Being an entrepreneur is a labor of love. Most of us are passionate about our product or service, but have to work hard at learning how to do, and be, everything else. From marketing and accounting, to customer service and client management, we do it all.
Truth be told, we’d rather just eat, sleep, create, and repeat. But the bad news is that your business–or your sanity–won’t survive on that routine.
Thankfully, there are a slew of tools that will help you operate your business (and hopefully your life) more efficiently without impacting your profits so that you can continue to be the badass entrepreneur that we know you are.
Check out some of our favs.
Evernote is your over-active, entrepreneurial brain’s new best friend. It’s a free app that lets you create notes, organize them into notebooks and access them from any device. Plus, it’s got some killer features like being able to search, set alarms and integrate with other apps, which make it so much more functional than those Post-It Notes you’ve got plastered all over your desk. So ditch those AND the notepad that keeps slipping into the oblivion at the bottom of your purse because trust me, Evernote is the business.
No matter what kind of business you have, you NEED a project management system. A handwritten to-do list just isn’t going to cut it if you’re building an empire. Project management systems like Asana (our fave) and Trello have free versions that will help you wrangle those random sheets of paper into a neatly organized tasks that you can put into a meaningful structure with dependencies, due dates and best of all…reminders!
If you’re a creative entrepreneur, accounting is probably your LEAST favorite thing to do. But Wave simplifies the bookkeeping process so much that its almost (dare I say) fun. You can link it to your account to automatically populate transactions, and it’s got some other cool features like invoicing and graphs. But best of all, its FREE.
Pinterest is unbelievably underrated. It’s often confused as being a social media platform. And although there are some social components to Pinterest, it’s really more of a search engine like Google. With over 150 million monthly active users, and 87% of Pinners reported to have made a purchase because of Pinterest*, this is not a tool that you should sleep on. Stay woke people. And before you call me a hypocrite, our Pinterest page is on the way! We’re rolling all of the goodness out in stages, so stay tuned and feel free to follow us there now at pinterest.com/houseof334 in anticipation of what’s to come.
If you don’t know what Instagram is, you’ve probably been living under a rock. A very big rock with no wi-fi. The better question is, are you really using it to your advantage? When used strategically, Instagram can be a major tribe-builder that leads to sales. Need some help with your Instagram strategy? Sign up for our email list to receive our 30 Days of Instagram curated content calendar, or contact us to chat about how we can help you develop actionable strategies that convert.
Canva is ahhh-may-zing. Have you ever wondered how so many people are out there overlaying text onto images or creating branded social media templates without having ANY graphic design experience or fancy software? You guessed it…Canva. There is a paid business version, but the basic version is free and comes with an enormous collection of templates for just about anything you can think of, plus a substantial amount of graphics and stock images for your graphic designing pleasure.
Have you scrolled through someone’s feed and wondered how they get their feed to look so cohesive, or how they are able to keep up with posting so consistently? If these are areas that you struggle in, you need to use a visual social media planner. We use Planoly, but there are others such as Plann, and both of these have free versions that will probably do you just fine as you’re getting started. These apps allow you to schedule your posts ahead of time with drag and drop features that make it super easy to create that cohesive look that grabs a follower’s attention AND helps you take the guesswork out of what to post next.
Some of you that are reading this are actually professional photographers, but I’m going to bet that most of you aren’t. And you know what, we aren’t either. However, thank God for technology because there are some free photo editing apps that can help you tremendously in producing great quality photos for your social. Pic Monkey is super popular, but don’t be afraid to even just get started with the editing features that come with your cell phone’s standard photos app. Play around with all of the settings in a few different apps so you can figure out what works best for you. A little editing can go a long way.
Let’s start with why having an email list is so important. As much as we all love social media, your account can be shut down without warning. You don’t own it, or those followers you worked so hard to get. What you DO own is your email list. And with email, there are no changing algorithms and such to navigate around…once someone signs up to receive email from you, you have an opportunity to greet them directly in their inbox as often as you please. Mailchimp is an awesome free platform to get you started. Ok…so we know email marketing can be daunting. You may be one of many who have given up on email marketing after spending countless hours crafting the perfect newsletters, only to have a handful of people open them. Or, maybe you’re having trouble getting people to sign up at all. Don’t give up! Contact us to find out how we can help.
I hope and pray that you aren’t depending solely on your hard drive (or even an external drive or flash drive) to store all your important files! If you are, I hate to say it but at some point, you’ll learn the hard way that this is NOT ok. Unfortunately, I know this from experience. Hard drives can crash for a variety of reasons, and God forbid you spill anything on it…like I did…as I was trying to shoo a bee while working outside at a Starbucks. Long story short and at the very least, backup your important files using a free service like Google Drive or Dropbox, or if you need a lot of storage you can invest in a paid plan or platform. Anything is better than nothing. #ThankMeLater
I’m sure you’re thinking about how we just talked a whole lot of trash about actually writing things down on paper, but this is totally different. Having a physical planner to help you lay out and achieve your goals is priceless. My go-to and absolute favorite is the Passion Planner, which walks you, step by step, through how to set long term and short term goals, and then how to break those down into smaller goals so that you can actually keep track and achieve them. Simply share the Passion Planner on your social media, take a screen shot, and email it to them to receive your free download!
Behind every boss babe is a tribe of other boss babes supporting and cheering her on. We’re all superwomen in our own right, but each of us stands to benefit from having like-minded women in our corner to share knowledge and lift us up. Facebook groups are a great place to connect with Business BFFs. And lucky for you, we’ve always got your back. Holla at your girls.