Best Business Tools For Creative Entrepreneurs

There are quite literally hundreds upon hundreds of tools on the market today to help business owners run a more efficient, effective business.

While I have yet to try them all, I have tried a few through owning four different businesses.

In almost seven years of business, I share my best tools I recommend for creative entrepreneurs.

Check them out for yourself and see what works well for your business and work flow.

(While my opinion is strictly my own, some of these do have an affiliate link where I may receive a small commission if you join, FYI! For more information, read out full disclosure here.)

Best Business Tools + Resources For Creative Entrepreneurs | The Girl Inspired Project

Best Business Tools For Creative Entrepreneurs

Asana

Oh, Asana, how I love thee! Let me count the ways! But, in all seriousness, I wouldn’t be able to hit my business goals or manage all of my many projects without Asana. Asana is a project management system you can use to keep track of or assign tasks, share information with teams, collaborate on projects, and preview your calendar at a glance. I’ve been using it for years and it’s the only project management software or tool I’ve ever been able to stick with! You can manage from your desktop or phone, so no matter where in the world you are, you can add tasks, update your calendar, or view your to do list at a glance.

Hootsuite

Prior to launching my Social Media Strategy Made Easy course over at The Girl Inspired School, I did a ton of research on social media management software. I tried a few options, but Hootsuite had me hooked. Personally, Hootsuite is beneficial for me for a couple of reasons: 1) I found the user interface to be the easiest to manage and maneuver, and 2) I can auto publish and schedule out to all platforms, including Pinterest and LinkedIn, which keeps me from having to manage those platforms separately. The pricepoint is a bit higher than Later, Buffer, or Planoly, but the available features match up with the cost. I always recommend trying out what you find is easy and affordable to use, but I promise Hootsuite won’t disappoint.

Tailwind

I have been shouting Tailwind’s name from the roof tops this year albeit I am a little late to the party. Tailwind is an inexpensive service that allows you to schedule out your Pinterest pins, recirculate your best performing pins, participate in Tailwind tribes to increase your visibility on Pinterest, and more. It has been my saving grace when it comes to pinning, so I’m not spending all of my time pinning, but still taking full advantage of Pinterest in part of my marketing strategy. The $15 a month pricepoint is well worth the time I save, the benefit of keeping my content visible on Pinterest, and referring more traffic to my website and blog.

Quickbooks Self Employed Online

Most creatives despise managing money, but Quickbooks Self Employed Online makes it an absolute breeze to keep track of your incoming and outgoing. With a simple and easy to navigate interface, you can easily reconcile expenses, view your income, track mileage, and keep up with tax information to send directly to your CPA. You can also download the app to manage your money wherever you go. My favorite part? It’s just $10 a month! Quickbooks does offer a free trial and a discount on your first three months!

Canva

By now, Canva should no longer be a secret for online and creative entrepreneurs. Canva is a complementary online design resource that allows solopreneurs and creative to curate and create their own graphics. I use Canva to make my Pinterest pins, YouTube video covers, various social media banners, presentations, etc. I pay for the upgraded version, which allows business owners to save their fonts, brand colors, and logos to easily transfer to new graphics they need to create. All in all, if you want to make beautiful visuals for your business and can’t quite afford a professional designer yet, Canva is the way to go!

Mailchimp

Mailchimp, like Canva, is another free resource creatives can use to manage their email list, create automated emails / sales funnels, design beautiful landing pages, and heck of a lot more (some of which I still have yet to try for my own business!). Mailchimp is free up to 2,000 subscribers after which point it’s a measly $10 a month with added features. I have found Mailchimp to be incredibly easy to use and their wealth of knowledge on how to design and build email campaigns, landing pages, automated emails, and such has been so helpful for me. There are a lot of email management software’s out there, but Mailchimp is by far one of the best!

Has this post been helpful for you? Do you currently use any of these tools or would like to try them out? Comment below and let me know!

Must Have Business Tools For Creatives | The Girl Inspired Project
Best Tools To Run Your Online Business | The Girl Inspired Project
Best Tools To Run Your Online Business | The Girl Inspired Project

Five Entrepreneurial Mistakes To Avoid At All Costs In Your Small Business

Are you a new business owner or looking to start a business?

