Create Unlimited Invoices & Quotes for Free (Requires Signup) @ Invoice Owl

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Hi Ozbargain,

So roughly 7 months ago I developed Invoice Owl as an alternative to other online job management systems like SimPRO.
At the time I believed it was still an open market and honestly thought I'd created a platform that was perfect for small business owners.

Fast forward to now and it seems I had largely underestimated the field, especially trying to compete with big companies like xero, or reckon.
While Invoice Owl does lack some of the higher end polish of the bigger named sites, I've been using it myself to operate my own business with complete success.

Now if you're a small business or maybe even a sole trader, I honestly believe what I've created could work for you and I've made the decision to offer the platform at no cost (yes there is still an option to upgrade to a premium account and remove invoice owl branding) but all the same functionality is there for free, no catches.

Lastly I will be completely transparent and open and advise what I see as the negatives to the platform.

a) There isn't a mobile app, so usage on a mobile is clunky, yes the site is using a responsive bootstrap layout but it's still problematic when trying to display large tables of information that don't fit within a small screen.
b) There is no integration options between the Invoice Owl platform and accounting software like Xero, so you will need to mark invoices as paid manually.
c) Lack of training or support. If you're not familiar with this type of platform it can be quite daunting to use, while I'm happy to answer questions and provide basic help, being a free platform now (and due to me having a day job) I cannot promise you'll get in-depth support should you require it.

Once again as stated in my original post from 7 months ago:

OK, I might be interested, what about privacy?
We store emails using a 256bit encryption (why not a hash you ask? Because then the emails wouldn't be readable should they need updating) and a salted hash for passwords, you can view our privacy policy here: https://www.invoiceowl.com/privacy-policy

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closed Comments

  • +4 votes

    So the free plan is limited to 1 invoice per day, how is that unlimited?

    • +4 votes

      For anybody interested, I'm using Wave Financial for my own small biz and I'm finding their free plan was amongst the most generous. They basically only make you pay if you want to accept credit card payments… They've got a decent mobile app as well and the invoices even only show my branding.

      • +1 vote

        Well after looking at what Wave Financial offer for free it's clear this market is a complete dead end, feel free to simply have this thread deleted as I've obviously wasted my time.

        • -7 votes

          Looks like you wasted many hours on this…:-(

        •  

          As a fellow software developer I wouldn't worry about it as it is the experience you gained that counts. I'm sure you will be able to reuse that experience, and even some parts of the code you have written. Good luck.

      • +1 vote

        Thanks for this.

    • +7 votes

      You can make unlimited invoices / quotes per day, the free account only allows you to send 1 per day.
      There is nothing to stop someone from simply downloading the invoice or quote and manually send it using their own mail software though.
      I'll make that more clear on the website.

      • +1 vote

        If you're looking to beat Wave Financial, I suggest you take off your artificial send limitations and make it free (of course still with your company branding on the invoice). Users can pay to remove your company branding.

        What you're looking for is mass adoption, and you can figure out how to monetise later. Think about massively successful startups like SurveyMonkey and EventBrite and MeetUps.

        I can assist you on commercialisation from both a legal and commercial perspective. Don't give up yet, and you have more than just the time and experience you put in. The opportunity is still there and there are sectors that are still untapped like the low volume businesses

        •  

          Thanks for the reply, I agree I don't like "artificial" limits either, the main being the limit on outgoing mail for the free account… The only reason I created this limit was to stop abuse as essentially someone could simply use the service to spam.

          I'd love to talk more if you're interested, I'll pm you. Can you send me through your details, it won't let me message you. Thanks.

  •  

    Seems extremely hobbled - this is an ad for a try before you buy version of the platform - which pretty much all vendors offer.

  • +1 vote

    I like the activity log, good job mate

  • +1 vote

    Good for those running a small business with minimal invoicing. Well done !

  • +7 votes

    Don't be too harsh on yourself :) You tried and underestimated but at least your learn something from this experience :)

  • +4 votes

    Might mail out fake invoices and see who just pays up.

  • +14 votes

    Credit to op for giving it a crack.
    You developed something functional and usable for a small business. If you have come to the realisation that theres no market for this then pivot and reuse the domain and code for something else.

  • +6 votes

    Hi guys, I had been avoiding this thread as I thought it would just turn negative after the first comments I received, but I'm really humbled and thankful for those of you who've actually given me positive feedback.

  •  

    You know what OP?

    This is a great platform for me because:

    1. I don't use XERO and that stuff. I use MS Money so everything is manual anyway and MS Money has done wonders for me.
    2. And I have somehow managed to make my MS Money a cloud software and if you have MS Surface Pro or Galaxy Book, MS Money and your software are as good as mobile.

    I wouldn't mind paying for it to be honest. Just concerned with support and continuity that's all.

  •  

    Great job OP have a think about the code you have created and the learnings you have from this. Quiet often ideas morph/pivot from the point you are at now into amazing things. Try to reach out to the people who have engaged with you and see what they liked and didn’t like and see if there was a point of difference you could build on. Especially pay attention to any of your early adopters who may have paid for premium or been very close to paying. If you are stuck and want some advice on options to see if there is something more to this please feel free to PM me and I would be more than happy to help you for free.

    Again great job and keep making cool stuff!

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