When we set out to build what is now InvoiceQuick, our intent was to create a uniquely simple invoice generator. We wanted to offer freelancers and small businesses a convenient and quick way to bill for their services. Fast-forward to 2020: InvoiceQuick is over 700 paying customers strong, with a base of 7,000 active monthly users.
In the meantime, we went from a simple invoice generator to a billing platform with a constantly expanding set of features. In just a couple of years, the daily invoice count, generated through InvoiceQuick, soared from 20 invoices to more than 20,000.
In this post we’ll let you in on our growth process, the challenges we overcame, and what kept us going through times when we had a $0 budget.
We were a team of front-end experts. Before we started working on InvoiceQuick, we realized that with our expertise, we could build products that would be 60% complete (we had no backend expertise or manpower at the time).
We figured that if we could already provide a partially developed product to our clients, why not raise the bar? Why not aim for 100% and build a fully-fledged product of our own? And so we set out. We were moving at a slow pace, and let’s just say it took us a long time to learn how to manage backend developers and figure out how it all came together.
In the end, what mattered to us the most was assembling a strong team of experts and making sure that everyone involved was working towards the same goal — essentially, that everyone was owning the process and the product.
A friend of ours was the owner of the InvoiceQuick legacy software. We started working on its redesign as a passion project but set it aside when other aspects of our growing business demanded all of our attention. Some time later while compiling a portfolio of projects, we revisited the code we did for InvoiceQuick and realized it was actually pretty great! All we really needed to revive this hidden gem was a backend team to help carry the project on. We entered into a co-ownership agreement, everyone invested their own funds, and so the new InvoiceQuick came to be.
Our first goal was to build an MVP. Our industry is fiercely competitive, so we needed to be nimble and use a customer-centered approach to have a better shot at gaining our customers’ trust. In this first stage, we followed Design Thinking principles and focused on building essential features for invoicing:
Once these features were functional, we started expanding our product to accounting, taxes, reporting, dashboard, and estimates, breaking down our work into design sprints.
The biggest challenge along the way was the billing logic, specifically how to charge for subscriptions by our paying users. Eventually, we managed to sort this out with Stripe.
The accounting and invoicing industry can be harsh. There is a lot of competition, so it’s tricky to find your unique selling point and get heard.
What we decided to do was to focus on and support people like us — freelancers and small businesses — through our pricing plan. Our software is free for up to three customers, which is really helpful for businesses that are working on a limited budget but need added functionalities to take care of accounting and billing. Once our clients get their feet under them and start growing beyond their initial three customers, we start charging for our software.
The second thing that makes us unique is our customer support. Strangely enough, many of our competitors don’t provide the option to talk to a support team that can help sort out difficulties or debug glitches.
The motto our product team lives by is that the quality of our software will spark quantity in our users. If we create excellent software that provides a seamless user experience, customers will not only be attracted to our product — they’ll come back. More importantly, they will stay as long-term, loyal users.
As we worked on expanding our visibility, we invested a lot into organic traffic and excellent SEO. We’re pretty proud that all 32k contacts in our mailing list came exclusively from organic traffic.
But the real work commences with our ongoing relationships: taking the pulse of our customer base and collecting customer feedback from all available channels.
We have a dedicated customer success representative, Marko, who is available to our paying customers for a live chat. He’ll walk you through any issues you’re experiencing and if these issues are actionable for our dev team, your question will enter a sprint.
We also collect feedback through our email campaigns. Our marketing specialist Aleksandar uses this feedback to come up with ideas from a user perspective.
This allows us to incorporate the feedback from various fronts into our roadmap and to tailor our software even better to suit our clients’ needs. This is ultimately how we distinguish ourselves from the competition and offer a truly meaningful product to our users.
We’re currently working on enabling a single-page application and getting all the APIs ready. Since we introduced the paid subscription option, we’ve managed to generate additional funds that we intend to invest back into InvoiceQuick. This will allow us to build:
Need to enhance the way you make invoices?
Give InvoiceQuick a try — it comes with a full feature set for free, for up to three users.