How One High-Growth Startup Uses Shoeboxed to Sustain Their Momentum

Brandon Gaines started Attorney Prime three years ago, and after receiving some big press mentions his business blew up. Learn how this high-growth startup uses Shoeboxed to sustain their growth,

With Shoeboxed, there has never been one “best” way to use our service to stay organized. And after processing over a billion dollars of expense data since 2007, we say that from years of firsthand experience!

Shoeboxed takes enormous pride in serving clients from around the country and across the globe, all of whom use our service in a myriad of ways to fulfill a whole host of organizational needs in both their personal and professional lives.

As attorneys, our product is time, and Shoeboxed helps us save money by saving us time.

-Brandon Gaines

brandon gainesIntroducing: Brandon Gaines

Profession: Owner, Attorney Prime

Location: Austin, TX

Find them: @AttorneyPrime on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

Shoeboxed: Hi Brandon! Thanks for taking the time to chat. Let’s start with a little background on you.

Brandon Gaines: Sure! I’ve basically been an attorney my entire life, even though I only became licensed four years ago. Both of my parents are lawyers, so when I was growing up I always worked in their law office. I enjoyed learning the law and talking to clients, and my parents enjoyed free labor. I knew very early that I wanted to be an attorney and work closely with families just as my parents had done.

SBX: That sounds like a solid foundation for you to start your business, Attorney Prime. Can you tell us a bit about it?

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 3.43.28 PMBG: Absolutely. Attorney Prime is an online legal services provider that is run and operated by attorneys. We give our clients the full legal experience for a low, flat fee. We help people who aren’t comfortable handling their case themselves and need attorney advice for a low price and with all the convenience of an online service. We started the business in 2011 and went national in 2012, and we’re based in Austin, TX.

A few years ago, a couple of family attorneys and I were discussing the rise of sites like Legal Zoom and other sites that sold court documents. Since family law is so specific to every client’s circumstances, those sites aren’t able to do many types of family law cases that a traditional attorney can. Attorney Prime fills that gap, and allows a client to get all of the benefits of actual attorney advice, as well as the ease and convenience of an online service.

SBX: It sounds like Attorney Prime fills a real need – that’s awesome! We often hear from small business owners that when they start their business, they try to handle all the paperwork themselves. Was that the case for you? When did Shoeboxed enter the picture?

BG: Yes, we basically just scanned all of our invoices, receipts and business reports and kept them in files on our computer. That worked okay when we first started out, but after we were featured in an article on Huffington Post, our business blew up within weeks. We immediately realized our hackneyed system needed a significant upgrade and fast. Enter Shoeboxed.

After we began to get a little press, our business basically blew up within a few weeks. We were bursting at the seams with receipts and invoices with no easy way to handle that amount of volume, and we found and integrated Shoeboxed about that time. This all happened about seven months ago.

SBX: Cool! It’s amazing what a bit of press can do for a business. So how does Shoeboxed fit into your daily workflows now?

BG: Everything goes into Shoeboxed. Everything. We love the Shoeboxed Receipt & Mileage Tracker app. So when we run business reports, along with the tally from Shoeboxed, we are far more efficient and accurate on our business projections. As attorneys, our product is time, and Shoeboxed helps us save money by saving us time.

SBX: Do you use any other features of Shoeboxed you’d like to share?

BG: Yes, Evernote is the big partner app that we use with Shoeboxed. Since every client case is different, and requires its own attorney notes, photos, and other work material, Evernote, working alongside Shoeboxed, is irreplaceable.

SBX: Awesome! We’re big fans of Evernote too. So what’s changed in your business since starting to use Shoeboxed?

BG: The level of case volume we have now, compared to before we integrated Shoeboxed, is so much larger it is difficult to quantify exactly how much time and money it has saved us. Suffice to say: we wouldn’t be able to manage our receipts without Shoeboxed.

SBX: Well, we are honored to be able to help! Any other benefits you’ve found?

BG: A major part in our business growth, which means bringing in more attorneys and clients, is that our infrastructure is dependable. If we were still using a file system for our records, it would be impossible to grow since our system couldn’t support it. With Shoeboxed, we have yet to see any limit to how large our business will grow.

SBX: Wow, what an awesome endorsement – we’re blushing! In closing, what’s your number one piece of advice for other small businesses to get organized?

BG: Get organized before you actually need to get organized. Our previous file system worked fine for low volume, but when our work volume exploded overnight, we were completely helpless due to the unexpected demand. If we had planned for success, and used Shoeboxed even at the low volume, we could have avoided that problem altogether.

SBX: Fantastic. Is there anything else we didn’t cover here that you’d like share?

