Timely invoicing and collection of payments is crucial for the financial health of a growing business. In the past we have covered various invoicing options for small businesses such as Gorilla Desk, which caters specifically to service-businesses, and accounting apps such as FreshBooks and QuickBooks, which offer integrated billing features.
But the challenges of raising bulk physical invoices for a small business can be something else altogether; from printing, stuffing, getting the mailing list right and finally waiting in line at the post office. This is why we felt that the latest product launches from PlanetSoho would be of particular interest to small business owners grappling with the issue of mailing invoices.
To help small businesses accept checks via mail (almost one-third of payments received by small businesses are in the form of checks as per a 2011 report published by the National Clearing House Association), PlanetSoho has introduced the Snail Mail service . What this entails is outsourcing your invoicing to PlanetSoho by simply sending them the invoicing details and the entire process is undertaken by them, which includes mailing invoices with a return envelope in the name of your business. This service is free for PlanetSoho members for a certain number of invoices, with additional invoices being handled for less than $1. The second new service by the company is for sending recurring invoices to your customers. All you need to do is specify the start date and frequency and physical invoices will be raised without having to track the due date.
As per Matt Weeks, Vice President and General Manager of Ecosystem at PlanetSoho, “In this digital age, it’s easy to forget that small businesses accept over 10 billion handwritten checks every year. Our online payment system makes it easy for members to accept payment any way their customers want to pay, including checks.”
To search for other service providers offering similar service I obviously ‘Googled’ for information. But most other platforms are either accounting apps with integrated billing or systems that focus more on moving businesses to e-billing. Of those which were into physical invoicing, none really stood out as specializing in the small business space.
For small businesses looking to automate their invoicing process, cost is clearly a concern. Also, you would rather work with company that not only understands the needs of the small business niche but is also well established. On all these fronts, PlanetSoho definitely comes out a clear winner as the perfect solution for automated physical invoicing for small businesses.