by Michelle Lentz

As a freelancer, I’ve played around with using Freshbooks, an online invoicing service. I just need to buckle down and do it, because their system is great and they cater to freelancers and small businesses.

FreshBooks is now releasing free industry benchmark data that gives freelancers and micro-to-small business owners the abillity to compare their business to others in their industry. Based on the anonymous aggregation of data collected from FreshBooks’ clients, the new reports illustrate billing trends. Metrics include

    - average monthly revenue
    - invoice size
    - time until payment is received
    - percentage of clients paying online vs. via mail

    The report tracks professions including engineering, cleaning services, trades, management consulting, event planning, legal, transportation logistics, and even dog walkers, piano instructors, and magicians – a little bit of everything you could say.

    According to Mike McDerment, Freshbooks co-founder and CEO, “Our business is all about making people’s lives a little easier when it comes to running their businesses. Offering Benchmark Data to our customers clearly resulted in transformational changes to their view of their business and is the main reason why we’ve decided to make the data available publicly.”

    Released quarterly, FreshBooks generates its benchmark data from primary sources and is not subject to survey bias. This is incredibly useful since FreshBooks serves service-oriented businesses that are largely ignored by financial institutions and the government when it comes to traditional reporting.

    You can view the first of these regular reports for free and watch the 2.5 minute video summary.

    FreshBooks Industry Benchmarks from FreshBooks on Vimeo.

    Contact Michelle with your news, apps, and events via email, Twitter, Pownce, or FriendFeed. Visit Michelle at and Write Technology. You can also catch Michelle presenting on Twitter at the upcoming DevLearn ’08 in San Jose.

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