BG: We primarily use lawyer-targeted services because of the unique needs of attorneys. Shoeboxed is so flexible, it fits our needs better than even the serviced tailored for lawyers. Because of that, I have to imagine Shoeboxed would work within any industry.

SBX: We strive to suit the needs of our customers no matter what industry, and we’re thrilled that you’ve found us as a solution that works for you. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat, Brandon!

Are you a Shoeboxed user who has a success story and would like to be featured on our blog? Then we would love to hear from you! Please reach out to Emily at emily@team.shoeboxed.com for more information.

Until next time, stay tuned… and stay organized!

 

Using Shoeboxed Helped Save This Small Business Over $10k

After a sprinkler incident resulted in thousands of dollars of damage, Athens Bagel Company owner David Asman used Shoeboxed to submit and receive the insurance claim that allowed their business to reopen and thrive. Read their story!

With Shoeboxed, there has never been one “best” way to use our service to stay organized. And after processing over a billion dollars of expense data since 2007, we say that from years of firsthand experience!

Shoeboxed takes enormous pride in serving clients from around the country and across the globe, all of whom use our service in a myriad of ways to fulfill a whole host of organizational needs in both their personal and professional lives.

“I am so glad that I was using Shoeboxed diligently to keep track of all my important business documents so I had all the documentation I needed to submit (and receive!) my insurance claim of over $10,000.”

-David Asman

David AsmanIntroducing: David Asman

Profession: Owner, Athens Bagel Company

Location: Athens, Georgia

Find them: @AthensBagel on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Shoeboxed: Hi David! Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us. Let’s start with a little background on you.

David Asman: Sure. I’m a 31 year old Athens, GA resident. Athens has been my home for 13 years since I moved here in 2010 to attend the University of Georgia. I graduated from UGA with a Chemistry degree and bartended for over seven years before opening up Athens Bagel Company.

SBX: Had you always known you wanted to be a small business owner? How did Athens Bagel Company come to be?

bagelsDA: I didn’t grow up thinking I’d be a small business owner, but after bartending for so long and learning, that business entrepreneurship started growing on me.  Athens is a great college town but was missing a bagel shop.  A friend and I got together and decided we’d open one up — having never baked a bagel (or even worked in a restaurant)!  Almost three years later we have spawned a couple of competitors, but are still the fan favorite in town.

SBX: That’s awesome– good for you! So since Athens Bagel Company is your first business, we bet it took you awhile to figure out workflows that worked for you. For example, how did you track receipts and invoices before using Shoeboxed?

DA: I used to scan my receipts, invoices, and all important documents for the bagel shop manually, and then I’d save them as PDFs on my computer. It was a mess. Nothing was searchable and it took up both physical and digital space…plus it required actively sitting at the scanner and naming each file. It didn’t work. Now I don’t have to spend time keeping up with all the paperwork, and I no longer have a filing cabinet full of documents and a hard drive full of unsearchable documents! Shoeboxed resolved all my issues — I’m so glad I found you guys!

SBX: We are too! When we first chatted, you mentioned you had quite a story to share about how Shoeboxed help save your business. Would you mind sharing it?

Athens Bagel CompanyDA: Absolutely. About three and a half months ago, we had a fire sprinkler go off in our kitchen around 4:30a.m., shortly after my baker had arrived for the day. The shutoff for the system is located in an adjacent building that we didn’t have access to at that time, and the only person that did have access was unreachable for about two hours.

The sprinkler heads in our building put out approximately 50 gallons of water per minute, so you can imagine how much water had accumulated in the shop. The fire department did their best to contain the water, but there was still considerable damage to the building, equipment, food, and supplies.

While filling out the insurance documents, I was required to provide full receipt details for everything that was damaged in the shop. We have a variety of vendors and place several orders every week, and many of the food items vary in price across different orders. Making that report was daunting enough, but it would have been impossible without the help of Shoeboxed to provide exact dates/prices/payment details along with a PDF that I could send along to the insurance adjuster as proof of purchase. I am so glad that I was using Shoeboxed diligently to keep track of all my important business documents so I had all the documentation I needed to submit (and receive!) my insurance claim of over $10,000.

SBX: And we’re glad that we could help you after such an unfortunate event– and even more thrilled that Athens Bagel Company is open and thriving! :) So what would you say is the biggest benefit you get from using Shoeboxed?

DA: Something is always going on in the restaurant business… there are no slow days or slow times. We are open seven days a week, and I work each and every one of them. After writing checks, I can simply stuff my invoices in a Magic Envelope and send them to you guys when the envelope gets full. I don’t have to sit at my desk scanning and saving documents. Even when I did do it that way, I ended up with something that I couldn’t readily use. You save me time and money (and space!) by taking all of that off my hands.

