A Web 2.0 of Small Business Solutions – FreshBooks, Outright, BatchBlue, MailChimp & Shoeboxed
This is my site Written by Alora on May 3, 2009 – 7:42 pm

What do FreshBooks, Shoeboxed, BatchBlue, MailChimp and Outright all have in common? Aside from being Web 2.0 businesses who serve the small business market, they are also the founding member organizations of The Small Business Web.

An exciting initiative that launched earlier this year, The Small Business Web is a partnership of businesses dedicated to upholding a central tenet: “A passion for customer service, an excellent product or service, a solid business model and an API.”

The Small Business Web Manifesto: We think small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy and that it’s from small business that true innovation will arise. We believe small businesses should have access to the same tools and technology that big companies have without paying a huge amount. We know simplifying access and increasing integration to our products and services will benefit all of our customers. We want small businesses to succeed and we want to help.

The benefits of this partnership for freelancers and small business are expansive thanks to the out-of-the-box integration between these great small business-focused businesses: whether you’re sending your receipts from ShoeBoxed to Outright, or your BatchBook (made by BatchBlue) contacts to MailChimp, or your accounting information from Outright to FreshBooks for invoicing, these small business understand the challenges of small business and have done their best to make life just a bit easier for freelancers and small organizations.

  • FreshBooks – Small business invoicing services.

  • Outright – Free small business accounting services.
  • Shoeboxed – Business card and receipt scanning services.
  • BatchBook – CRM for small businesses.
  • MailChimp – Email marketing services.

FreshBooks and Outright Integration

FreshBooks and Outright Integration

To see more details, see either FreshBooks or Outright‘s website.

From a customer: I have been meaning to write and thank you guys for making three of my favorite applications FreshBooks, Outright and Shoeboxed work together. I am an online business manager and marketing virtual assistant — the numbers part of running a small business has never been my strong suit. Before your terrific troika, I would dread dealing with the numbers at all — saving up most of my accounting tasks until the end of each quarter – where I would hand enter all of my transactions into my accounting software (OK – I admit it – a spreadsheet) — it took my hours — and I left out many expenses that I just didn’t track.

Shoeboxed, Outright and FreshBooks now save me hours each month and give me a handle on where my business is (and what taxes are due) at any given time. I keep track of client hours using the FreshBooks time tracking widget. My subcontractors also track their time in FreshBooks and invoice me. I send invoices to clients and as they are paid – they are entered in Outright.

I use my Shoeboxed e-mail as my primary e-mail when purchasing anything — most of my income and expenses take place online. The e-mails are automatically captured in both Shoeboxed and Outright. When I do my monthly billing – I also go into Shoeboxed and make sure all the receipts captured correctly.

Then, I go into Outright make every thing sync — see where I am with taxes — all done. Takes a total of about an hour a month (max) and I feel like I am much more on top of things. – Meredith Eisenberg

FreshBooks and Shoeboxed Integration

For more details, see FreshBooks website.

From a customer: I am just getting started with the combination of FreshBooks, Outright and Shoeboxed – and already in my first month I have saved an amazing amount of time! As a freelancer with a thriving design business I love how much time I save with these great tools… not to mention the peace of mind I have knowing that I am up to date on my invoicing, expenses and I know where I stand with my taxes! I HIGHLY recommend this “system” for any freelancing looking to run an efficient, streamlined and professional small business! – Mona Pennypacker

Outright and Shoeboxed Integration

For more details, see Outright’s and Shoeboxed’s websites.

BatchBook and Shoeboxed Integration

FreshBooks and Outright Integration

For more details, see BatchBlue‘s website.

From a customer: I use all three services, and absolutely love all of them! In fact, the companies I start today have as a requirement that all three be used when talking with my partners. I do all my invoicing in FreshBooks; I keep a shoebox for receipts that I dump every one into; and I download to Outright automatically and then go back in and delete the non-work related ones out of my file. – Andrew Simmons

BatchBook and MailChimp Integration

For more details, see BatchBook website.

BatchBook and FreshBooks Integration

For more details, see FreshBooks‘ and BatchBook‘s websites.

From a customer: The integration is awesome. I started first using FreshBooks for my invoicing- it does a fine job tracking my hours, generating invoices and keeping track of payments. Then I added Shoeboxed, which is simply amazing – it worked so much better than I expected. Then I found I could use Outright to pull it all together – my invoices flow into my Outright income line, my expenses flow from Shoeboxed into my expenses – any it’s all accessible at home and on the road at a client site – I don’t even have to pull out my own laptop.

I get paid for my time working as a consultant but I don’t get paid for my time keeping my books. Using FreshBooks, Shoeboxed and Outright saves me time so I can do the work I get paid for. This is a great time to start a small business because you don’t have to deal with dinosaur tools like QuickBooks anymore. – A. Michael Berman

If you own or run a small business, you owe it to yourself to take a look at the wide array of solutions these products have to offer – both in combination and as stand-alone applications. And what’s even more exciting, is that each of these products has integration capabilities with other companies as well – everything ranging from Gmail (BatchBook) to BaseCamp (FreshBooks). Never before have small businesses had so many affordable resources at their disposal. And the best news of all is that this web only promises to grow.