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Wave Customer Profile: Mark and Julie Baese

Mark and Julie Baese.

If you think it’s hard running a small business, try running three.

Between them, Mark and Julie Baese run a content marketing agency, offer a freelance design service and are landlords for the rental property they own.

Mark’s focus is on Baese, a small business marketing agency in Kelowna, British Columbia. Meanwhile, Julie offers graphic design and user experience design services on a freelance basis.

Before using Wave, Mark and Julie relied on checks to get paid.

“It was a nightmare,” says Mark. “The check would come in, and it would have the wrong name on it so I couldn’t cash it. I had to go back and get a different check. There’s all these little things that happen.”

They also found it was inconvenient for their customers. “They get the bill,” says Mark, “but then they have to remember to write the check. They put it in the pile with all their other bills, and then you’ve got to wait for the mail system to bring it to you, and that can take 30-45 days. If there’s an error, you’ve got to go back and do the whole thing over again. It just takes forever to get paid.”

Using Wave to send invoices, and being able to accept credit card payments, puts money in their pockets faster. “I find when I send [a credit-card enabled invoice] via email, people will pay in the first day or two, or the first week or two,” Mark says.

Julie and Mark found Wave on the recommendation of a friend.

“All I was looking for was something that would help me get organized,” says Mark. “I looked at some of the other accounting platforms, but they cost money, and I didn’t know what I was going to need or how it was going to work.”

“Looking at the interface that Wave offered, it seemed really simple,” he continues. “I remember looking at Wave and thinking ‘Woah, that makes sense.’”

The duo also owns a rental property in the Kelowna area, and have found they can use Wave in that business, too.

“Most tenants nowadays are giving rent by e-transfer,” Mark explains. “I have Wave attached to my bank account, so when they make a payment it just pops up on my personal Wave account. I just transfer it over to the rental property, so I know I’ve got rent that month.”

“Every time we take the next step with Wave, it gets a little bit easier for us,” Mark says.

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Wave Customer Profile: Go Addis & Go Kigali Tours

Xavier, Eliza and super-guide Francis, in Kigali. Photo by Leigh Woods.

"Every other tour operator looked at us like we were insane."

Eliza Richman and Xavier Curtis didn't move to Ethiopia from Washington, DC, with the intention of launching a tour company. But within weeks of arriving in Addis Ababa 5 years ago, they saw so much they wanted to share with others.

"Tour operators used to advise spending no more than 24 hours in Addis," says Xavier. "But we love exploring cities and figuring out the most interesting hole in the wall," and in Ethiopia's capital they discovered a richness in culture, people, coffee, and above all, food, especially at Merkato, the frenzied market. Where other tour operators equated Merkato's noise and smells and crowds with danger, Eliza and Xavier saw a one-of-a-kind experience that adventurous travellers would love.

Customers enjoying a walking tour in Addis Ababa with Desalegn, a Go Addis tour guide. Photo by Ab Teshome.

Less than 8 months after starting Go Addis  (formerly Addis Eats) as a side business, they had both left their jobs and devoted themselves full-time to food, city and culture tours. They’ve even served as consultants to chef/TV personality Anthony Bourdain.

Wave has been part of the journey for the pair, especially invoicing for their trip planning services. "We learned early the importance of collecting payment in advance for our bookings. The process before was PayPal, which on many levels was horrible," Xavier explains. There he was in Africa, trying to arrange payment from customers all over the world. His invoices needed to inspire confidence and professionalism; anything less and customers might balk at making advance payments to a small tour operator they'd never met in person. "The ease of creating the invoices was great. But more important was how attractive the invoices were to our customers," he says. "Clients would see our invoices and not have a second question about going forward with it."

Go Addis (a U.S. LLC) accepts credit card payments right on their Wave invoices, to ensure prompt and reliable payment. "The fees are significantly lower" than with the alternatives they've looked at, too.

This week marks a new chapter in Eliza and Xavier's tour business: Expansion to Rwanda! Just as they saw (and smelled and tasted) an opportunity in Ethiopia, the duo discovered a tourism void in Kigali. "Somehow the city had no company dedicated to offering authentic city tours."

Go Kigali (gokigalitours.com) kicked off operations on May 1. Each city tour is customized to the visitors' preferences, with guide-to-guest ratios of about 4:1. What would you see in Kigali's food market? "There are lots of foods Westerners have never tried before, like a tree tomato, or even a really ripe passionfruit." Moreover, there are things that Westerners have never done before, like learning to carry 25 pounds of bananas on their heads. That lesson is part of the Go Kigali experience.

Xavier practices carrying fruit in a Kigali market. Photo by Leigh Woods.

Standard day-long tours in Kigali and Addis Ababa are $85, with everything included. "From the time you start the tour, you don't touch your wallet again."

For more information, contact Xavier and Eliza at

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May Webinar: Full Service Payroll (Florida, Texas, California)

On Thursday, May 19th, we held a live webinar to show you how to set yourself up with our full service payroll offering.  Approve you payroll, and Wave will handle paying your employees, as well as state and federal tax payments and filings. Missed it? No worries. Catch the recording here.

In addition to walking you through setup, this webinar covered:  

  • Signing up for direct deposit
  • How to run payroll
  • How Wave handles your taxes
  • Dealing with vacation
  • And more!

Ready to save time with easy payrolls? Register for Payroll by Wave here

We also had a great Q&A during the webinar as well, we've included the most common questions and answers below:

How much does Tax Service cost?

By enrolling in Tax Service, Payroll by Wave will handle all state and federal payroll tax payments and filings for the low price of $10/month.

Do I need an Accountant?

Nope! If you still need help with your business taxes or anything non-payroll related, you certainly can work with an accountant. We make it easy to invite guest collaborators like accountants or business partners to be able to take a look at your books (only if you give them permission).

