Essential Resources For Online Businesses
Running an online biz can be as chaotic as it is convenient. As an online entrepreneur myself, I know how firsthand how overwhelming it can get to try to experiment with all the platforms out there until you find the ones that really work for you + help you get your systems in place for a seamless experience. For that exact reason, I took care of the hard part of experimenting with popular platforms and narrowed down my findings to only the tried & true so you don’t have to.
Quick disclaimer: YES this blog post does contain affiliate links. No spammy gimmicks or greedy intentions here—I’m sharing because I truly believe in these brands + use them every day.
Client Management: Dubsado
If you’re a service based online business—this is the holy-grail of all client management systems. It’s not an exaggeration when I say that my business would be truly lost without Dubsado. I’m not gonna lie, it took me a long time to get on board with Dubsado after watching all of my designer gal pals hop on the bandwagon one by one. Initially, I resisted joining because I had spent so much time creating a client management system of my own that I wasn’t ready to let to go of. But can I just say—I am so glad that I did. Otherwise I would still be spending HOURS upon HOURS manually doing all of the housekeeping tasks that Dubsado does for me automatically. A.k.a working harder instead of smarter.
Why do I love Dubsado so much? The reasons are almost endless but here are the primary few that set my entrepreneurial soul on fire: Dubsado tracks my leads, processes my payments, houses + sends my contracts, proposals, and questionnaires. It also manages my client schedule, ensures my communications are seamlessly on brand, automates processes that I used to spend hours doing myself, and even allows me to create a custom client portal to help me keep my clients organized, in the loop, and pretty damn impressed with my client experience.
Aside from that, there are even more that Dubsado features that I’m probably just not taking advantage of as yet. I also love that they are always listening to their customers and rolling out new features for us to benefit from.
Want to try Dubsado out so you can see the magic for yourself? I don’t blame ya—you can use my affiliate link here to receive 20% off of your first month. Or enter “bystinafaye” at checkout. The bonus to trying it out: you’ll remain in trial mode until you reach your 4th client in Dubsado, so you’ll have plenty of time to test the waters and get comfy before going all in!
Bookkeeping: Quickbooks Self-Employed
Once upon a time I didn’t know the first thing about tracking my expenses or paying my taxes. Seriously, the thought of the chaos that awaited me come tax time was enough to send me into instant anxiety. Then a fabulous biz bestie recommended that I give Quickbooks Self Employed a go to start grabbing the reigns of my bookkeeping.
It’s definitely not an understatement when I say that Quickbooks has been another game changer when it comes to sanity + organization with my finances. I seriously don’t know what I was doing before I decided to invest in Quickbooks, but I can bet it was probably scary and highly irresponsible so I’d rather just not think about it.
Simply put, Quickbooks makes me feel like I’m actually on top of my shit when it comes to my biz finances. It helps me track expenses, organize receipts, understand my profits for each month and the big one—takes care of estimating my quarterly taxes AND submits my tax payments for me.
Want to get 50% off of your first year on Quickbooks (yes, you read that right—FIFTY percent off...aka just $5 per month to start) Be sure to take advantage of my referral link here to get your discount.
I used to waste SO much time going back & forth via email trying to schedule calls with clients and trying to find a date and time that would work best for both parties—multiply the difficulty of this 10x when you’re in different time zones. Then I set up an account with Calendly and can pretty much say that all of my scheduling prayers were answered.
You can consider Calendly your personal booking assistant. You simply set your availability within your account then you’ll receive a unique link to send to allow people to choose a date + time that works with both of your availabilities—timezone conversions included. Here's a visual on how sleek + simple the scheduling experience can be:
Social Media Planning: Planoly
I’ve raved about Planoly many times before and I’m not ashamed to do it again. Planoly is the rock that holds my social media schedule in place. If you aren’t already using a scheduling app to plan out your social media posts—you’re going to want to give Planoly a go.
Planoly can be used via phone or desktop and I love how simple, chic, and straightforward the interface is. You can utilize Planoly to organize your images, plan your captions, store your hashtags, and even to schedule your content to post to your feed + stories automatically. I especially love that Planoly can still be fully functional on the free plan and have even more options if you decide that a paid plan is a better fit for your needs.
Ready to reclaim a bit of sanity when it comes to your social media? You’re going to want to start planning ahead and getting strategic. See what I mean for yourself by trying out Planoly today.
Printing Marketing Collateral: Moo
I had to save one of the bests for last. Moo is my all time favorite when it comes to quality printing, amazing customer service, and quick turnaround times. Not only do I use Moo to print my business cards, I trust them enough to send my clients as well for all their marketing needs like flyers, rack cards, letterheads, and more.
Want to experience the Moo magic for yourself? Be sure to use my referral link to receive 20% off of your first order.
I hope that you find these recommendations helpful! Have you tried any of these platforms yourself? I'd love to hear about your experience in the comments below!