When you’re kick starting a business the excitement takes over but it can also feel a little daunting when we have nothing but our competition to learn how to do the best job possible at the best price. The great news is that in todays world it takes very little to set-up shop from the comfort of your own living room and by using these great low-cost tools to get you started, you start your business for as little a few pounds.
- Cloud Accounting – yes you do need an accounting package, especially if you are going to forgo the expense of a professional accountant however it doesn’t have to cost the earth (or anything for that matter). In fact Quickfile offers free accounting solutions which integrates with a number of payment processors too.
- Paypal – there are a host of good payment processing companies out there but I have to this day found Paypal for business to be the most cost-effective solution, with the ability to invoice customers (which they are also impressed with) as well as take payments by phone and integrate their payment processing system with my online store, there charge of £20.00 a month goes a long way.
- A Separate Mobile Phone – yes you can do without it but I wouldn’t recommend it as using your own contact number means you can end up missing customers when on the phone to friends and family, receive intruding calls from customers and advitisers at 10pm or later and essentially never finish work. I did at one point consider a landline but I spent so much time away from home that I would miss far too many calls so opting for a mobile is a must when starting your new business and it’s quite cost effective too, you can view some great mobile phone deals here however there’s a wealth of sites with comparative deals to suit your needs.
- Ecommerce providers – if you sell a range of products then consider using an online store service such as Volusion or Shopify – I use the latter now as it has some good features and a separate app store however Volusion have a basic package starting from £9.99.
- Email – We started for free using Outlook and to this day continue to use Outlook and Gmail. Many people feel that they should invest in a separate email domain but I’ve found that one with a simple and classy subdomain is just as effective. It’s rare that you would ever have customers judge you or pay attention to your email domain past the username.
- I do recommend investing in a separate website domain from somewhere like GoDaddy (usually starting at about £3.99/year), to succeed in business especially if you are selling online it’s important to take your website seriously and Google is only ever going to take it seriously if you do too. Google has the power to make or break your business so make sure you rank higher in their listings for relevant keywords by starting with a unique, memorable and simple domain.