Running a business can feel overwhelming, after all you are probably starting a business because you have a product or service you want to offer, not because you love systems or accounting.
In the infancy of every business, money is tight and simple mistakes can be costly. Outsourcing all the things you aren’t a pro at isn’t always an option but I cannot stress enough the importance of building a solid foundation when you start your entrepreneurial journey.
Just a little back ground, Salty Kat Creative is run as a sole proprietorship. I do not have employees, and I do 99% of everything it takes to run my business myself.
The financial side of business is usually the most frustrating which is why I utilize QuickBooks to do all my accounting. My business bank account and Pay Pal account are both linked to QuickBooks. I track my income, expenses and mileage through QuickBooks. At the end of the year, I give my accountant access to my QuickBooks account and she files my taxes.
If there is ONE thing you take away from this, please let it be hire an accountant. I recommend sitting down with an accountant when you start your business to help you understand the basics of what you should be keeping track of. Have a professional file your taxes at the end of the year. It is the best money you will ever spend.
For processing payments, I currently use Venmo, PayPal and then I take cash or check. PayPal links to my scheduling software which allows clients to pay when they book. PayPal does have a lot of fees for payment processing so I try to go use Venmo, cash or check whenever possible.
My scheduling software of choice is Acuity Scheduling. I love it because it links to Instagram and Facebook, I can design custom intake forms for clients to book. It links to my Google Calendar so it knows when I’m busy. I’ll be writing a future post on exactly how I maximize all the tools it has. If you aren’t using a scheduling software to book clients, regardless of what business you are in – run don’t walk and get this set up for yourself. It will save you a world of headache plus it send your clients reminder emails so you don’t have to!
Website & Portfolio
I’m not a master web designer so when I was looking for a platform to build my site, I fell in love with Wix. Like with anything, there is a learning curve but the tools are very user friendly. It has built in apps for scheduling, booking, events, selling product etc. I find the built-in apps to be a little clunky depending on what you are trying to do but all in all it is a great place to start.
When I first started, I used Wix to deliver client albums but upload process was tedious and incredibly slow. I switched to Cloud Spot and have never looked back. I’m able to deliver beautiful albums to my clients quickly and easily. They can then share the album and download the images. Plus, it puts all my albums into a portfolio that I can share with prospective clients.
I plan on doing a more in-depth over view of each section of running my business later on – so if you have questions that I can answer let me know! There are so many great tools out there now that make business easy and stress-free.