Well, here’s another weekly! We must say, we’re having a lot of fun putting these together. One could even call it the highlight of our week here at CurdBee headquarters. Connecting with our users and thinking of stories to tell is a welcome break from the day to day tasks we carry out, and each of these issues only reminds us that we’re at the center of a really cool community. Thanks for reading, CurdBeans. We hope you enjoy the ride.
User Spotlight – John RockefellerMarketer, SME and FOSS enthusiast, CEO – John Rockefeller is many things. soma, the company he heads, is similar – it dabbles in everything from photography to Internet marketing. Read on to find out more about this unique outfit, get to know the man behind it, and find out how and why they use CurdBee as their invoicing solution. How did you find CurdBee, and why did you decide on it as your online invoicing platform? We chose CurdBee because it had the things we were looking for to help us simplify and automate our billing. We wanted SaaS (which enables us with access to our invoices and estimates anywhere we are in the world as long as we have an Internet connection), a friendly team behind the software, and software features that would grow with us via modules. Why did you upgrade to PRO? There were a number of features in the PRO version that we needed. It was an easy sell since it’s so cheap. $5 per month. The features we were looking for were the ability to add taxes to our invoices, PDF invoices, SSL, and unbranded invoices. Do you use any modules? If so, which ones, and why? We use a ton of modules. Paypal is my favourite. Also, recurring billing. Recurring billing makes it simple to let your business run itself. You just set up how often to bill, the amount, and relax. soma also makes use of Estimates. It’s really really handy to be able to switch an Estimate to an invoice when you make a sale. You tweet often about Free and Open Source Software and GNU/Linux. How do you think ‘Freemium’ SaaS products like CurdBee fit into the FOSS ecosystem? soma offers a SaaS product built on a lot of open source technologies so there’s a lot of similarities between CurdBee and us. We use php, mysql, Linux, apache… We couldn’t do what we do without the power of Open Source software. But integrating this into the world of SaaS is a slippery slope. My personal feelings are that forcing service providers to open their source code because they use Open Source software to power their service (a la GPLv3) is not the right way to make the greatest change. Instead we should be focusing on pushing changes back to the library trunks as we make modifications to that service. Consider how Facebook, Apple, Google, and even Microsoft have offered FOSS patches for the FOSS projects that they use. Very few firms these days do everything from website development to event planning to videography and social media marketing consultancy. How and why does Soma offer such a massive array of services? soma is able to offer such a wide array of services because we’ve spent a considerable amount of time breaking each of those services into their core elements and seeing where each matches up. For website development, we use somaICE, which is our built-from-scratch web platform designed to enable our social media and marketing management/consultancy. We can easily create a newsletter for our client, send it, see the response, connect to people on Twitter, and convert. Each service helps the next. As a marketing firm, how would you rate CurdBee’s marketing efforts so far? Is there anything in particular you would change about how we approach product promotion? A Blackberry app would be awesome.Other than that? Keep up the great work. You guys have a very active Twitter account, I can easily find all sorts of great reviews via a Google search, and your website is easy to navigate and convincing. How about a Facebook page? As long as we’re getting free consultancy from you guys (thanks!), what advice would you give a small business who is trying to market their product in today’s competitive online environment? We always stress to our small business clients how much more they could be doing easily by integrating their customers directly in their decisions by way of Twitter and Facebook. You hear right from your customers, all the time. The customer is such a large part of any business and yet it is routinely left out of decisions at the shops they buy from. You can tweet from your phone while you’re waiting for coffee or you can ask everyone what they wish was on sale. It’s just incredible access to your customers. And it makes all the difference these days.
Bee Supported – Custom Email NotificationsAt CurdBee, we’re always looking for new ways to get out of the way and let you do your think. The ability to customize email notifications was added with just that in mind. Haven’t used this feature yet? Here’s how.
- Click the Settings link at the top right hand corner of your CurdBee account page. You will be redirected to a page titled Settings › Company Profile. Look at the right sidebar, and you will see a heading called Customize and under it, a link titled Emails & Notifications. Click it.
Hive MindAs usual, our Twitter notification box just keeps blinking as you guys tweet us your comments, complaints and suggestions. Here are a couple from this week.
We’d have to agree! Thanks a lot for trying Curdbee, and we hope you’ll continue to use it. Do tweet @curdbee if there is anything we can do for you.