I created this recommendations sheet to share with you the websites and products I use and love! This way you can quickly access all of the tools you need to get your business going and save money. This resource page can literally save you thousands!
Disclosure: There are some affiliate links below (because that's how smart biz moms roll), but these are all products I highly recommend. I won’t put anything on this page that I haven’t verified and/or personally used.
1. Wave Apps - Wave is a free accounting software you can use to track your expenses, invoice clients and much more. This is a great free alternative whether you are just getting your business started or a entrepreneurial veteran.
2. FreshBooks - If you are ready to upgrade your accounting software check out FreshBooks. It is easy to use and very intuitive. It works on Desktops, iPhones, Android and iPad so you can be up to date no matter where you go. To try a free month of FreshBooks click here.
3. Shake Law - Shake has free templates for legal documents such as non- disclosures, freelance or hiring documents, money lending, buy/sell agreements and more! They have free options for individuals and affordable monthly options if you need more customization.
4. Toggl – Toggl is a time management tool I use to track how much time I am spending on different projects. If you are a freelancer or contractor that works by the hour this is a great resource for recording your time. I also use this on other projects to record how much time each takes me and where I can become more efficient.
1. Site Ground– If you are serious about turning your blog into a business I highly recommend self hosting your blog. An inexpensive way to get started with this is through SiteGround, they have super affordable plans and their customer service is amazing. Of all of the hosting providers Site Ground is by far the best for reliability and service.
2. Wordpress - This is a great platform for your blog or website. There are many plugins you can use to optimize your users experience and track statistics.
3. SquareSpace - This website is hosted and created through SquareSpace. It is perfect if you want to create a professional looking website but have little design experience.
Social Media Management
1. Buffer - Batching your social media posts is one of the easiest ways to make your business more efficient. Buffer offers a free plan and you can schedule up to 10 posts at a time. I have the paid plan for $10 a month and can schedule up to 100 posts at a time. That is about one month of scheduling I can do all at once!
2. Tailwind – I love using Tailwind to schedule my pins. Seriously this one tool will save you so much time! I save all of my pins the the scheduler at the start of the week and then my Pinterest account is on autopilot. Plus, Tailwind has amazing analytics features so you can see how to best improve your account.
3. Boardbooster – This is another pin scheduler like Tailwind with plans starting at $5 a month. The overall aesthetic isn’t as nice as Tailwind, but its looping feature makes it 100% worth it. Boardbooster is a major time saver! They compliment each other, but if you can only afford one I would start with Boardbooster(you can get a free trial here).
1. PicMonkey – Is a great way to edit your photos, add text, overlays ect. There is a free version or you can upgrade to their membership for $2.75 a month. This will really help your images pop!
2. Canva – Another great photo editing alternative. There are free and paid templates or you can create customized templates. I highly recommend giving Canva a try!
3. Creative Market – I am obsessed with Creative Market. It is a collection of pretty much any creative design elements you can think of (fonts, stock photos, mock ups, blog templates, ect.) Purchasing a few items from Creative Market will really help your blog or business stand out. They also give away free items every week when you sign up for their email list!
4. Free Stock Photos - Using stock photos can really enhance your brand and give you a more profession aesthetic. I did a round-up of my 20 favorite sources for Feminine Stock Photos here. Some additional free options are Pexels, PicJumbo, Death to Stock Photo and Pixabay.
1. Macbook Pro – I have had my Macbook Pro for three years and I love it! It runs so quickly and after three years it still feels brand new.
2. iPhone 5SE – I just upgraded to the the 5SE (because my sweet hubs took a swim with my phone in his pocket lol) and it is amazing. I opted for the 64 gb of storage for all of my photos, apps and documents. The camera is super crisp and I love that it isn’t as bulky as the iPhone 6.
3. Canon T3i – I have had this camera for a few years and it is seriously a champ. It is a basic model, but it allows me to take high quality pictures of my family and for this blog!
1. ConvertKit - I wish that I had started with ConvertKit for my email in the first place! Their tagging and segmenting features make it so much easier to send targeted emails to your list. I have used ConvertKit for so many of my clients and it is absolutely fabulous. Plans start at $29 a month. This is one of the best investments you can make for your business.
2. Mailchimp - If you are just starting out and don't have a lot to spend Mailchimp has a free plan for your first 2,000 subscribers and for $10 you can upgrade to their pro plan for life saving features like e-mail automation.
3. SumoMe – This is a fabulous tool to have on your website to build traffic. You can use it for easy share buttons, building e-mail lists, creating pop-ups ect.
1. Ebates - This is my favorite website to earn CASH BACK when shopping online. The process is so simple and I have gotten hundreds of dollars in cash back over the years. When you sign up here you will get a $10 gift card for FREE!
2. Mint – This is a great budget tracking software for beginners. It helps you track your budget and savings goals with organized graphs to give you a better understanding of where you are spending your money.