A few years ago I went out and tried to start my own small business. Emphasis on the word “tried”. It was more like a side hustle than a business. I wanted to shoot and sell stock video and graphic content on a website to try to make some extra money. I eventually decided to close it as sales weren’t cutting it and, for me; it was too much work outside of my full time job.
But nonetheless, I did find some helpful resources along the way that I’d like to share. These are really great for freelancers or very small scrappy startups that need to preserve cash early. Let’s hop on in and see what I found!
One of the first things I did as most small businesses do is create an online website. Shortly after, I wanted to setup a business email to connect to my new website domain. I did my research, and a lot of them you have to pay for such as Outlook and Google.
But I came across one that was free. It is called Zoho Mail. It is free up to 5 users. So this is very useful for a small team. When I started using it, I made my own admin email. Then I made a few others that acted as distribution lists such as marketing@ and info@ for general accounts.
Overall it was easy to learn how to use and setup for my website. I would definitely recommend them to any one trying to start their own small business or sole proprietorship.
The next thing I did was start to fund my business in its own business checking account. I opened a new business account with my bank and what I wanted to do next is to try to find an accounting software to easily track profits and expenses. This is when I came across Wave, a free accounting software.
Wave was easy to use. What I found very useful is it’s cash flow charts and how I can customize the chart of accounts. It was also nice that I can generate profit loss statements and balance sheets quickly which made tax preparation much easier.
The last free resource I found was a free cloud storing service. Since I was shooting and selling stock footage, it was essential that I setup a streamlined cloud storage system. This is when I found Mega.
With Mega, you can get 50GB of free cloud storage. Not bad, as where others such as Dropbox will only let you have a fraction of that much. Similar to other cloud storage software you can download a desktop and mobile app. You can also sync local and cloud files.
I used Mega to host my stock footage. So when someone purchased from me, I’d send them a download link to the Mega folder. This worked out well initially, as I didn’t have more than 50GB worth of stock footage.
I hope you found these resources helpful if you are starting a small business. It is definitely an interesting & exciting process. I’d recommend everyone to try it at least once in your life if you have the passion and ambition to. You can learn a lot and exercise one of the most rewarding opportunities we have as Americans.
If you have resources you’d like to share as well with others, feel free to post a comment below. Also, please follow my blog to see more posts like this one. Thanks for reading!