As a solopreneur running two businesses from home, I know how overwhelming it can be trying to juggle everything yourself. When I started forgetting important details and deadlines because I was so busy with client-facing work, I realized it was time to bring in outside help. But without the funds to hire employees, I felt stuck. Until some of my fellow entrepreneurs recommended I look into these tools and resources to streamline my work. Now that I’m more efficient than ever (and at a fraction of the cost of full-time staff!), I’m passing on their tips of time saving tools every solopreneur needs so other solopreneurs can benefit.
Does your to-do list have twice as many items as your calendar has open time slots? Staying on top of everything is hard when you’re a team of one, but solopreneurs don’t have to do it all alone. When you’re too small to warrant staff but too big to manage everything yourself, these tech-based tools and resources help you get the job done at a price you can afford.
A reliable smartphone
As a solopreneur, your smartphone is your credit card reader, your mobile hotspot, and at times, your workstation.
If your old phone isn’t compatible with the latest small business apps or your service provider’s coverage is spotty, it’s worth upgrading to a phone that can get the job done.
You can’t go wrong with a top-of-the-line phone like the iPhone 11 Pro Max, especially for taking product photos, thanks to the phone’s advanced triple-camera system and speedy smartphone chip.
Android fans will appreciate the Galaxy Note 10 Plus’s ability to pair with other Windows 10 devices so you can switch seamlessly from your smartphone to a desktop or computer.
Regardless of whether you’re an iPhone or Android devotee, you’ll want a plan with plenty of data and coverage everywhere you do business. Some service providers offer a discount on a new phone when you sign up for a new plan and trade in your old model.
Freelance job boards
For projects that are totally outside your skillset, hiring help is more practical than spending hours learning how to do it yourself. However, that doesn’t mean you have to hire employees. For time-limited projects, freelancers are a better choice. You’ll get the right help for exactly as long as you need and not a moment more.
A lot of projects are good candidates for freelancers, including marketing, branding, photography, and graphic design. However, one job that stands out is web development. Even fledgling businesses need great websites, and while cheap, DIY website builders don’t give the professional image a business requires.
Consistent bookkeeping is the key to accurate bookkeeping. But when you have a million other things on your plate, manually keying income and expenses falls to the bottom of the priority list.
Instead of handling accounting when you get around to it — and increasing the risk of errors in the process — pay for a small business accounting app like Xero or Quickbooks Online. By automatically uploading transactions from your business bank account, these tools take the tedium out of accounting.
Integrated payment processing
If you’re running a retail business, there’s one more thing you need to set your accounting on autopilot. Payment processors like Stripe integrate with your bank account and the leading accounting tools to make accepting and recording payments ridiculously easy for small business owners.
Cloud file storage
If you’re going to be working on the go, you need the ability to access files wherever you are. Take advantage of cloud storage tools like Google Drive and Dropbox. Google Drive is a good choice if you only need a small amount of storage, as Google offers up to 15 GB of file storage for free. However, if you need a full-featured file storage solution, Dropbox may be worth the additional cost.
Scaling your solopreneurship comes with growing pains, but making the choice between hiring staff or working 80-hour weeks shouldn’t be one of them.
When you’re in the awkward stage of needing more help but operating on a limited budget, turn to these cost-effective solutions to keep your business growing up without going broke.
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