When starting or running a business it can be hard to figure out what systems you need in place to make everything run smoothly – especially when you’re looking for systems that are both affordable as well as easy to use. Lucky for you, I’m the guy that makes technology Stupid Easy™ and I put together a list of the five systems any offline or online business needs – ranging from little to no cost.
A free project management system to get you and your team on track. You’ve probably heard of Asana, Teamwork, Basecamp, and even Trello, but none of these compare to what you get in Freedcamp – I know because I’ve tried them all. While each have their place in the market, Freedcamp is the winner given the easy to use interface (not to mention it’s free with paid add-on options which I have yet to use).
Freedcamp walks you through setting up what is called a “Project” giving it a name, description, choosing a “group.” You can create various groups and decide who can be a part of them. For example, I have a group called “Ed” which houses all of my projects and I have another one called “Michelle” (my assistant) which houses all of her projects. You even have the option to add people to it. You can choose between 2 layouts (this can be switched at any time) a typical list format or my favorite, the 3 column view (Not Started, In Progress, Completed).
What’s awesome is that for each task you can add sub-tasks, comments to keep the conversation in one place vs. having to email back and forth, choose a due date, assign it to someone as well as notify others. Within each project, you have your tasks, discussions, files, calendar, and what I’ve added, the free time tracking add-on.
*Note: Every time you create a new project you have to click the “+” to add the time app as it is not automatically added to each project. Freedcamp has been the best option for project management and is what everyone should be using whether it’s just you or you have a whole team.
Some ideas for projects to get you started:
- Periscope Topics
- Email Marketing
- Website Work
Struggling to figure out what your password is? Still trying to remember where you wrote it down? Well, you can stop all that wasting time nonsense once you download 1Password. That way, the only place you have to look is in your 1Password mobile app (desktop version available).
Trust me, this is not only going to work for your business but your personal life too! 1Password allows you to securely enter in all your passwords, credit cards, notes, and more into one easy to use app that uses the same encryption security your bank uses.
The free app walks you through setting up your “vault” and has you create 1 master password (think of this as your key to your lock box). When you’re ready to add a new login, open the app, click the “+” button, choose log in, and it walks you through adding your information. My favorite part is notes so if you had to fill out those darn security questions that you know you will never remember, you can put those in the notes.
Also, you can tag each entry AND put them into folders like “Business” “Personal,” etc. As if 1Password couldn’t be any better, you can securely share a login with someone via text or email. Yes, 1Password has been a lifesaver for the last 6 years and I know, you’re wondering why you didn’t get it sooner. It’s ok! Go get it now and every time you create a login, immediately go and add it to your 1Password. Same thing applies if you ever update a login, go right away to 1Password and update it.
One of the most popular ways to get paid and who doesn’t want that, right? PayPal makes it super easy for anyone running a business to get paid either by sending an invoice or by simply pointing someone to your unique PayPal.me payment link (If you don’t have this set up yet, you can click on PayPal.me to create one). By setting up a PayPal account you are ready to get paid!
Stripe makes it so easy for you to accept credit cards and has one of the lowest fees. It also ties in nicely with other services as a payment processing option and you can watch your activity using the mobile app. Super handy! You’re a business and you want to get paid today, not in a week. Plus, you don’t want to deal with checks. If one bounces, you’re not only out of the money you charged the client, but you also have to pay the bank fees.
Digital Product Download
All this talk about making money must have you wondering where you’re going to sell your guides, ebooks and other products right? Answer: Digital Product Download also known as DPD. This is a great place for selling and delivering your digital products all for a low monthly cost starting at $10. Benefit – you get a 30 day trial. It’s easy to create a new product to add to your “store.” You can offer coupons, add affiliate options, change the look and feel of your “store,” and even embed it into your website like I did.
Establishing a solid logistical foundation is a cornerstone to your business’ success. This may take time, but it will only benefit you in the long run. Starting and running a business is a lot of work but by implementing key tools like these you will make life a little easier both for you and your clients.