooks goes well beyond simply invoicing. You can use it for time tracking, expense reporting, setting up recurring payments, tracking cashflow, and preparing information for your accountant. Essentially, it's the book keeping system that most small companies need.
The bottom line is that using Freshbooks will help you get paid faster so that you can spend more time telling great stories.