Using the Paypal invoice feature for your small business needs

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Whether your are a new blogger or an experienced blogger, a small business owner or freelancer you may have been asked if “you accept Paypal.” You may have also been asked to submit an invoice via PayPal or by some clients to accept credit cards. All of these things can be done, making PayPal an efficient way of keeping track of payments and expenses as well as what is outstanding or unpaid, and providing a quick way to send a reminder. I find PayPal (other than the fees) to be one of my favorite methods of handling my small business finances.

+ The information provided is based on the belief that you currently have a PayPal account. If you don’t have one, it can be easily created by visiting Paypal.com. If additional assistance is needed when setting up your account or using it for business be sure to talk to the helpful customer support system.

creating a paypal invoice

Log into your account and select the Send and Request option.

creating a paypal invoice

Select Create Invoice.

paypal invoice feature

 

Select the type of invoice you need to submit. I usually use the default function because my invoices usually are a flat rate sum but I like being able to detail what it is. You can also use the amount function if you are charging a rate only. Select hours if you charge by the hour (example 4 hours at $55 an hour).  The invoice number and date are automatic, however you may want to change the invoice number if you have for example submitted other invoices using an alternate method.

If you need to you can create your own template, however the three provided do offer most the itemization that they need.

Optional items: You can upload your logo and use your logo on your invoice. Other optional items include changing the due date, reference number, currency or due date. Additional options include attaching files like reports.

Include the email address to the person you need to bill. Once you have included their address it can be saved and used  repeatedly by starting to type the name. You can also send to multiple parties. For example I’ve had some clients where I send it to the accountant for payment, but also to the marketing department so that she would know it had been submitted and be aware of where it was in the process.

paypal invoicing

I like to end my invoices in the notes section with “Thank you for your business,” or other note of appreciation. I leave other correspondence for email messages. Terms and conditions can be stated, for example my contractor included a note about the warranty on the parts and labor for the repairs made in my house and attached the files of the items used and hours worked.

PREVIEW: It’s important to preview and review your invoices before sending. The wrong number can cause difficulties with your client. You can also save them to be sent at a later date should you get called away from the office.

SEND: Click send and you will receive an email message to the email account associated with your Paypal account confirming your invoice has been issued. An email will be sent to the client to pay and they may use their debit or credit card or their PayPal funds available in their account.

It’s that easy. I like that I can also go through the unpaid invoices quickly and easily with the sorting function or I can look at the full list of all paid and unpaid. Use the “REMIND” button to remind clients that they invoice remains unpaid when it has not been paid by the time agreed upon.

Remember PayPal just charge a fee but then again most of these types of services as well as even some banks do. Consult your accountant to determine if it is a tax deductible expense.

This is just the basics of using the PayPal invoice feature, be sure to contact their customer service department for additional information as well as assistance should you have any problems.

 

 

 

 

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Expert tips on boosting your online and social media presence

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Tim Carroll Interview on social media presence

I recently had the opportunity to interview Tim Carroll, VP of Small Business Engagement at Deluxe Corp. We discussed several topics important to bloggers, social media professionals as well as anyone from small to big business, that has an interest in increasing their online and social media presence.

Grab your notepads, you will want to take some notes using his tips on:

  • Maximizing your social media  and web presence
  • How much is too much?
  • When to DIY and when to leave it to the experts
  • Guest Posts
  • SEO tips
  • Find out where you can get additional information and free webinars. 

Tim Carroll has a strong track record of developing innovative ideas, embracing new media and building focused, cross-functional teams. Most recently, he has applied this expertise to lead Deluxe Corporation’s brand transformation initiative: building awareness of Deluxe’s products and services among small business owners and helping them live their passions. Tim holds a bachelor of arts in economics from Yale University. He is an active member of the Mobile Marketing Association, Direct Marketing Association and Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association.

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Free Kindle books for bloggers, business, writers and WAHM

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Looking for books on working at home, starting your successful business, writing, publishing, getting and keeping jobs and social media?  Today I found several free Kindle books to help you with each of those topics.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which are used to support my site, business and family. However, all opinions expressed are 100% my own.  

Now, I haven’t read any of these books yet, I’m sharing them with you as fast as I find them.  They stand out to me because of the topics, reviews they may already have and well of course because they are FREE, at least for the time being.

However, if you are reading this post and they are no longer available for free on the Kindle that is not unusual! You know how quickly prices and available can change on Amazon, so grab them while you can.

    

Key word here – START! Even with experience and know how HAVING a successful blot takes time.

