Paymo Invoicing System

Paymo is a really fantastic online service, for managing timesheets and billing. We’ve been using it for a few years now and its pretty much perfect.

You set up clients, and projects, and download a little timer gadget that allows you to track time spent on each project.

At the end of the month – or whatever billing cycle you want to use – Paymo will draft an invoice based on the timesheet and any expenses you recorded for the project. You can edit, and add notes, before you email the invoices to your clients, and you can even offer the option to pay online via Paypal.

Very well suited to freelancers and small businesses that manage a lot of different clients and projects.

Click here to find out more about Paymo.

Paymo time tracking and project management
Paymo time tracking and project management

 

Shopify for Ecommerce Websites

Start a Shopify siteShopify is one of the standard platforms for setting up an online shop. It comes with lots of well-designed yet easily adaptable templates. The administration side is fairly similar to WordPress in its layout and ‘feel’ but with a lot of focus on managing your sales and stock.

Shopify also offers a WordPress widget so you can easily sell products from your existing WordPress site.

We are currently working on a new Shopify site for a client.

You can start a free 14 day trial to see for yourself how it works, but if you would like support to set it up, just get in touch.

 

Greener Upon Thames – Eco Friendly Business Cards Designed for Minimum Waste

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Greener Upon Thames are a London based environmental campaign group seeking to end single use plastic bags in the UK capital – and beyond.

They are well connected with good support from people such as local MP Zac Goldsmith and rower Roz Savage. GUT have worked hard to pressure the Olympics to commit to a plastic bags ban. It looks as though the sponsors will not be participating in the move but the campaign is continuing with moves to get political decisions that at least introduce the levy on bags that is so widespread around the world now. There is also an EDM (Early day motion) underway to get a UK-wide levy in place.

I was asked to produce some publicity materials, including contact cards for the team who are now recruiting new volunteers for the project.

Often, printing is done in large quantities and after a few months or a year or so, the cards are out of date, the people involved have moved on, and a lot of cards just go in the bin.

But GUT have to keep up higher standards, so these cards have generic details on the backs with a blank space for individuals to write in their contact details, so there would be minimal waste of out of date cards. It also gives a nice opportunity to connect in a more personal way with your new contact through jotting down your name and personal contact details on the back. The generic card can be given out in larger numbers too, as mini-flyers with the website and social media links.

Greener Upon Thames CardQR codes from QRstuff.com gave people a chance to check out the links straight away, and printing at Moo allowed us to get a mix of different images on the fronts, and to print on recycled board thus upholding the eco credentials of the group.

The feedback was pretty positive:

[the Moo cards] Have arrived… And look fantastic!! Brilliant – All the pictures work and the mix of feel of card with look of plastic is really clever! Genius! A massive thank you.

You can follow the campaign at www.greeneruponthames.org and https://www.facebook.com/greeneruponthames

Exporting Made Easy: A Practical Guide

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Spider Books has just published ‘Exporting Made Easy – A Practical Guide: Selling Services and Products Overseas Through Agents and Distributors (including the Legal Bits!)‘, a short business book that introduces the process for exporting goods and services.

Aimed at UK SMEs, but useful in other countries too, the book is designed for businesses wanting to get started in exporting.

The authors Simon Bedford and Giles Dixon are both experts in the field with many years experience supporting businesses to expand into new territories.

It’s easy to read and will tie in very well with the current efforts to boost the economy by encouraging exports from the UK.

You may find it surprising that you can export your services as well and this book makes clear how that can work and what to consider.

About

Published by Spider Books, and printed by Short Run Press, Exporting Made Easy is priced at £10.99.
>>It is available to buy on Amazon.co.uk and >>direct from Spider Books.
Paperback: 110 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0956108425
Product Dimensions: 21 x 14.8 x 0.7 cm

More at the Exporting Made Easy website

 

Get even better feedback for your website

Wishbox widget
Wishbox allows users to send you annotated screenshots of your website

 

Wishbox is a handy and free widget that allows visitors to  your website to send you a message if something isn’t working, such as broken links. The news is that Wishbox allows the visitor to send you a screenshot and add their own notes to point to the problem they found on the page.

This can be very useful for website design projects where lots of people are working remotely to put together a new site, as for the ContractStore website refresh that Spider managed recently.

It’s also useful for anyone wanting a close connection with their website visitors and for whom the site design is very important.

Websites That Look Nice and are Easy to Make and Manage

Gotzo Sorribas Website
Gotzo Sorribas Website built in Moonfruit software

 

Build your own website

Moonfruit offers site-building software that is based on a visual approach to designing your site. Being a very visual thinker, I like it because of this.

It has some disadvantages – it uses Flash which can be a bit slow to load and not all browsers have a Flash player built in – but when it comes to an easy way to make a simple, colourful website, its fab. It is sometimes claimed that Flash sites are not good for Google searches but I have found in fact that the sites I’ve built get picked up very well.

I use it a lot. Here is an example: http://www.greeneruponthames.org.

There is a free version and its very cheap and easy to manage larger sites or more of them. You can buy your domain names in there as well, and this is also easier to understand than the usual domain name registration and hosting websites. basically you can get your site built and run very easily.

If you still find it a hassle I can build and manage your site as I do for clients such as such as actress Angeles Sorribas.

Get in touch if you’d like to know more.

Send a Big File over the Internet

A quick & easy way to send large files - simply MailBigFile

When designing with photographs, or making exhibition graphics and banners, or sending a film to a competition, the large files involved can clog up email. This makes it difficult to share work with clients and printers.

So some time ago I discovered MailBigFile. Its cheap and easy to use and it has always worked. You just put in the email address to send to, browse to your Big File and go. It can take a while to upload but you can just carry on with other work or have a coffee while its sending. The recipient then gets an email inviting them to download the file. You can get an alert to see when they have downloaded the file.

There are other services like this too but I do like this one for its very simple process.