The stability of a 9 – 5 corporate work day is fading away, as many entrepreneurs know.
Many people are entering the “freelance workforce,” leaving the predictability of a regular paycheck behind. Although this arrangement brings freedoms, it may make things more complicated during tax season.
This culture shift inspired serial entrepreneur and software developer Lance Windholz to launch Miles, a tracking application that makes it easier for on-the-go workers to log their mileage.
“Nobody wants to sit down and deal with mileage, and that’s why I built it,” Windholz said. “Milage sucks, nobody wants to do it. I asked myself, ‘How can we take something that sucks and make it so easy that it really is no big deal anymore?’ That’s the goal.”
Windholz said that he expects the IRS to become more strict in the coming years with scrutinizing mileage reports. He added that tracking your miles is essential for any entrepreneur hoping to avoid an audit.
“Instead of 30 percent of the population (the freelance workforce) tracking their work miles and trying to leverage that expense, that number is going to go up to 60 and 70 percent,” Windholz said. “It’s going to flip. A lot of attorneys are saying the first thing they look for is whether or not you’ve kept a mileage book.”
Before the launch of Miles in March 2016, there weren’t any solid tracking options on the market, Windholz said. Recognizing the necessity, Windholz built Miles on the side of his day job as the general manager of BlackOps Development.
“I wanted the app for my own personal use,” Windholz said. “I figured since I have the knowledge, resources and the know how to build, I might as well go ahead and build it.”
Here’s how it works. As you drive around, trips are generated via GPS. From there, the user categorizes the trip as personal or business and then downloads the report to share.
Miles recently announced its acceptance to Pinsight Media’s Rollout program. To generate revenue, Pinsight will integrate its advertising platform and Miles will offer premium services that users can purchase. For $4.99, users may opt in to premium services: including automatic workdays, and accounting integration via Freshbooks, Quickbooks Concur or Xero Sync.
“What we were seeing is that anytime you put that pay wall barrier in front, you have a lower adoption rate,” Windholz said. “People just are a little hesitant to pay.”
Within the next two months, Miles will release an updated version that’s available on iOS and Android devices. By the end of 2017, Windholz hopes to garner 100,000 users — 10 percent of those being premium subscribers.
To achieve this, Windholz is proactively looking for business partners; specifically accountants and realtors, or any company with a team of people traveling. Miles has entered a partnership with one small corporation, which agreed to onboard their entire team for a discounted price. Windholz plans to replicate this with other organizations.