How To Write A Novel: How To Write A Blockbuster Novel That Will Sell-How To Make Money Writing And Finance Your Work (How To Write A Novel, How To Write … To Write Short Stories, Creative Writing,)

    

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30 Day Online Free Trial: Quickbooks: America’s No. 1 Small Business Software

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Small business owners know they have to keep records of financial transactions. They know the importance of accurate accounting, both for legal reasons and for their own reporting. They know it’s possible to use simple spreadsheets to keep track of transactions, but there are software products specifically made for small businesses and the most popular of them all is Quickbooks, a product from Intuit.

Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links which are used to support this site.  However all opinions expressed are 100% our own. 

A Complete Package

Quickbooks was made with small business in mind. More than just a basic bookkeeping system, this software helps small businesses with customer receivables, vendor management, and even payroll. Quickbooks will create invoices for you with the push of a button. And new features, such as the ability to import banking data from the internet, continue to improve on an already solid product.

 Reporting Made Easy

Quickbooks is all about organization. Its software helps small businesses monitor customer payments, track expenses, etc. and it has the ability to download reports into Excel. This is great for those who prefer the advantages that a spreadsheet offers. With the click of your mouse, the report in front of you is converted to Excel format, where it can be manipulated and sorted using the ordinary tools of Microsoft Excel. This is true of everything from an accounts receivable aging report to a monthly income statement or balance sheet.

Ongoing Support

Parent company Intuit know that small businesses cannot afford any down time. This is why support is ready to assist its software users with quick answers to questions. The online site contains answers to common questions, including installation issues, transaction input, error codes, and more. Quickbooks even assists its users with accounting and finance issues/concerns, such as reconciling bank accounts, closing the year, creating 1099 forms, and paying sales taxes.

The Industry Leader

This program is the most popular software for small businesses and the reasons are clear. The product is designed to be intuitive and many users claim they can simply look around the screens and figure out what to do next. Help menus exist throughout and they can assist with problem resolution on the spot. And if something cannot be resolved, a quick check at the online site or a phone call to a customer service representative is often all that is necessary to find answers and get the software back up and running.

Try Quickbooks Online Free for 30 Days! No setup fees. Cancel Anytime!

It  is far less expensive than other business software and it takes less space to download on your personal computer or MAC. With so many advantages and such a low cost, it is the software of choice for millions of small businesses every day. Check out this Intuit product yourself, and see how easy bookkeeping and small business operations can be with Quickbooks in place.

 

 

Copyright 2014, Bryan Carey

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5 Finance factors to consider before deciding to work at home

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Image By Flickr Creative Commons: Dustin Moore

The decision to stay home or return to work after having children is one hot topic. Not only do people talk about it a great deal, but there are also some very strong feelings offered up to both men and women as they consider becoming a stay-at-home parent. In our case, it was sort of an easy answer to the question of staying home. A nice salary from a university position, didn’t offset the cost of two young children needing daycare, which would cost approximately $2500 a month in child care and made our decision somewhat easy. But there are also many other factors to consider before parents make a final decision about staying home. The most important one may have to do with money. Here are a few finance factors to consider before you write your two week notice.

Beware of your budget. Childcare is not the only expense to consider. You may also need to make some tough decisions about your lifestyle choices, vacations or even dining out. Do you have some payments like the mortgage that simply couldn’t be met if one parent or the other stays home? If so, you may need to consider downsizing or cutting back on your other expenses, if you do decide to stay home.

Check the credit. While couples can add their non-working spouse to a credit card, usually this means that the stay at home parent won’t be building up their own credit. That can cause long term financial problems in the event of a death or divorce.

Insure your insurance. Is the prospective stay at home parent the one with health insurance coverage? If so will the same level of coverage be available for a similar premium, from your company? Will there be additional copays or deductibles? You will also need to consider where in the year that these insurance changes, such as taking on a new policy or changing an existing one will happen. In some cases you must wait for a determining factor or an enrollment date.

Return on retirement. You know that 2-5% contribution that your company has been depositing for you in your IRA account? While it may not seem like much, but at least it was something going into your retirement fund. As a result, staying at home can mean that your retirement money may not grow old with you, unless you can find a way to continue to make some contributions.

Respect responsibilities. With one parent staying home there may be some thought that now all the household decisions and work like cooking and cleaning is done exclusively by the stay at home parent. Where once before you may have had a housekeeper, use a dry cleaner or have someone to care for your pool or lawn, your decision to stay home may mean that those expenses need to be cut from the budget. You may have to start doing these chores. However, staying home is a job too, and it is just as hard if not harder some days that going out into the workforce. Make sure that you and your spouse discuss how the chores, cooking, cleaning and transporting the kids after work hours will be handled and find a way that works for you.

The decision to stay home isn’t one that can be decided easily. There is a great deal to consider and discuss with your significant other or spouse. Money is one of the main topics of disagreement in many relationships so it’s important to consider the impact that your stay at home decision will make, not only on your finances but on your relationships too.

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