Many small businesses count referrals and ongoing account relationship as their best sources of growth month to month, year to year or some other regular period. But a far fewer number probably has the technology in place to help automate or simplify invoicing or billing customers that use their professional services on a recurring basis.
What sort of businesses fall under that umbrella? Certainly any organization providing monthly or quarterly services to a group of ongoing customers -- that could describe a landscaping maintenance business, a health club, a software developer selling cloud-based applications and pretty much any professional services company.
That is the target audience for FuseBill, a cloud service designed to help small and midsize businesses with processes such as signing up new customers, automating ongoing billing statements, processing credit cards, and managing communications if something goes awry.
The initial audience for the company was companies software as a service (SaaS), but the focus was broadened and the service now supports businesses that need to bill anywhere from a few hundred to tens of thousands on a recurring basis, said Steve Adams, CEO of FuseBill. "It is certainly easier to get your billing right if you start this way," he said.
Aside from keeping a better handle on accounts receivable and payment processing functions, FuseBill can be used to help track the success of certain lead generation efforts or marketing campaigns, said Melanie Attia, director of SaaS marketing for e-Sign Live, an online electronic signature service that is a FuseBill customer.
e-Sign opted for FuseBill because it supports a number of different payment options (not just credit cards), it offers PCI compliance and other security features, and because it can be used to create invoices that might be needed for other accounting or financial management services, Attia said. It took several weeks to get the service integrated into its systems.
"Before, we ended up doing a lot of financial stuff that really had nothing to do at all with our core service," she said.
FuseBill is priced at $50 per month plus 40 cents per transaction, up to 1,000 customers, Adams said.