Guest Post by: Katrina Manning
Starting a business can be a lot of work. In fact, time is your most valuable resource. Even when you’re both motivated and passionate, it is never a simple undertaking. You might have the right vision, but there will always be the unexpected that pops up along the way. It takes patience, diligence and energy. There are many items that need to be researched, planned out and created before your launch. And, unless you’re working in an extremely niche market– you probably have some strong competition. This is especially true when you are in growth mode and trying to cut down costs. You probably feel the pressure to ensure your business functions as efficiently as possible. In addition, running a business requires you to wear a lot of hats. To help you stay organized and in charge, use these six tools to create your business empire.
Working for yourself might appear to be a dream come true, and it is. Although, one of the biggest temptations is to procrastinate. You don’t have a boss hovering over your cubicle any longer. Why not put off work until the last minute? Hey! Now you can watch TV in the middle of the day. Want to catch a matinee? Sure, who’s counting the clock? And, while all of those things are some of the perks of setting your own schedule, you can’t enjoy them if you aren’t making money.
This means that you can do them, but you need to take care of business first. If you want to start work at 3 a.m. in the morning so that you can catch a 1 p.m. matinee, fine. Or, it can be whenever you feel you need to start to get your goals met for the day. The business isn’t going to run by itself. With that said, it also helps to have a personal productivity timer. This is where Focus Booster comes in to help you make the most of your time. It uses the classic Pomodoro technique to eliminate distractions.
It is an unobtrusive app that even gives you a breakdown of your working habits. That’s one of its most fantastic features. In addition, it shows your productive and idle time. That way, you can schedule work for periods when you are most energetic. Working from home can make it difficult to strike a balance between work life and home life. The good news is Focus Booster helps you get better.
You’ve worked on your business plan for months. In fact, you even hired a professional writer to polish it
up for you. This is your baby, and you have been dreaming about this moment for years. You finally have a conference call with your potential investors. After, what feels like a successful call, they ask you to forward your business plan. You’re so excited, you almost forget their fax number. You set the first sheet in, and then…the line is busy. So, you check the fax machine.
Everything looks good, and you redial. This time, it takes three excruciatingly long minutes just to get through. You sit there, deflated, watching only the first sheet of paper slowly sputter through. You still have 20 more pages! Oh, the agony! You start to sweat. “Will they think I’m a dinosaur? That I’m not efficient” you wonder. They have things to do, and so do you. Thankfully, you have other choices such as the eFax—Online Fax Service. Instead of waiting by the fax machine, you can send your business plan through email, as a PDF file. You don’t have to wait for the line to connect or wait on a busy signal. You can also send entire documents in an instant, as opposed to sheet by sheet. Doesnt that make you feel better? And, since you don’t have to worry about busy fax lines, you can now try these 10 tips for a kick-butt proposal!
You might be on your toes, but you can’t ignore your prospects, clients and investors. Communication is essential for a successful business. Opportunities can be lost without it. And, if you want to convey a professional image, you need an 800-number.
That is what eVoice—Toll Free Numbers is all about. You get your very own business line with having to purchase any hardware or sign a contract. What could be better? Through eVoice, you never have to worry about missing an important call since it even comes with greetings, a live receptionist and call routing. You don’t need to hire someone to answer calls for you. All you need is eVoice.
You might not have the funds to hire a full-time accountant, but you still need to meticulously handle your finances. This is why you need QuickBooks to help you run your business, while giving you an overall picture of your company’s health. Moreover, you can integrate it with your bank account, PayPal, Square and your credit cards. When tax time comes around, you can look back on all the saved photos of your receipts. Plus, you can access QuickBooks from any device.
Thrive Day Planner
Entrepreneurs are always thinking of how to make the most of 24 hours in a day. Thrive Day Planner was designed to do exactly that. It can help you set growth goals, organize business operations and map out a business strategy. It looks just like a traditional organizer, except it is a digital tool that can be accessed from your PC or mobile device.
QWILR’s Ad spend calculator
In the beginning, getting traffic for your new business will be difficult. Right away, you won’t have much in terms of organic traffic. It also takes time to build up content marketing. What QWILR’s Ad spend calculator does is guide you through a few questions and inputs to determine what your cost per click (CPC) should be. You are also asked about your average revenue per month.
Furthermore, you are asked about your churn rate per month. Then, you have to figure out your customer acquisition cost. A few more questions, and it tells you how much you can afford to spend to acquire a new customer. Now, you have an advertising budget.
There isn’t any question that a new business will have a long road ahead. But, you can’t build an empire without help. Use the six tools above to help you get there.