When I started out in business, I spent a lot of time researching the systems and apps that would best serve me and what I do day-in-day-out. In fact, much of my first year was doing just this.
I look back on that time and can see that if I had something handed to me that I could just take and run with, I could have saved a lot of time on "non-business-generating-activities", and hence made more moolah. I'm also very aware (from personal experience, yes...) that these "researching" activities can be a handy-dandy way of us avoiding the real work (i.e. sales, enrolment, and all that juicy business-generating stuff).
There's so much out there, and it's easy to get consumed down the rabbit hole of research. So many cool apps. Something for everyone and everything. It can be overwhelming. And a really good excuse to procrastinate on the real work.
So to help you stop scrolling and wondering, and start actually doing the things that matter - your most powerful actions - I thought I would share with you my system "fundamentals" that I don't know where I would be without. Hopefully it will help you sort the wheat from the chaff so to speak - so you can get on with biz generation and client amazement!
Here's another consideration. It's very useful in the long run to set yourself up from the outset for growth. Not only is that a good place to launch from (mindset: "yes! I'm going to make this business fly and I'm going to need systems I can grow into!"), but it's a time-saver. I made a rather painful mistake of starting out with free invoicing software, and boy was it time-consuming to transition over to Xero and not lose any critical data.
So here's my fav tools to help make biz smooth...
- G-SUITE BY GOOGLE. Email with personalised address, online storage, online document creating. The works across all your devices. All for approx $5/month. No brainer.
- CALENDLY. Simple, minimalist designed, online scheduler, no need for to-ing and fro-ing to make appointments. Calendly now accepts payments via Stripe. I love the visual feel of Calendly, and it's ease of use.
- CANVA. Design app for amateurs like me, so you can make beautiful graphics, social posts and PDFs. Easy to share with others so they can pick up where you left off if you find that designing is not your zone of genius and you're better off playing to your strengths!
- FACEBOOK PAGES. A free home on the internet for your business, where you can either grow your audience organically or pay for super targeted posts.
- PAYPAL/STRIPE. Make it easy for your clients to pay you. There's no excuse!
- ACTIVECAMPAIGN. There's a lot of competition out there for communication tools. I started out with Mailchimp but ditched it for Activecampaign which cannot be beaten for it's powerful and easy visual that helps you set up a flow of comms (i.e. "automation") to the peeps who opt-in and subscribe to your content.
- LEADPAGES. Used in conjunction with ActiveCampaign, you can easily promote your course/PDF/opt-in and collect email addresses on the way.
- DROPBOX. Organise, share and backup your files. Great file -sharing app with clients - notes, session recordings - audio/visual/whiteboards, and so forth. GOOGLEDRIVE is also brilliant, I can't fault that either. Both options allow ease of file-sharing and document creation.
- ZOOM. Connect with clients and potential clients anywhere, any time, one-on-one or groups, record meetings, and even podcasts! I think Zoom outdoes Skype with it's clarity of visual and audio. Zoom all the way for me.
- XERO. Easy billing and record-keeping. Essential biz tool.
- MACBOOK. I don't know where I would be without this thing.