Our story began like many other companies, a desperate need for something easy to use to manage our accounting and inventory. Everything we found was either hard to use, expensive, or both. We needed something to use ourselves.
My wife has been in direct sales since around 2013. Initially, it was just to get discounts on products she loved using. Sound familiar? She did a launch party as part of starting up and got bookings. She then did those parties, still not thinking it would go anywhere and just liking to get free products.
From there, the bookings just kept leading to more bookings and those leading to even more. Finally, she decided to take it seriously and make a business out of it.
Fast forward to the first time we got our taxes done after she started making a business out of it.
Ouch, we had to pay much more than expected.
During that first accounting appointment we found out a couple of very important things:
- We had to pay thousands of dollars to the government when we honestly did not plan to.
- Getting serious about write-offs is now a must.*
* We did write some things off but realized that we could have saved a good chunk of that tax bill if we had been more serious about it and kept much better records.
That lesson was an expensive one, for sure!
My background is in finance and technology. The first thing we tried was using a spreadsheet. That quickly proved to be an underwhelming solution!
Have you ever tried to keep up with inventory in a spreadsheet? Or track income and expenses from a specific event to know if it is worth doing again this year? Not fun!
The next thing I did was build a simple accounting application for my wife where she could track income and expenses and keep her inventory up to date.
Then she started doing Facebook parties, and we wanted a way to invoice customers at those parties. Yes, we could have invoiced through PayPal and then manually entered the income into our application, but that was doing twice as much work as necessary. We wanted something simple. Simple is easier and much more likely to be used.
If you are running your own business, which you are, otherwise you would not be reading this, you want something that will save time, not make it harder.
So, I added the ability to invoice from the application with the income being recorded when the invoice is paid (and marking it paid in the invoice list) using Square. This allows her to invoice her customers with the same Square account she uses for vendor events.
Our goal is to continue to make things easier for her and for you to run your direct sales business.