What do I do with Taxes that I have owing before I sign up for Tax Service?  

We can potentially do a catch up, but we'll typically need to specifically request the amount of tax liabilities owed from outside the quarter you sign up for Tax Service.   

How do I know I’m a household employer?

You are a household employer if the employee(s) you have hired fit any of the following categories: Babysitter, Caretaker, House cleaning worker, Domestic worker, Drivers, Health aide, Housekeeper, Maid, Nanny, Private nurse, Yard worker

Still unsure? Write us at support@waveapps.com (?).

What if I have an employee that lives outside of CA, TX, or FL?

We unfortunately are not able to support this for Tax Service -- but you can still do payroll! We have released the Tax Liabilities page that will give you all of the information required to help you fill out forms that may require more details and to file and remit your taxes manually.

Wave will generate your W-2 & W-3 forms at the end of the year and provide a file that will make online submission easy with the SSA.

When is tax Service coming to my State?

We've got NY coming up next and are always looking to expand to other States. We unfortunately don't have a timeline just yet however.


Ready to save time with easy payrolls? Register for Payroll by Wave here.

Have questions about Payroll by Wave? Email Bob and the Payroll Success Team at support@wavepayroll.com.

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Scams affecting small businesses: How to protect your money

Summary: A very common scam is to pay you by stolen credit card, but then to convince you to move some of that payment to a third-party via some other means. When the fraud is discovered, the credit card companies refund the payment to the original card holder, but you’re out of pocket for the funds you delivered to the thief.  

Scams have been around as long as there have been people.

     Gronk the First (scammer): “You have food. Me have magic sky rock.
     Sky rock make you not die.”

     Thag the First (victim) trades food for rock.
     Thag goes hunting with magic rock.
     Thag gets eaten.
     Gronk: “That was easy. Me never hunt again!”

Are you a target?

Scammers target everyone. Have you ever thought, “I’m too small to be a target”? Unfortunately, being small is no protection. Big or small, there’s a scammer out there who would happily take your money.

Or maybe, “I’m too smart to fall for it.” Sadly, lots of smart people have already fallen victim to scams that do a good job of playing on your best instincts.

Things you should watch for

Here are some of the warning signs associated with the most common scams.

1. Urgency
We live in a fast-paced world where everything needs to be done yesterday. We’re used to this. But urgency is also a flag that should raise your suspicion. When someone says, “I need this site live within the week!” it could be a scammer thinking “I need to pay you before this card is reported as stolen.” 

2. Emotion
People (like you) are generally good, so when someone else needs help, they want to provide it. This is easy to abuse. When someone says, “I’m not available, my grandmother’s in the hospital for an operation and I’ll be there with her,” it could be a scammer thinking, “The more we actually communicate, the higher the likelihood you’ll figure out that this isn’t a legitimate business request.” 

3. Too good to be true
Have any of your other customers offered you a bonus just for doing your job? When someone says, “I’d like to pay you an extra $500 for helping me connect with my shipper,”  it’s likely a scammer thinking, “Let me distract you from the big metal trap I’m setting -- look at this giant piece of cheese!”

4. Partner payouts
When your customer involves a third party, but requests that you make a payment to them, stop! I’m sure they have a great explanation as to why they can’t make the payment themselves or why it’s easier for you to do it, but don’t fall for it. This is a very common scam, where you hand over your money and never see it again.
If someone says, “I’ll pay you extra to use my shipper, or my supplier,” it’s likely a scammer thinking, “You take this money from a stolen card, and in exchange give your own funds to my ‘partner’.”
Repeating what I mention above: Once the fraud is discovered against the stolen card, the funds you received in the first place will be pulled back by the credit card company, leaving you in the hole for the money you transferred to the ‘partner.’

5. Refund requests
Refunds are a normal part of business. But when someone asks you to make the refund via a different payment method, things aren’t going to go well.
If someone says, “My card was stolen, can you refund me by check?” it’s likely a scammer thinking, “The card I used was stolen, please give the owner’s money to me, not back to them.” 

6. Spelling and Grammar
One of the telltale signs of a scam is bad writing. Although we live in a world of emojis, most business communications still pass a language litmus test.
If you’re reading, “wud u do it faster, cuz i can pay u more if u do,” there’s a good chance you could Google the sentence and you’ll see lots of results on scam alert pages. It’s not an indictment of the education system, it’s an early warning of a scam.  

What can you do?

Two things: awareness and communication.   

Scams don’t need to be new, they just need to be new to you. If you become familiar with the patterns, you’ll recognize them for what they are. But don’t stop there/ Your family, your friends, and the people you do business with — until everyone is on the lookout, things won’t get better.

Did you know that only 7% of scams are reported to the authorities?  Try to imagine someone robbing 100 banks… and only 7 of them contacting the police.  That sounds crazy right? It may be hard to believe, particularly if you’ve been hit, but there is no shame in reporting a crime. Reporting the crime may not get your money back, but it may stop someone else from becoming a victim.

Here’s who you should contact:

If you’re located somewhere else, Google:  “reporting fraud [your country].”

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National Small Business Week In Review

Over the past five days, we’ve been rounding up news and tips for Small Business Week. Here's a recap of our favourites:

10 things to NOT do when starting your business

How to make sure you don’t end up with a client from hell

How to overcome the biggest fears of public speaking

What It Takes To Be A Small Business Owner (Infographic)

What Can Star Wars Teach Small Business Owners?

Staying Motivated in Good Times and Bad

We want to give a shout out to all small business owners, and especially those using  Wave. Small businesses and entrepreneurs are incredibly important to the world's economy, and we admire you for everything that you contribute to your communities. Congratulations, and keep up the great work!

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