Starting your own home business isn’t just exciting; thanks to services and technology that weren’t available just a few years ago, it’s easier than ever. After all, most small business owners start out on a budget. Odds are good you don’t have the money to hire a large staff or invest in expensive office equipment.
With the following recommendations, you don’t need to. While these services won’t guarantee success, they do make it much easier to run a small home business when you don’t have a lot of time or money to spend right away.
Although there are many online payments services available for sending and receiving money, PayPal is one of the best ones for business owners. That’s because it’s simply one of the oldest. As such, PayPal has a larger number of users than many of its competitors. On top of that, PayPal lets you send invoices to clients. Many other payment apps aren’t quite as business-friendly, devoted less to invoicing and more to sending small amounts of money to family or friends.
It’s also worth noting that PayPal recently released PayPal Here, a response to the popular Square device. Like Square, PayPal Here essentially serves as a portable cash register, which may be ideal if your small business takes you outside the home to trade shows or similar events.
It’s not easy to run a successful business these days without a website. Luckily, you don’t need substantial coding experience to develop one. Squarespace allows users to create professional-quality websites with ease, thanks to its pre-generated templates. You can alter the templates to ensure the site’s visual identity matches your brand, and you can incorporate important features like a blog, store, or contact form.
Best of all, Squarespace’s pricing is substantially lower than a web developer’s. Because you can edit the site whenever you like, you don’t need to contact your developer and wait for them to respond. You can make any necessary adjustments yourself as soon as you decide you need to.
Quality graphic design is a must for any business. Your website, social media accounts, and promotional materials should all feature professional, brand-appropriate visuals because, unfortunately, most people do judge a book by its cover. Even if you deliver reliable service to your clients, you’ll find it difficult to attract more business if your branded visuals look like the work of an amateur.
That doesn’t mean you have to hire a graphic design specialist, however. Canva is a free graphic-design platform (although the paid business version offers additional features) that makes it incredibly easy to create impressive posters, social media posts, banners, and other materials, all featuring high-quality images. Though the site makes it very easy to get the hang of basic graphic design, it also provides templates for each type of document you wish to create, allowing you to simply insert your own images and text without altering the layout.
Those starting a small business from home likely have a day job on the side that eats up most of their time. Even if that isn’t the case, it’s easy to get distracted without a supervisor to keep them on task.
That’s why it helps to use an app like RescueTime. It works by tracking the amount of time you spend using various applications or websites, and then provides reports that help you better understand where you’ve been wasting time, so you can make adjustments in the future.
With QuickBooks, you have everything you need to track your small business’ finances, an important tool to have, no matter what type of business you’re starting. The fact is, there’s a good chance you’ll spend some money to maintain and grow your business. With QuickBooks, you can compare expenses to earnings. Using this tool consistently ensures you won’t make the mistake of limiting your potential revenue by overlooking areas where expenses could be reduced.
If you run a business that involves working with multiple clients, you can also use QuickBooks to track your invoices. You may be surprised how easy it is to forget about unpaid invoices when you have to focus so much on other aspects of running the business. You need a tool that will help you stay on top of all payments, both those you’ve made and those that should have been made to you.
Although you’ll probably need to implement other products and services as your business grows, those recommended here will be very helpful at the start. Often, too many of us fail to create the small businesses they want to because they feel they don’t have the resources they need. Thanks to these products, you no longer have that excuse.