Introducing our competition winner: Andy Barnham, photographer

We know that January can be a tough month for small businesses, particularly with a Self Assessment tax bill to pay at the end of it, so last month we entered all our subscribed customers into a prize draw to win £2,000. The lucky winner is freelance photographer, Andy Barnham. Here Andy tells us about his work and how he uses FreeAgent to help him run his business.

Andy Barnham

“I started photography in 2009 after leaving a seven-year career in the British Army. The odd shot quickly turned into blog and magazine work and within two years I found myself photographing runway shows during fashion weeks in London, Milan and Paris, editorial fashion shoots, portraits and hand crafted luxury goods (to name a few). My work tends to focus on menswear and tailoring, but I've been lucky to photograph a wide range of topics and meet interesting and inspiring people; photographing Dr Condoleezza Rice and Stevie Wonder have been standout moments.

“I started using FreeAgent two years ago. Having started my business from scratch, all my working habits had grown organically and while they were adequate in the short term, they were not ideal for the longer haul. I had been using various spreadsheets to keep track of my business and had looked at various photographer-orientated software packages, but none of them were as intuitive as I would have liked. It was while talking to a tech friend that he mentioned FreeAgent, amongst other packages, and I took a look. It’s not specifically tailored to my industry but it does everything I need it to do.

“On a day-to-day basis I use FreeAgent to keep track of my expenses and my invoices. I find that unless I account for my day-to-day expenses promptly, I forget about them - never a good thing as the odd purchase adds up! FreeAgent’s invoicing functionality helps me keep track of who has paid and who hasn't. As a small business it is important to keep the cash flow going as I never know where or when the next job is going to be.

“When it comes to running my business, FreeAgent is a great tool for helping me keep track of the little things. I find that bigger issues tend to look after themselves and are important enough for me to remember; it’s the little things that are easy to overlook. FreeAgent helps me keep track of them and ensure I take appropriate action before they have a chance to escalate and become bigger problems or even emergencies.”

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