SBX: Well, you just made our day, David! Our favorite part of building Shoeboxed is creating something that saves small business owners time, effort and money. What’s your favorite part of Shoeboxed?

DA: I love the search functionality, especially on the iOS app. It allows me to compare my costs across vendors and over time. I’ll often meet with new vendors and I’m instantly able to compare prices on my iPhone. It’s so quick and easy, and just another way that Shoeboxed helps me save money.

SBX: We’ve never heard that before, but it’s an awesome way to use Shoeboxed! Thanks for sharing. Anything else you want to share?

DA: Yes– if you’re considering using it, sign up now! Shoeboxed is the best filing cabinet ever.

Are you a Shoeboxed user who has a success story and would like to be featured on our blog? Then we would love to hear from you! Please reach out to Emily at emily@team.shoeboxed.com for more information.

Until next time, stay tuned… and stay organized!

Expense Reporting Made Easy: A Shoeboxed Success Story

Learn how Cover Story Media, an online publishing company, uses Shoeboxed for easy expense reporting and reimbursements in our latest User Success Story.

With Shoeboxed, there has never been one “best” way to use our service to stay organized. And after processing over a billion dollars of expense data since 2007, we say that from years of firsthand experience!

Shoeboxed takes enormous pride in serving clients from around the country and across the globe, all of whom use our service in a myriad of ways to fulfill a whole host of organizational needs in both their personal and professional lives.

“It’s so easy to snap a photo and file it away so that you can get rid of the paper and have an electronic copy ready when you need it. No need to worry about fading or losing them!”

-Sadie Cornelius

sadieIntroducing: Sadie Cornelius

Profession: Director of Marketing, Cover Story Media/We Rock Your Web

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @WeRockYourWeb

Shoeboxed: Welcome, Sadie! Thanks so much for taking the time to share your Shoeboxed story with us. To get started, can you tell us a little about Cover Story Media?

Sadie Cornelius: Sure! Cover Story Media®, Inc. is an online publishing company based in Winston-Salem, NC. We are dedicated to delivering information and creating web communities that improve people’s ability to make better, more educated decisions via our brands, which include WeRockYourWeb.com, CanineJournal.com, ASecureLife.com and more.

SBX: Awesome. So, why do you use Shoeboxed? Do you use it personally as well as for business?

The Cover Story Media Team
The Cover Story Media Team

SC: I use Shoeboxed to keep track of my personal business expenses including office supplies and when traveling. It’s so easy to snap a photo and file it away so that you can get rid of the paper and have an electronic copy ready when you need it. No need to worry about fading or losing them! Our CEO Alex and COO Michelle both use it for the same purpose; when we have a team dinner, someone will always whip out their iPhone and post it to Shoeboxed. Then our company’s accountant has access to the account. Shoeboxed allows our accountant to handle the bookkeeping much more quickly and makes accounting a much more seamless process for us.

SBX: We’re so glad to hear that! So what did you do with all your documents before Shoeboxed? How did you stay organized before using our service?

SC: Before using Shoeboxed, I would keep all my receipts in a file folder. Once the pile got big enough, I’d use an old fashion scanner, put two or three receipts on a page, scan it, and then use a Google Doc to type in the amount for each and description. I never want to go back to handling receipts manually! Shoeboxed saves me hours each month by eliminating the need to scan receipts myself.

(Almost) Paperless Coworking!
(Almost) Paperless Coworking!

SBX: That’s great; paperless is definitely the way of the future. Have you found any other benefits from using Shoeboxed to track your expenses?

SC: Yes, definitely. Since I am better able to keep up with my receipts, I am able to expense more of my business costs. This saves me money because I actually remember to expense things when I incur the cost vs. in the future when filling out an expense report and I forget about the expense or I cannot find the receipt.

SBX: We’re thrilled to be able to help you maximize reimbursements! That’s certainly a problem with a lot of small business teams. In closing, can you share some advice with our users who are trying to keep track of expenses and reimbursements?

SC: Take a photo of the receipt the minute it is handed to you by the merchant, and make a note as to who was accounted for in the cost as well as the purpose. This will save you and your accountants a lot of work and potential confusion down the road.

SBX: That’s a solid tip, Sadie– thank you! We really appreciate you taking the time to chat with us.

Are you a Shoeboxed user who has a success story and would like to be featured on our blog? Then we would love to hear from you! Please reach out to Emily at emily@team.shoeboxed.com for more information.

Until next time, stay tuned… and stay organized!