Create And Send Invoices & Estimates!
 

Invoices & Estimates

Key Feature

 
iPhone App And Push Notifications For SUBERNOVA
 

iPhone & SUBERNOVA

New Feature

 
New Feature: Schedule Emails To Your Clients
 

Schedule Emails To Your Clients

Key Feature

 

How SUBERNOVA Started

logoSUBERNOVA started in April 2009, eight months after we decided to leave our full time jobs in August 2008 to kick off a career of our own. It was a gut wrenching experience but we made sure we had enough funds to last us through unforeseen drought periods.

If you’re thinking of starting out on your own, be sure to have at least 3-6 months of savings as a security blanket. It was 6 months in our case as we really wanted to preserve our sanity while putting our full concentration on being creative. One quick tip, open a separate bank account for your business and never mix business funds with your personal funds. This will allow you to track your business finances easily and save you from headaches come tax day.

I was really inspired by this quote during the time and it is what kept us going:

“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step”

Just get started and see where it brings you, if you don’t take the first step, you will never see what’s at the end of the staircase. Even if you fail, you’ll be happy that you tried.

The Problem

So, we took the plunge. Working for our own clients, things were great. We had work coming in, mostly from clients whom we have worked with before. We were managing our projects with Microsoft Excel, keeping track of the number of projects we’re working on, how much each project cost, cash flow, whether they have been quoted, invoiced or paid. As time went by, using spreadsheets to manage projects became a pain as the volume of work increased. The program took too long to launch and half the time, we were managing tables and columns instead of the projects themselves.

When it came to sending quotes and invoices, we used Microsoft Word to compile and exported them as PDFs. The problem with this method was that it left much room for errors. We would sometimes forget to change the project name or the invoice date, etc as we were using the last invoice or quote as a template. Each time we created an invoice or quote, we would have to update the Excel sheet. Simply put, a terrible experience!

There was also no way to search for invoices since they’re all Word and PDF documents scattered around in folders.

When payments were overdue, we wouldn’t know as there are no notification system in place. We would periodically check our invoices folder, invoice by invoice to see which ones were overdue. This led to a tonne of stress, not knowing which invoices were overdue and when we should be nudging our clients for payment.

There were also times when a client misplaced the invoice and request another copy to be sent over. So, here we go again, checking through the invoice folder for that one invoice.

One huge problem with being your own boss, is that there are just too many things floating around your head, so much so that you need to settle them down before you lose focus of the work itself.

Searching For Solutions

Logically, we went around searching for solutions that would lighten our load of admin work. All we wanted was a simple solution that lets us enter our data and look at how the business is doing at a quick glance. We also wanted a simple time tracking solution so that we can charge hourly rates for additional requests and maintenance. We wanted something as plain and simple as a “Start” button which we can hit to start the timer and a “Stop” button to stop. It’s really that easy, but most web applications in the market are either too complex or too simple – mostly complex.

We subscribed to several different applications for project management, task management, time tracking and invoicing. These are the fundamental management tools that drives most successful businesses. You can’t remember everything as much as you would like to think you can and one can never save too much time.

These solutions that we subscribe to led to even more problems:

  1. Too many applications to manage, not streamlined
  2. Look and feel of each app and how they work are different
  3. High combined cost of all applications
  4. Limitations (limited no. of clients, projects etc unless you subscribe to the most expensive plan)
  5. Doesn’t let you maintain your company’s identity when sending invoice links to clients

There is indeed a problem to be solved here.

Solving The Problem

Not able to find one app that could satisfy our needs, we decided to roll out our own.

On top of all our clients’ work, we spent many weekends designing and developing SUBERNOVA. Finally launching it in April 2009. The end product was pretty minimal in functionality, enabling users to track projects, time, milestones, clients and links.

SUBERNOVA continued to evolved until today, constantly getting improved.

We initially got the word out through blogs like WebWorkerDaily, Think Design Blog, The Design Cubicle, Creative Applications, Guerilla Freelancing, etc by doing giveaways. Traffic was pretty good, getting the word out to as many people as possible.

SUBERNOVA was slowly picked up by other blogs, e.g. WebAppstorm, BlankanvasFreelance Folder who placed SUBERNOVA in the category of one of the game changing project managing tools.

We also submitted SUBERNOVA’s iPhone web app to Apple and it became Apple’s Staff Pick!

Where This Will Go

We’re very happy with how the app is doing. One fact worth noting is that SUBERNOVA is a completely self funded application. There is no VC or any outside money involved. This means that we’re not in debt. The reason why most apps fail and shut down is because they fail to generate enough revenue to pay back what was owed. We have nothing of this sort to worry about hence SUBERNOVA will always remain online for as long as we are around.

This is good news for our users as they can always rely on SUBERNOVA to manage their projects without worrying about the app getting ditched.

Hope you enjoyed reading this, if you haven’t tried SUBERNOVA, be sure to take a tour or signup to try it for yourself!

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