So you’ve decided to start a new business, congrats! The idea of the business owner lifestyle can be equal parts exciting and equal parts terrifying. Still, when it comes to the execution of your plans, it can be tricky to know what programs will be useful in helping achieve your goals, and which could take more time and effort in the long run. Thankfully you’ve come to the right place!
As entrepreneur’s ourselves, we’ve already done the whole “try and fail and try again” thing. After about two years of figuring out which digital resources are the most efficient, we thought we’d share our findings with you. After all, helping other business owners succeed is what we do best!
Writing Out a Business Model
One of the very first things you should do as a new business is to spend some time outlining the specifics of your company. What does your business do? What does your ideal client look like? What are your core values and overall projections for the company? All of these questions can be answered quickly with a business plan. Not only is it an excellent way for you to lay your ideas out onto paper, but it’s an essential stepping stone in creating a successful business. The more thorough you can be about the key elements of your business, the more you’ll set yourself up for success! In fact, it will become a vital roadmap for how to structure, run, and grow your new business, and thanks to the internet, there are some great templates out there to get you started.
We’re going to get a little real here with you, at the beginning money will be tight! So taking advantage of those free digital resources when you can is going to help you go a long way! This business planning template from Kierantie.Com, in particular, stands out above the rest because it’s free, versatile enough to work for most business models, and it’s condensed onto one page. If you’re looking for a more thorough business plan, download Wildly Digital’s simple two-page business template. Its written format offers more structure and writing space to cover all facets of your company.
Budgeting and Finances
Now that you know HOW you want your company to grow, it’s time to put your money where your mouth is…literally! Whether or not you’re getting income from investors, a government grant or your own pocket, it’s crucial to set up an accounting program early on. An excel template may work in the beginning, but as your business continues to grow, your finances will become complicated enough to require something more robust. So you might as well use something more appropriate from the start.
Quickbooks.com is a notable option as it tracks every facet of your finances including; invoices, in-going and out-going funds, organizing your receipts, and automatic payments. Plus, they provide many resources and articles on their site covering specific budgeting tips and tricks that any entrepreneur would appreciate. We know we do!
Mint.com is another acceptable starter option, which you can easily access on your tablet or smartphone. However, it doesn’t offer the versatility that Quickbooks does and is more of a third-party resource to use alongside your banking.
Scheduling and Workflows
Now that Wildly Digital’s grown to a mighty team of five, we’re really starting to appreciate those digital resources that make communication and planning easier for everyone. The Google calendar is an amazing, free tool for scheduling meetings, project reminders, and well everything! It’s super simple to set everyone up by creating a master calendar under the company’s e-mail address, add everyone else and voila! Now everyone on the team can access the work calendar from their phones to stay on top of deadlines. If you aren’t using it yet, give it a try, we honestly use our Google Calendar for everything, and it’s been a lifesaver!
As for actually planning out your workflows, we’ve found that Trello.com is an excellent tool for sharing detailed workflow plans and projects among colleagues. Create your own board, or share a board with a team of coworkers, and easily communicate project details.
As the popularity of the “working from home” lifestyle grows momentum, you may find that more and more that some of your contractors may not even work at the office. So how do you keep track of all the hours worked?
Wildly Digital is one of those companies and Clockify.Me has proven to be a useful aid in monitoring hours worked. With their ‘Time Tracker’ tool, we can create reports for each contractor, record their hours week over week, keep track of client projects, and how much time each task takes to complete.
Social Media Marketing
Okay now that you’ve got the back end of your business ready to go, it’s time to start spreading the word as they say, and Social Media is the easiest (and cheapest) way to do that! Every new business should have an interactive Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn page at the very least. Real talk here; if your business doesn’t have an online presence in 2020, it might as well not exist, sounds harsh, but it’s true. One of the main reasons we started Wildly Digital was to help entrepreneurs like you create digital connections with your clients in order to grow your business effectively. So if you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry, we’ve got you!
If you haven’t heard of hootsuite.com do yourself a favour and have a quick look right now, this site is free and allows you to pre-schedule up to 30 posts a week on all social media platforms. Or if you’ve got a bit of cash to spare and want to post more frequently than that, you can always sign up for one of their subscription packages.
Facebook creator studio is another fantastic platform to pre-schedule posts. Located in the scheduling tools section on your business page, it’s honestly one of the most useful and free digital resources available for Facebook and Instagram scheduling!
Hopefully, now you feel a little more prepared to get your business off the ground. As long as you use these digital tools, your pre-planning will set you up for success, and this company you’re so passionate about will grow faster than you’ll know what to do with it!