Design Toronto, ON
Toy Rabbits is a full service design team in Toronto. They help clients in a variety of industries by developing a creative strategy and then leveraging resources within their network to facilitate all the clients’ needs. Toy Rabbits has done everything from a simple web design for University of Toronto, to building a brand for CanAcre and helping to position them in the market.
I’d have to say that my favourite project to work on so far has been CanAcre. When I started working with them they were three guys working out of their living room. They had huge goals and were trying to break into a market that was dominated by two companies for the past three decades. This made it a huge challenge but because they were young, they let me take an idea and run with it. We built a band for them and developed a systematic creative infrastructure for the company. It was one of my favourite projects because they attribute some of their success to the work they did with ToyRabbits. In only a year they went from three guys in a living room, to a full service office downtown Toronto, to now being one of the three largest land acquisition companies in Canada.
I love that with my job, everyday is different. You never know what you’re going to get into. You know the project but you don’t know the challenges and the potential barriers. I live for fixing things, working through the challenges, and making things happen. I do whatever is necessary. If it means that sleep is a luxury that day, we forgo sleep to make it happen. It’s all about making things happen for the client by any means possible.
The greatest challenge is always time. I live for big, crazy ideas but those take time. You have to get projects done in a timely manner so they have enough time to be analyzed and tested. You have to make sure they’re going to work. You need to execute the idea to the best of your ability and make sure you keep your client informed and involved to reduce the chance of failure.
Two years after I started ToyRabbits, I started looking for an invoicing solution. I was using Microsoft Excel to keep everything organized. I had everything in a spreadsheet- my time, client records, notes, and did the math manually with a calculator. It was a nightmare! I was creating my own invoices in InDesign so they would look professional. After two years of doing that, I noticed that too much of my time was spent creating invoices and quotes. I realized I needed to either hire someone to do that for me, or look for a solution that could automate it. Toy Rabbits was still a young company, so hiring someone wasn’t really an option.
A friend of mine recommended I try Billings Pro because that’s what he was using. After I saw Billings Pro I stopped researching other options. It was very alluring to see that Billings Pro was an app that could integrate everything. It replaced the person I thought I needed to hire.
The most alluring part of Billings Pro is that I can send an invoice or update a client record while on the street car or sitting in a coffee shop from my iPhone. I don’t have to take notes and then update it later- I can do everything right away. If I’m at a printers and they give me a quote, I can generate a print quote right on my iPhone and send it to the client. In this way, Billings Pro sort of lowers the barriers of time.
I like that with Billings Pro I’m able to create my own invoice template. It took a bit of finagling to figure out how to design my own, but as a designer I know what I want my invoice to look like. The standard templates look great, and my wife uses those for her business, Apa Design Jewellery. She uses a standard template, just changes some colours, and she’s good to go. The invoice templates for Billings Pro are something a designer would be very happy with. I’m just a little more picky.
To every single person who asks me what they should use, I recommend Billings Pro. I teach a class at George Brown College and I even recommend it to my students to use so they can track their time. It’s all about saving time and Billings Pro is a turnkey solution with very little learning curve. If you’re still using Microsoft Excel to manage billing and invoicing, step outside your cave and welcome the light.