6/9/14

my favorite small business tools

When I started my tote and purse Etsy shop it was a little bit on a whim. There was no organization to it -- no rhyme or reason or systems. However, as it has grown, I've had do a bit more of the behind-the-scenes work. None of these things are particularly fun, but they're necessary if I'm going to build my business, and build it right.

As I've gotten more serious about my shop, I've figured out some online tools that have really helped me. I'm still learning what works and doesn't work but I'd love to share a few of my favorites -- and of course, hear if you have some methods that work well for you as well!


Bing: I have to say, when it comes to search, Bing makes it easier. For instance, when you search a recipe, it will display ingredients and directions below each search result -- you don't even have to click in! I do a ton of research and when the results display right away, it makes it easier for me, rather than having to click into each one to see if it's the link I want. And even better, while I'm scouring the web, I can be earning points toward gift cards or even charities with their >Bing rewards program. With all the time I spend trying to find my next fabric line or trying to look up how long I should cook quinoa again, earning rewards while I work is pretty phenomenal. (...currently I'm working toward an Amazon gift card.)



The other thing I love about Bing is their commitment to bloggers and small business. I've been to several events sponsored by Bing, including several free online classes by Altitude Summit. Bing, obviously, is a Microsoft product, which means they are local to Seattle, and they do a great job of supporting many events -- including small business-focused ones -- here in the Northwest.

Evernote: This is a recent addiction. Evernote is an app and web product that allows you to take any and all kinds of notes. Take photos of documents and turn them into PDFs, record a voice memo and organize it all with tag, and sync it across your desktop and phone. I use Evernote constantly to save blog post ideas, take photos of supplies I buy at wholesalers, or to even just snap a photo of the label of a wine I really liked. It's incredible and it keeps my scattered brain a lot more organized.

GoDaddy Bookkeeping: When I started using this product, it was a different company but GoDaddy recently acquired them. It's $10 a month, but I promise it's worth every penny. I use it to categorize expenses and to organize taxes. Small business taxes are no joke, and this product is the only thing that keeps me sane when I'm trying to compile all my information.


Amazon Prime + AmazonSmile: I buy a lot of shipping supplies and other random things on Amazon and paying for shipping can really add up. Amazon Prime is $79 a year, but you get free two-day shipping, which is really incredible. You also get movies and TV streaming, but the two-shipping is what does it for me. Also, if you sign into AmazonSmile, each item you buy will earn money toward the charity of your choice! SoleHope is the current charity I'm supporting.

Small business credit card: When I got serious about my business, I started a full separate bank account and then credit card. I currently have the Capital One Spark Small Business card and earn 2 percent back for every dollar I spend. If I'm going to be spending money, I might as well get some cash back. Having a separate bank account and credit card for my business also makes it easier for me to track things.


Do you have any favorite sites that you use for financial tracking? Or just keeping organized? Small business or not, I'm all ears! :)

This post was sponsored by Bing. Thanks for supporting the companies that keep rouge + whimsy up and running.


I'm required to disclose a sponsored partnership between our site and Bing. I have been compensated in exchange for this post in the form of payment, product or experiences.
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5 comments

  1. amazon prime completely changed my life - for the better!

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  2. We use the Capital One Spark card too! And we also have their version of Square, Spark Pay. It's great. We also used to use Outright :) But our accountant made us switch to Quickbooks. I don't recommend.

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  3. Outright/GoDaddy Bookkeeping is possibly the best thing ever for a small business. It makes financial records SO much easier. I also use the apps Mention (it's like Google Alerts but way better) and Pocket (to save articles and go back later), both of which I find helpful.

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  4. This is so helpful!! I'm totally trying Evernote. I have zero tips for organization but I'm soaking up all this advice from you and the other commenters. :) This is the area of owning a small business that KILLS ME.

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  5. I may need to look into a few of these for my blog. I've been making a good amount of money from it this year and need to start considering it a business and treating it that way.

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