Invoice2go CEO, Mark Lenhard, shares his outlook for the future of small business
When I joined Invoice2go in late April, the first wave of COVID-19 had just hit. It was a time of uncertainty for everyone – especially the small business owners we serve.
Since then, I’ve immersed myself in my role and have spent countless hours listening to our global ecosystem of customers, partners, and team members. Now, despite 2020’s challenges, I’m even more thrilled to be part of this team. I’m even more optimistic about our future. Here’s why:
Our customers’ resilience is inspirational
I learned early in life the importance of resilience. Before the advent of the fax machine, my father was an independent courier who worked in Manhattan and around the tri-state area.
He put in incredibly long hours. When I was a child, he left every morning at 4 am to deliver contracts, architectural drawings, and other important documents and packages. He usually returned after I had gone to bed.
My dad had good days: sometimes he’d get urgent deliveries that paid thousands. He also had bad ones: broken down trucks, speeding tickets, and gas shortages were common. Still, setbacks never broke his spirit. He loved his work . . .
. . . And even though he’s now long retired, he can still tell you – block-by-block – the fastest way in and out of New York City.
Our customers’ strength of character reminds me of my father. Over the past months, I’ve had a front-row seat to the resilience of independent small businesses worldwide. They are the diverse, courageous risk-takers that play an invaluable role in driving the economy.
Our customer base is close to heart and is what drew me to Invoice2go. I’m fired up about what we can accomplish.
Our customers are the bedrock of the economy and of society
Small businesses account for 45% of annual economic activity and two-thirds of all new job creation.
Also, more people are breaking free from corporate chains. Self-employment was trending up pre-pandemic. 50% of the global economy is expected to be freelancers and SMBs by 2030. With recent events, this trend is only gaining momentum.
Our customer base reflects the same growth. 85% more customers signed up for Invoice2go this September than a year ago. These businesses are increasingly diverse – spanning multiple industries, age groups, education levels.
A tsunami of technological change is coming for our customers
The changes we’re witnessing now at Invoice2go remind me of what happened in eCommerce a decade ago. In my experience working at PayPal, eBay, and Magento, I saw first-hand the trend of large and small retailers making a massive shift to digital.
A second wave – likely bigger than the first – is emerging as the digital experience becomes the experience. In other words, the only channel to find, serve, and retain customers. Independent, service-based small businesses following the digital trajectory of retail – their transition is just happening 10 years later.
Many small businesses still do not take advantage of new digital tools. They use outdated technology, clunky software, and rely heavily on word-of-mouth referrals. While some are beginning to use Upwork, Thumbtack, and Nextdoor, it’s like the wild-west when eBay, Amazon, and other eCommerce carts first launched 20 years ago.
The next decade will see the technology trends that revolutionized retail commerce transform service-oriented businesses. Invoice2go will light the way as the end-to-end platform that helps these entrepreneurs start and run their businesses online. Our customers will not just keep pace with the increasing rate of change – they will thrive in it.
Technology – like a fax machine – ultimately ended my father’s courier business. I will not let that happen to our customers.
We’re ready to drive positive change and help our customers thrive
Our purpose is to amplify the independent spirit of small businesses by empowering anyone to start and run their own business.
We embrace change. We’re a catalyst of it. Since the founding of Invoice2go, we’ve been continuously evolving. Now, 200,000+ customers, 6 million+ consumers, and billions of dollars of transactions depend on our platform each year. We’re the #1 independent invoicing platform globally.
We have good news. Despite the challenges of 2020, our growth is accelerating:
+85% year-over-year growth in new customers joining the platform
35% growth in monthly customer invoicing volume over the past 6 months alone
. . . and we are just getting started.
I’ve assembled a phenomenal leadership team. With best-in-class experience in technology, commerce, and fintech, they’re prepared to lead us through the explosive growth we expect.
We’re building and acquiring exciting new features
None of the tools on the market match the expectations of the new wave of entrepreneurs we see today. With that in mind, we are making a conscientious effort to build a best-in-breed, unified platform that combines the best of what the market has to offer combined with our own capabilities.
Last month we made the first step in that journey by acquiring Tinyinvoice.com and welcoming them to the Invoice2go family. We expect to continue adding innovative features to our platform, both organically and through additional acquisitions.
Additionally, we’ve begun our evolution, transforming our leading invoicing and payments platform into a complete small business solution. We recently launched our new Profiles and Reviews. Our customers can now more easily raise awareness about their business through Google-searchable microsites. They can also build their brand by quickly collecting verified customer reviews to show off their business.
We’re keeping the simplicity we’re famous for – but adding more robust features.
But it won’t end with software. We’re also delivering proactive guidance and inspiration through content, events, and an active member community on all aspects of starting and running your business. We are 100% committed to helping our independent, service-oriented small businesses thrive online.
I have set a personal goal for Invoice2go to reach one million customers over the next three years. 6 months in, I’m even more convinced that we will succeed with our talented team and our enthusiastic customer base.
Intrigued? Follow this blog to see how we help millions of small businesses organize, execute, and surpass their business goals with a little help from their co-pilot, Invoice2go.
Better yet, join us and amplify the spirit of independent small businesses. Check out our long list of global opportunities here. It’s going to be an incredible ride!