How a Square developer is helping small business owners wear their favorite hat
We’re highlighting a series of Square developers who have successfully grown their businesses after integrating Build With Square (APIs) into their platform.
It all started when Donovan Janus’ wife, Allison, decided to pursue her true passion of photography. When she started a photography business in 2011, business took off immediately. The problem was that, while an exceptional photographer, she didn’t have experience managing the operational aspects of a business. By necessity, she started to wear many hats—managing accounting, clients, invoices, and more. Operations quickly became a burden that took her away from her original purpose, and what she loved doing the most: taking beautiful photographs of people’s lives.
As Donovan watched his wife spend hours dealing with paperwork, invoices, bookkeeping, and many other headaches, all while using a different app for each task, he realized that there was an untapped business need waiting to be addressed. What if he could build an application that would help small business owners manage the operational aspects of their businesses in one central place, so they could spend their time focusing on what they love and do best?
That’s now 17hats’ mission: Create a world where anyone with passion, ideas, and ambition will never be held back by the barriers of running their own business.
It took Donovan a couple of years to build the first iteration of the product, which launched 3 years ago. Since then, 17hats has seen impressive growth, adding thousands of new clients each month.
17hats is successful because of the benefits they provide that are of value to any small business owner: saving countless hours of time, adding clients easily, and getting paid quickly.
One key element of 17hats’ application is that it helps clients get paid faster — on average, in under three days. It may sound trivial, but sometimes business owners can be hesitant when asking for timely payment, and cash flow is essential when operating a small business. 17hats handles the logistics so they can see their hard-earned cash instantly, without having to manually send multiple reminder emails to clients asking for payment.
Integrating with Square’s API
A turning point for 17hats to enhance its payment feature was when Square released access to its APIs, enabling independent developers to integrate Square’s payment solution within their own applications.
When Donovan and his team found out about the Square APIs through Hacker News, he says their immediate reaction was: “Thank God! They are finally opening their APIs.”
Donovan added: “Square has a fantastic brand and a lot of our customers wanted to use Square for online payments.” Thus, the integration enabled them to unlock a new set of clients who were already using Square in their store and didn’t want to use another payment provider through 17hats.
For Donovan’s customers, having to enter their bank information into an online system can be scary — it can be hard for users to develop trust in a new payment system. But because Square has a trusted, nationwide reputation as a safe, secure, and reliable brand, it is making 17hats’ job that much easier and keeping their customers satisfied.
What Customers Think
When the Square team discussed the integration with 17hats, Donovan told us it took a week to implement it and another week to bring it to a live customer. “Square’s platform was very straightforward to use. The platform is well done technically, easy to integrate, and super reliable; we have not seen any issues; and on top of everything, the response time of the API calls is fast,” said Donovan.
The feedback from their merchants is positive, and they’re thrilled with the implementation. Connecting to Square is easy: merchants just open the 17hats app, select Square as their payment provider, set up the Square account, and complete the OAuth connection. It’s that simple — and they can start accepting credit card payments in minutes.
A bright future
17hats has built an incredibly useful product for small business owners, and Square is excited to help them grow by simplifying a key aspect of their offering. They offer a growing number of services they to their customers, and the future looks bright. [Seventeen] Hats off to a very successful integration!