Just because you are a business of one doesn’t mean that you work alone. While you may be the only name on the incorporation papers, you certainly utilize the services of others to help you in your day to day business. Just about every facet of your operation can be brought down to scale by using a plethora of free apps and services to do everything from time management to accounting.
While the free services are generally bare-bones, it may be all you need. If not, and you like the service, bump it up a notch and pay for it. According to the Small Business Administration, 82 percent of businesses that fail do so because of cash flow problems. Solopreneurs are much more likely to have these cash flow problems, as they find themselves undercapitalized from the beginning. Let’s look at some of the areas that are free to you.
Google Drive: For creating, easily sharing, and safely storing documents, spreadsheets, presentations, etc. It is completely free.
Trello: Free web app for efficiently managing your projects.
Slack: A great app for real-time messaging and file sharing.
Canva: The start-to-finish, beginner-friendly, and free design app for all your social media graphics needs.
Wave: Free software for all of your accounting and invoicing needs.
Unsplash: The best free collection of stock photos.
Join.me: An ideal free tool for remote client meetings and screen sharing.
BuzzSumo: The ultimate tool to source ideas for your content and social media strategy.
Grammarly: A must-have freemium tool to detect and dodge grammatical mistakes in your emails and content.
Clockify: Time is money. Track your productivity for free with this neat little app.
Hunter.io: Find email addresses for pitching prospective clients with this freemium tool.
Depending upon where you live and whether you have a brick and mortar business, could decide if changing locations might help you cut costs. If you are in a city paying high rent and taxes, an alternative is to relocate, which could significantly reduce your cost of living. Going from Manhattan, NY to Manhattan, KS is rather extreme, but you get the point.
Even if you have the free apps mentioned above and others, it would be impossible to utilize them all by yourself. Outsourcing is something that you should be familiar with and use strategically. If you have a project offer that is a little out of your realm of expertise, look into outsourcing. There are a ton of places like Fiverr.com that will easily fill this niche for you. You can spend as little or as much as you like, depending on your budget. While your margins may not be as high, you will be opening up another market with a potential revenue stream that was performed by a third party, not entailing a lot of your time.
Lastly, go over your bank statement at the end of every week, or as often as you feel the need. Examine every expenditure to make sure that, for one, it was not fraudulent, and actually spent by you. There is no better way in this day and age of not using cash to reacquaint yourself with your spending, than to look at your bank statement. If you look at each item, you can see what is recurring and what a one-time expense was. This will give you an idea if you need additional cash, and how much in case of emergency. You can always borrow some instant cash from credible short-term payday loan providers like Peachy or Speedy Cash.