Chase Your Dream on the Cheap
An entrepreneur’s one-pager for cost-cutting in year one
It’s been two and a half years since launching Salt & Pepper 30s. It’s gone through multiple iterations to become what you see today, and I hope in the coming years it’ll evolve many more times. This holiday season, as I prepare for 2018 to be a year of personal transformation, I find myself reflecting on the journey here. Out of that reflection, I wanted to pass on some of my learnings. This list is for anyone who is trying to launch a new business, but may not have a fat wallet/angel investor backing you. Finding these resources was key in launching my career/business, and they helped me get S&P 30s off the ground for less than $2k. Here are some of the resources that I’ve used for Salt & Pepper 30s, most of which are free to use:
The Stocks: http://thestocks.im/
This is the primary imagery site I use because it has multiple databases you can check browse, all in one place.
Dreams Time: https://www.dreamstime.com/
Photo Pin: http://photopin.com/
Public Domain Images: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/
Pic Jumbo: https://picjumbo.com/
Death to Stock: http://deathtothestockphoto.com/
This is an email subscription where they send you packs of free photos from different photographers.
Fiverr is a website where you can contract people for low-cost virtual work like logo design, content creation, copywriting, etc.
I use this to create images for social media — like on my @saltnpepper30s instagram account, to overlay words on images. It integrates with Buffer, a social media management tool, which I highly recommend getting as well. Speaking of which…
This is what I use to schedule and publish my social media posts across multiple platforms & accounts. They have a free version, and even their annual Pro membership is affordable. Plus, they’re a generally awesome company in how they are run and what they stand for.
This lets you check out trending hashtags or related tags for your Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Social Media 102: https://medium.com/the-mission/social-media-102-after-you-read-this-article-i-want-you-to-stop-learning-72f7eb0ee462
This is a how-to article with links to other articles for making your social media channels their most effective.
A Month’s Worth of Simple Social Media Growth Hacks and Experiments: https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-growth-hacks-experiments
How Do You Manage Multiple Social Media Accounts? Our 12 Best Time-Saving Tools and Strategies: https://blog.bufferapp.com/how-to-manage-multiple-social-media-accounts
Website/General Business Tools
This is what I use to host and design my website. There are other great services out there like Wix which can be even more flexible than Squarespace, but I like Squarespace because you can just bundle most website needs all in one spot. You can buy your domain through it, it integrates with multiple payment platforms, and has a built-in integration with Google — so if you use Google business apps like Google Analytics, Google email, Google Drive, AdWords, etc. they all connect in seamlessly.
This is what I use for invoicing. It’s the simplest version I’ve seen (and it’s completely free). If you use Quickbooks Self-Employed, by all means, keep using that and centralize your financials. For those who don’t, however, this integrates with Stripe to allow you to take online payments at a very reasonable transaction fee.
This is a great tool for coordinating tasks across the team and keeping up with each others’ progress. It allows users to make to-do lists and update things as they get completed while allowing team members visibility into the list.
This lets you send out automated emails to your clients and site visitors if you start building email lists. They do have a paid version, but you can start with the free version and it should be plenty to begin with.
Acuity Scheduling: https://acuityscheduling.com/?kw=YToxMjQ1NDcwMg%3D%3D
I can’t recommend Acuity enough. I use it to seamlessly manage my appointments. You can link it to your calendar, set office/working hours, create appointment types and then craft unique forms for each so that when you send a link to people to schedule calls/appointments with you at times that work for you, you can have all of the information you’d need from them going into the call. This has completely eliminated the “when are you available to chat?” back & forth emails for me. They have a free version, but even their lowest paid tier — which I use — is only $10/month.
Zoom Video Conferencing: http://bit.ly/2vJuDiA
This is the video call client I use. In my experience, it’s way more consistent than Skype/Google Chat/any other video chat platform I’ve used. They have a free version that just limits your calls to 40 mins — more than enough for most meetings — but the annual pro membership is pretty affordable as well.
Building Great Landing Pages: https://breconsulting.wordpress.com/2015/07/21/building-great-landing-pages/
5 Free Apps For Designing Your Next Website: https://www.fastcompany.com/3049487/5-free-apps-for-designing-your-next-website
700+ Free Stuff on The Internet: https://medium.com/free-stuff/500-free-things-on-the-internet-to-start-your-new-year-11ae72266b66
A big, hulking list — not all of which is business-related — however, there are some real gems in here. Plus, you can probably find some useful stuff for saving $ in other parts of life.