Or maybe you’ve been in business awhile, but feel like you’ve never quite gotten the ‘business’ thing down?

Or like a lot of us, you feel like you keep making the same mistakes over and over again?

I hear you, friend!

I’ve been an entrepreneur for more than six years now and I can tell you that I’ve made some pretty common, gut wrenching mistakes along the way. As the mission behind The Girl Inspired Project is to empower women with digital business tools, resources, and education, so they can lead more fulfilling, inspiring businesses, I’ve got you covered.

Save yourself the heartache and scroll on to read my:

[Five Entrepreneurial Mistakes To Avoid At All Costs]

 
 
  1. Forgoing Writing A Business Plan

    Think of a business plan as the road map to your business; if you don't have a road map, how do you know what direction you are going? Business plans are integral when it comes to knowing where and to whom you are going to be selling your product or service, how you are going to effectively market your product or service, your financial plan, and more. Even if you have a tiny one person business to start, a business plan is going to give you a healthy outline for growth, structure, and profitability. Don't over complicate it - your business plan can be as simple or as detailed as you need it to be. Need help getting started? The Small Business Administration has a free tool that allows you to write your very own business plan.

    Have you already been in business for awhile and don't have a business plan? Don't worry, it's never to late to get started.

  2. Overextending yourself financially before you've sold your product / service

    Business ownership is very exciting; because we are so fired up about bringing our own product or service to the marketplace, we often take any financial risks necessary to get it there. The problem is, we don't have buyers or clients yet, who we know want to purchase our product or service. Exorbitant business debt is a recipe for failure. As much as possible, try to cash flow your business in the beginning or use pre-selling in order to create some sales to keep the lights on. The less debt / income ratio you have, the healthier and more sustainable your business will be in the long run.

  3. Allowing Fear To Run Your Business

    There are three types of fear that hold most people back in their business: fear of judgement, fear of failure, and fear of success. As an entrepreneur, you will experience at least one of these types of fear when it comes to navigating entrepreneurship. Even though fear can be helpful when protecting us and preventing us from making huge mistakes, it can also be a huge inhibitor when taking risks, action, or moving forward. Embrace your fear. As the great George Addair said it best, "For everything you want is on the other side of fear."

    Fearful of failing? You can only fail if you quit; keep experimenting. As Dave Ramsey says, "Success is standing on a mountain of failures."

    Fearful of success? Many entrepreneurs struggle with imposter syndrome or feeling unworthy of reaching success, so surround yourself with other entrepreneurs who share simliar thoughts/feelings. Rising tides lift all boats.

    Fearful of judgement? If you're doing something right, there are going to be critics. Don't let someone with cheap words have an expensive opinion of you or your business; keep going anyway.

  4. Undercharging / Overcharging For Your Product / Service

    One of the most common issues that plague business owners is figuring out how to charge adequately for their product or service.

    If you charge too much, your business will alienate potential new customers unless demand for your product / service is very high. If what your selling is readily available many places and there are not enough consumers looking to purchase what you are offering at that price, you may be charging too much.

    If you charge too little, your business may not be profitable making it very hard to develop sustainability. In the same thought, charging too little can make your product / service seem low quality resulting in a negative customer opinion of what you're offering.

    Do your research. What do comparable products in my industry sell for? What do similar services in my area / industry charge? What is the demand for my product / service right now? Also ask yourself, what is my cost per time? Cost per materials? What do I want my profit margin to be?

    All of these tips will help you to develop a price point that you feel comfortable with, but that your consumers feel comfortable with, too.

  5. Quitting Before You Even Get Started

    Entrepreneurship is a slow, steady race. Successful, healthy, and profitable businesses are not built in a day; they are created after years of of building, making strategic moves, pivoting, shifting, growing, and perseverance. Many entrepreneurs give up before they even get started, because the growth wasn't what they expected, they aren't making tons of money overnight, or simply due to the fact that being an entrepreneur is a lot of hard work / long hours / hustle. When in doubt, give yourself permission to take a break, delegate what you can, and get back on the horse. You'll be glad you did.