An African Adventure with Daniel DobinsonOne of the best parts about developing a web application is that you get to both serve and meet people from all over the world. This week, we’re here to introduce you to a CurdBee user from the Southern Hemisphere. Daniel Dobinson runs iRide Africa a bike tour business from Cape Town, South Africa. Having previously worked with bike nuts we were on somewhat familiar ground, and had a great time talking to him. Here’s what he has to say about bicycles, business and billing! Introduce iRideAfrica to us. Who are you guys and what do you do? iRide Africa offer customised cycling holidays and day trips around the beautiful city of Cape Town. We cater primarily towards bicycle lovers who want a cycling holiday with delicious food, breathtaking views, skilled guides and most importantly inspiring rides. Our market is mountain bikers in search of great singletrack and road cyclists that want sunny training rides through incredible scenery. iRide Africa is formed by a closely knit group of bike-loving friends, dedicated to providing a top-quality, easy-going, fun and safe holiday experience Why South Africa for biking? What makes the destination special? Cape Town needs no marketing – it is an incredible city and is Africa’s most popular tourist destination. It has also been recently voted as the 2nd best beach city in the world. European professionals have been using South Africa as the perfect training ground for years. It’s ideal climate and vast untouched area make for a perfect cycling destination. South African cycling has undoubtedly been flourishing over the last two decades, producing such quality riders as Greg Minnaar (UCI World Cup Champion) and Robbie Hunter (Tour de France stage winner) and the team at iRide Africa want to showcase South Africa as the great riding destination it is. Mountain bike specific singletrack trails are popping up every month. They offer a host of different riding experiences to those in the know. Of course Africa is also synonymous with wildlife and visitors here get to experience the huge open spaces and inspiring wildlife that exists here. In a world that is increasingly hostile to cyclists, how do you stay positive and just keep doing what you do? We feel that the world is actually coming around to cyclists more and more. As cities get more congested, people are seeing the sense in getting on bikes. Bicycles are still the most efficient means of transportation ever invented! The time saving, health benefits and eco-friendliness of cycling to work is becoming more apparent to non-cyclists all over the world. The technology in bikes nowadays is also helping get people on bikes. Efficient full suspension bikes are making mountain biking way more accessible to beginners and we reckon electric bikes are going to be the next big thing with regards to commuting. As for staying positive as James E. Starrs once said, “Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling.” Your business is quite different from all the others we have featured in the CurdBee Weekly so far. Take us through an average workday at iRide Africa! The average workday at iRide Africa normally starts off with an early morning ride around our beautiful city. These rides are where we often meet up and have our ‘staff meetings’. Once back in the office, emails are answered and bookings are made. Our hire bikes are serviced and sent out to clients and our guides meet up with guests and go riding again! The best of the Cape is shown off with pride and our lunches are always something special, made with love and care. Sometimes our clients are super fit and want a second ride in the afternoon-of course we don’t mind at all. :) How does technology help your business, and how do you use it to make your customers’ biking experience better? We could not have started this company, or run it like we do, without the Internet and email. Our Internet page is the face of the company and our email policy is taken very seriously to ensure that we answer every single email within a day (not common in South Africa!). Our expenditure on marketing is tiny- we prefer to use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Vimeo to spread the news and experiences we have here. Photos and videos of places we ride help prospective clients with their decision to visit South Africa for their annual cycling holiday. Of course, there is still nothing better than word of mouth referrals! How did you find CurdBee, and why did you choose it over other online invoicing services? The designer who helped us with our logo was using it and said it was the bee’s knees (excuse the pun). I looked it up and it was easy to use, clean and had the same kind of feel we like to give out on our website i.e. friendly and informal. We were hooked from day one! What other tools and software do you use on a daily basis? We use a lot of GPS tracking systems to display the routes we ride, and of course we need maps so I use a lot of specialized cartography tools to get the results we want. If there was one as yet unreleased CurdBee feature that would make your lives easier, what would it be? It would be an export to csv option that includes all the data that is captured in the invoicing system of Curdbee, particularly the payment history#. This would help us out a lot with our books at the end of every month! #At the moment, all invoice details can be exported via CSV. While an account’s complete payment history cannot currently be exported via the app itself, our API does support this, so a coder with some free time can easily pick it up and hack this functionality into being! Any volunteers?
Hive MindHere’s what our tweeps have been saying about us recently. this) curdbee and let us know.
Time (and Expense) Tracking to Come!CurdBee Time Tracking in the wild.
If you’ve been dutifully following our twitter stream, you’d know by now that Time Tracking and Expense Tracking are coming soon as CurdBee Modules. What you don’t know however is that soon may be sooner than you think. We’re now just a matter of weeks away from release, and we’ll be kicking off our March release schedule by giving away some cool stuff. Stay tuned!