Starting your business is a HUGE deal, one that deserves a major pat on the back and some extra champagne. Telling the world that you’re officially in business is the first big step, but when time and money are stretched thin how do you show the masses that you’re a worthy investment? They key is to present yourself like a pro from the very beginning. When your head is spinning with all the to-do’s it’s easy to become overwhelmed so I’ve rounded up a list of my favorite (and affordable!) resources to help you get started, with minimal damage to your bank account.
Google for Business was the first thing I invested in. For $5.00 a month you can snag a custom email address for your business. While you can easily use any of the free email platforms out there I believe seeing your business presented this way instead of email@example.com (or hotmail.com or aol.com...you get the idea) is much more impactful. Using an email address that is customized to your business gives you that extra layer of street cred that positions you in the mind of a customer as a legitimate resource.
As much as you love your clients and customers it’s really important to set some boundaries. Google Voice allows you to create a special phone number specifically for your business. The best part? You can answer the calls from your personal cell! You can set a special greeting for your new business line and voicemails are also sent to your email in text format. It will also help you recognize which calls may be business related versus which are spam (because let’s be honest, once you establish your biz those spammy calls come out of nowhere!)
When I first started my business I invested in a Wordpress website through a local developer because I knew that in order to be taken seriously I needed a home online. I loved it, but since launching so much has changed in my business. Tech is not my zone of genius and I quickly became frustrated by the constant updates and plug ins. When I was preparing to launch my wholesale consulting services I decided to look into Squarespace and quickly realized just how easy the platform is to work with. With a starting price is $12 a month it’s definitely worth investigating if you’re on a budget. There are a TON of free resources and tutorials out there to help you along the way. (I’m a HUGE Jess Creatives fan!)
I was a little late to the Trello party but I wish I got my hands on this nifty little app when I first started my business. I’ve always been a notebook/pen + paper gal (I love my paper calendar!) but as hard as I tried to remain consistent in my lists, things would inadvertently fall through the cracks. Trello allows me to see everything in one place from my big picture strategy to my weekly to do’s. My organization is on point! I even have a board that my husband can access that we use to keep tabs on our personal projects, bills and to do’s. Best of all? This baby is FREE! Having everything in one place (and accessible from both desktop or phone) means you’ll always be organized and clients will never see you sweat. I did find it a bit overwhelming at first (apps do that to me) but Think Creative Collective offers a super affordable course to get you started!
Instagram is such a power platform for product based businesses (or any business!) and with most people logging into their favorite app first thing each morning you do NOT want to miss out on the opportunity to get in front of your community! Later is specific to Instagram (my app of choice) and allows you to plan your posts in advance and visually see how they work together to make sure each post fits the story you are looking to tell. The free version gives you 30 posts per month which are perfect for getting started!
Have a favorite app that you can’t live without? Leave a note in the comments below so I can check it out!