So you want to start a online business, huh? Or maybe you have one simmering along already. Hurray! Happy dance and balloons in the air and all-around celebrations to you, ladyboss.
But.... you start to realise you have to make some investments to actually move your business forward. And you're wondering how the hell you'll do that on a start-up budget.
No probs....I've got you covered.
So, you can absolutely start with no costs at all but over time you'll need to put some systems in place. Maybe a website, some way of sharing your story online to the masses, a way of actually reaching new peeps, email systems, calendars......
Even though there's a long list of things that can get costly, you can actually do it on a budget. And without the stress of over-spending when you're a start up. Because, let's face it, there’s enough to feel apprehensive about when you’re first starting your business. Throwing debt and big investments into the mix when you're brand new (or even into your first year) isn’t a stellar idea.
So let's talk about starting off your business on a budget with the simple but really effective online tools that will allow you to put systems and the framework in place for you to operate like a major player even when you are brand new.
....and most likely working from a second hand desk with a wonky chair in a room that looks far from the dream office you have pinned on pinterest.
So here's the budget basics you can start with until you're rolling in the dollar dollar bills. Which you will be.
Every (EVERY) solopreneur needs an integrated online booking calendar. It's the only way that you can effortlessly have clients book in times to work with you, minus the back and forth emails to figure out specific availabilities. Having your pre-scheduled availability in something like calendly also means there's no way clients can request to work with you when you....well...don't want to be working.
Price. $0 for the simple version of $8 per month for more features
Dollar Photo Club
Look, this isn't my absolute favourite stock photo website (stocksy.com is amazing), but it's so affordable. And if you need a stack of quality stock images that don't need your pretty face featured in them, it's really hard to beat a price tag of $1 per image.
Price: $1 per image.
Online space to send and receive huge files, plus online storage for those said huge files. It's great because you won't end up killing your inbox (or someone elses) with a ridiculous sized file you're trying to send. Awesome for creative professionals or working with creative professionals (because you'll be sending high res images a lot) and even for training your team (sending audio and video files that can take up loads of room).
Cost: free or $12 per month for dropbox pro or $17 per month for dropbox Business
zoom (kinda like Skype)
Perfect for team training, webinars, 1:1 coaching, recording videos, screen sharing ....the whole shebang. It's not as slick as some of the other webinar platforms, but it'll give you all the basics you need to kick off and you can record sessions (which is handy for sending those to your team or to your clients after your call with them).
Price: FREE for sessions under 45 minutes. Pro Account $14 per month. Business Account $19 per month
Everyone needs a way to keep track of client contact deets + set up basic automation (more of that in another blog post) so your emails work for you (not the other way around). This is a basic but great starting point.
Price: FREE for the basic account. $15-$20 per month for list between 500-2000 people.
*In the spirit of full disclosure, the links above marked with a * are affiliate links, which means that I may get a commissions if you decide to purchase anything after you click through. I only recommend products & systems that I 100% use and love myself, so I know you’ll be in good hands.