Sales prospecting, project management, invoicing and outstanding payments follow-up… The nightmare of many freelancers and VSE managers. What if there was a practical and affordable tool to manage it all online?
As founder and manager of the Hive5 coworking space, Gaël Van Gijsegem knows the reality of freelancers and SMEs. Making their lives easier is what Hive5 coworking space is all about. “From the start, I tried to offer more than just a nice and dynamic working environment. I wanted to create a real community, by organising conferences, members-only events, multiplying contact opportunities. But I think we still need to go further, and help them in their daily life.”
Handling invoicing by hand? Too tedious!
When the Hive5 adventure began, Gaël realised that managing payments “by hand” was rapidly becoming very complex. “I started like everyone else, in Excel tables. As a result, nothing was automated, not even the numbering of invoices! When you have a few clients, it’s fine, but as soon as you have more than ten, it becomes a real headache. I said to myself that I had to find something else. One of the members of the Hive5 community was working on developing a management tool!
Time savings that pay off
Testing this management tool has saved Gaël a lot of time. “Time and peace of mind! Just the fact that you can send invoices with one click changes your life. It’s much easier than saving the invoice in PDF format before sending it with my email program…” Another advantage of the system is the ability to easily send payment reminders. And even to reconcile payments and invoices by using electronic account statements. “This also makes it possible to automate the sending of payment reminders!”
A goal: help community
Finally, in talking to other Hive5ers, Gaël realises that he is far from being the only one to have pulled his hair out over invoicing and payment tracking. “All the coworkers had the same problem. But time spent on administration means less time for the clients! So I thought that offering this tool to coworkers would be a good way to boost their business. Especially since the system also offers a small business management tool (quotes…) and project management; the ideal way to get your foot in the door without breaking the bank!” Hive5 Business Tools was born!
Hive5 philosophy: boost its entrepreneurs
More than a coworking space, Hive5 wants to help entrepreneurs to better manage their business and to thrive in their profession. “Hive5 Business Tools is a new step in this direction. But I’m keeping an eye on it: I think there are still plenty of initiatives that can be launched to help entrepreneurs!”