Although photographers create art, they also have to compose bids and invoices, an important but banal part of the business. Creating a bid or invoice can be one of the most tedious parts of any creative industry, since it involves compiling all necessary items and fees, totaling markup and prices, and computing actuals. The problem: it takes a large chunk of time to format the bid in Excel, to both look great and make sense to the client. After all, a bid is an application for a job and should look good.
Now with Blinkbid, new software for both PC and Mac, you can create a great looking bid by simply clicking on line items, with all the math and formatting done for you. Blinkbid owner Louis Lesko originally designed the software to be used by photographers, but is finding that other creatives, such as interior designers, lighting decorators, and web designers, are using the software as well. Blinkbid Version 2.8, now currently available at Blinkbid.com, has been redesigned to handle international addresses, currencies, and A4 paper size, a great feature for those living and working abroad.
The best feature in Blinkbid is the ability to easily store and print a great looking invoice, simply by selecting line items, filling in prices, and clicking Print. Both the client and photographer's information are automatically featured at the top. Blinkbid also has legal terms and conditions built in that are customizable with each invoice, such as "Job cancellation within 72 hours = 25% of fees," and "A late charge of 1.5% is per month will apply after 30 days." New photographers will especially enjoy this element, as it deters clients from taking advantage of newcomers to the business.
Although there is other software out there for bidding and invoicing, nothing comes close to Blinkbid in terms of features and price ($89). Other great features: with one click, the user can transfer all information from an estimate to an additional estimate or invoice. Blinkbid can also remember the price and markup of all line items, such as "B&W Film", "Color Negatives," and "Camera & Lenses Rentals," so that once a price and percentage markup is entered, it doesn't have to be entered again. Saves you hours!
Of course, the client is never supposed to see the markup on an item, only the final price. But this markup is part of profit, the most important element of any job. Blinkbid automatically calculates Profit for you, viewable on the Summary page, which is your fees plus markups on items. The creative can immediately know the money that he or she will make on a shoot, or if a job is worth taking should there be a limited budget. No math skills required.
Blinkbid is a great new tool that can make creating art a little more inspiring. Happy bidding!