Top 5 Affordable (or Free!) Tools to Start Your Small Business

Top 5 Affordable (or Free!) Tools to Start Your Small Business

There’re a thousand things you can spend money on running a small business. Even a hundred thousand things! But you really only need a few basics to get going.

If I could go back in time and tell my stubborn self to listen, I’d tell her to start with these five things:

• $ | Thermal Printer — it’s the powerhouse of printers for a small product-based business. It can save so much money on ink because it doesn’t use any! Print anything from product labels, to shipping labels, to brand labels… starting to pick up what I’m putting down? You can print any label you need for pennies! I’ve had my Munbyn printer for over a year and it’s still going strong. I did get the corded version for the colour but would opt for a Bluetooth version now for convenience.

• $/Free | Online Design Platforms (like Canva and PicMonkey) — the yearly subscription is so affordable, and you can use the apps on your phone when you just don’t feel like sitting in front of the computer my longer. If you don’t want to pay anything, no problem! The free versions still pack a lot of features.

• Free | Social Media - seems like a no brainer to use social media, right? Wrong! I would tell my past self to focus on just a few platforms instead of trying to make content for all. You reach different demographics with each platform which sounds awesome at first, but it can quickly lead to burnout trying to keep up with each platform. Try to home in on your target customer and figure out which social media platform they're most likely to be on. 

• $/Free | Accounting Management Platform (Excel, Craftybase, Google Sheets— it sounds super boring and not at all interesting to set up an accounting system but trust me... it gets overwhelming quickly once you see receipts stacking up.  

• Free | Your Personality — it's the cheesiest thing of all to include in this list, but it's the most important! I could have put it on the top of the list, but I didn't want to turn people off reading the rest. It's cringe but true — there's no one else with your vibe so even if you think whichever market you're in is too saturated, just get in it anyways! There's a thousand different ways to interpret something and you'll find your niche if you just keep going. Like that one internet meme says... didn't Rihanna start Fenty Beauty even though there's already tons of makeup brands around? Now she's got a billion-dollar company and is in the LMVH portfolio. Shine bright like a diamond!

Now if only I can tell myself in the past to just chill out, and just get going! But I can't so that's why I'm telling you — you got this!

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