Transcript from my newsletter from 12th October
The Internet and modern technology have made it really easy to start a solopreneur business and reach a wide audience.
You don’t need employees to scale your business, but scale it you can, and, at the same time, you can work where and when you want to.
This week I’m going to take a look at some very cost-effective, but basic services that you should consider from the outset.
Every business needs these, and they will take a load off your shoulders, enabling you to concentrate on setting everything up and getting going.
In future newsletters I’ll go through some other services that are super-helpful once you’re up and running.
Here are the basic things you will need:
A business website
Undoubtedly you will need a website – every business of any size is expected to have one these days.
Having a website also means you need a domain, and that’s a good thing because it will also give you a business email address.
There are several services online where you can set up a website and pay only a monthly subscription, with everything taken care of and no coding needed.
If you’re on a budget, not a coding tiger and need something quickly, this is a good way to go.
The downside of all these subscription services is that you have to abide by their terms and conditions, and that sometimes limits the content you can publish on your website.
Subscription service website providers
Here are three subscription services that provide websites and email addresses:
- Wix (Email accounts offered in partnership with Gsuite (Google Mail))
- Weebly (Email accounts are offered in partnership with Gsuite)
- Squarespace (Email accounts are offered in partnership with Gsuite)
If you’re going straight for an online Shop, rather than a standard website, then Shopify is a good, subscription-based option.
In all these cases setting up email accounts that use your domain is a bit of a fiddle, but very doable.
If you prefer more independence (not being beholden to the subscription service providers’ terms and conditions) you can set up a more ‘traditionally established’ website.
The downside is that it will involve a much larger up-front cost.
You will need to find and register a domain, sign up with a hosting provider and get someone to design and build your website.
This article sets out 6 well-established hosting providers (I’ve worked with three of them over the years – they’re all good) that will also enable you to register and host your domain:
You will still need to find someone to design and build your website.
You may well know someone in your area, but, if not, you can always Google something like ‘Website designers in <your town>’ – undoubtedly some options will turn up!
One of the things I got wrong when I started out was my book-keeping. I was way too slack!
The result was a major headache, and days of extra work, the first time I had to submit my accounts to my accountant, because there were a gazillion questions I had to find the answers to.
Today, there are software applications that enable you to record your expenses and income, generate invoices and output your books in a format that’s compatible with your tax reporting requirements.
This helps to reduce your accountant’s fees as well as making it easy to keep track of your expenses!
Here are some services that operate on a monthly subscription basis and grow as your business needs grow:
Of course, if you’re good with Excel you can set up your books on that. It takes some time to set up, and it would be worth getting some advice from your accountant as you do so, but the only cost once it’s set up is your time.
I do my books on Excel and it now takes me no more than 3 hours at the end of the financial year to prepare my books for my accountant – a major improvement over that first financial submission!
Email management services
One of the beauties of modern technology is that it enables you to scale your solopreneur business without adding employees or hassle.
And one of the best ways, if not the best way, to grow your business is with email marketing.
It’s way more effective than social media marketing and way more cost-effective than almost any other marketing channel.
Good email service providers make sure that you avoid spam penalties, and they enable you to segment your customer base so you can target products, services and other communications more accurately.
Getting this set up at the outset, and adding your customers as you find them, will make managing them a lot easier both initially and down the track.
Here are some good email service providers:
Passwords are the bane of many peoples’ lives!
Unfortunately, people tend to use easy-to-remember passwords and then either re-use them on different accounts, or re-use a slight variation of them.
This is absolutely asking for trouble and, now that you’ll be using passwords in your solopreneurship business, it’s very important to become much more disciplined over them.
I could go into endless detail about the computer programs that are used to guess passwords and so enable people to hack your email and other accounts, but that would probably send you to sleep!
Instead just let me say that the key to infinitely greater security online is to make all your passwords at least 12 characters long, and never use the same password twice.
Password managers are the solution here. They will generate secure passwords and store them, along with the login URL, for each of your accounts.
And, best of all, they log you in with one click. You never need to remember another user name or password.
I highly recommend getting yourself a password manager – here are some good ones:
This last weekend (9th October) would have been John Lennon’s 80th birthday. So here’s a reminder of his extraordinary talent:
OK, that’s it for this week.
As always, please let me know what you want to know about. I know you’re busy and I don’t want to waste your time, so I want to be sure of sending you information that you need.
Do please forward this to anyone who might find it useful and, if you received it as a forward from someone else, why not join us?
Owner – WealthyDragon