More people than ever have taken the leap into self-employment in the last few years. The global economic crisis and the resultant lack of jobs, the trend is also due to wider changes in society.
The rising internet has opened up opportunities for people from a range of backgrounds to develop their hobbies or interests into a small business. “Mompreneurs” and older fifty-something business people are two groups who have rapidly grown in recent years. All small businesses do, however, have some key factors in common. Working for yourself is a dream for many people, and it is fair to say that it can offer the most rewarding career. However, long hours and wide responsibilities are two features of the self-employed life that you might not hear so much about.
Many small businesses also face the problem of working in areas that they are not familiar with; IT and accounting are essential skills when running your own business, but are rarely an area in which people are experts. Accounting, in particular, can cause some very long hours and painful headaches. Thankfully, there is a vast range of software to smooth this particular small business nightmare!
Good accounting practices are straightforward in some senses; record everything and keep everything is a good rule to start out with. Computers have become familiar in the workplace over the last thirty years, and invoicing software is now widely available and affordable.
Most businesses will have some form of accounting software, today, although in the past invoicing software has tended to be designed with larger firms in mind. However, many leading providers are now offering accounting software and invoicing software solutions with the small company in mind.
Available two main types are the desktop version and the cloud-based versions. The latter has some specific benefits for small firms and should be considered carefully when choosing a product.
Cloud Computing Products
If you are unfamiliar with cloud computing, think Hotmail. This email solution has been around for a while now and is a simple form of cloud provision of software. Thanks to the improvements in computing, and particularly broadband connectivity, it’s now possible to provide most kinds of software in this way. Hosted remotely online invoicing or accounting software keeps space on your PC or Laptop free. It also has no tricky installation tasks, and it does not require updating or maintenance (all of this is done remotely).
The flexibility that online invoicing and accounting software offers the small firm is obvious. Records are accessible from any device connected to the internet, which does not tie you down to a physical office. For the self-employed who work out and about, this is a real benefit. Invoicing can be done while at a client’s premises, not when you return home and want to relax! Basic tasks can be fitted in when you have time, wherever you are, again saving on those hours back at the office – or in the back bedroom!
Time for growth
For the many people who have found the recession is a time of opportunity, to take control of their own working lives simple tools such as online invoicing software offer excellent, flexible solutions to save time, effort and money. With the numbers of self-employed individuals rapidly growing in Canada and across the globe, small businesses are taking advantage of the power of computing to grow.