Online Business Tips + Tricks
There are so many business tools out on the world wide web for us online entrepreneurs. It’s amazing. And overwhelming. Here are some of my favorites after a lot of trial and error, scrolling through facebook groups, and asking my biz besties.
And a little disclaimer: some of these links may be affiliate links, meaning that I get compensated if you use my link to buy a service. (#Ad #TryingToStayCompliantWithThePowersThatBe!)
And please keep in mind that at the end of the day, your needs and preferences may be different from mine but reading what other people have found is a great place to start! Whether you’re just starting out or have been in the biz for a while, here are some options for you! And honestly, I could write about these for forever, so I’m just going to start with few…
This is a no brainer for me.
Acuity Scheduling makes my life so easy with all of the different appointment types I can create, I can charge up front for certain offerings, I can sync it with my google calendar, and I can set it up with the reminders! And instead of going back on forth on when to meet with people, I just send them my link and it’s sooo easy!
I’ve tried a different service and Zoom is hands down my favorite. It’s a reliable video conferencing tool and it’s easy to integrate with acuity (just put your zoom link in your acuity invites and done!) The free version is great but you can only talk for up to 40 minutes at a time. I have the paid version and it’s a bill I’m happy to pay! If you’re new to it, it can take a little bit of time to download the software needed but once you get the hang of it, it’s great!
I recommend Dubsado for sure. It’s a great client management tool (much more than just contract signing). Everyone I know who has flawless onboarding systems use Dubsado. Though it takes a bit of setting up, it can do your contracts, invoices, reminder emails, so many things!
Otherwise, if you’re looking for something simple, Hello Sign is another Fan Favorite! I have also used Adobe Sign but if you aren’t using Adobe tools, Hello Sign or Dubsado are prime!
This is a WHOLE big discussion. And I have tried so many things as far as accounting software and merchant services (how to capture that cash money via credit card). I’m on my third, yes third, accounting software and third, (again), merchant service. Furthermore, I’m not a bookkeeping or accounting pro, (I have an Aimee to help me out with that), but here’s what I use now. Xero is my accounting software of choice (I know that a lot of creatives love Freshbooks, and Dubsado is cool too, but they just do invoicing, not the accounting piece) and it’s way easier for me to understand. Quickbooks Online seems to integrate the best with Dubsado and QBO is fine, I just prefer Xero now. And Stripe is the best way that I know to take credit cards. I tried doing merchant services through my former bank and it was a nightmare. The pros use Stripe (and so do I)! It’s just so easy to take credit card info that way and Stripe integrates really well with a ton of other softwares! Paypal is okay in the beginning but I recommend using Stripe.
Asana is still my favorite. There are others out there like Trello and I’m looking into using Flow for some web development projects. And Basecamp is super robust and great, but at a price! Asana however is a great (free-unless you upgrade) way to communicate with team, assign tasks, and create and replicate processes. The free version is great! I personally don’t use Asana to manage my daily tasks (I use white boards, paper, journals, google docs, etcetera). This tool is really great if you have a project broken down into tasks that you need team to do or that you want to be client facing. A lot of the pros that I know do great with the free version!
I also love Google Docs/Drive to write out processes and collaborate on projects. However, once you have a lot of moving pieces (several client timelines, your own calendar, etc) to toggle with, Project Management Software can really help out with that!
If you’re on any virtual teams now a days, it’s all about Slack! You can have a million different channels and it makes it easier to keep tabs on different subjects, conversations etcetera. I recommend this for teams and if you haven’t seen Slack yet, you will if you’re a service provider looking to help small businesses! If you use Slack in your business, I recommend it for internal communication and keep other ways, like Email (or Asana) for client communication.
What are your favorites!? Comment below!
And if you’re looking to get any of these products set-up, my team and I can help you and love collaborating on projects that will make your life easier in the long run!! Schedule a call with me here and let’s chat more!
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Hi! I’m Megan Baker, or Meg– I like and go by both! So I’m the Meg behind Meg K the VA. I’m so glad you’re here! I’m using this opportunity to introduce myself a bit more and give you my back story!
I am midwestern through and through with a love and lust for all things French and travel. I hail from St Louis and transplanted to Chicago right as I was launching my business! I couldn’t do any of this without the support of my husband, Alex, or my dog and assistant, Lucy!
While there’s still a ton for me to learn and my business and I will continue to evolve, entrepreneurship is a great fit for me! I am fluent in French and love to travel to francophone places to teach my husband about francophone culture (and food!). When I’m not out exploring the world or my neighborhood, I enjoy being able to spend time with Lucy, our diva but darling rescue puggle. I also enjoy the outdoors, hanging out on Lake Michigan, spending time with my favorite people and furry creatures, and coffee.
Owning and running my business is enabling me to dream and live the life I want to live right now– and helping my clients to find more harmony and freedom in their lives as well!
My expertise lies in education as I have my masters in Education and recently left the field after teaching for six years (plus some time that I taught abroad). I most recently was a third grade teacher in a French immersion school– so I taught all the subjects like a regular classroom teacher but in French. Okay, so maybe not all in French– I worked with a pretty at risk population and had kiddos who weren’t proficient readers in French or English so I teamed up with my colleagues and delivered intense reading instruction in English.
While I care deeply for my students, I took the opportunity to leave the classroom and try to leverage my gifts in a different way, with the objective of being more impactful for disadvantaged populations. My best friend Kelsey, you might know her from her branding studio, Pinegateroad, planted the seed in my head that starting my own business as a virtual assistant would be a great fit and opportunity for me. Just a few short months before the end of the school year, my husband had an opportunity to move to Chicago with his work. I saw this move as my do or die moment– so I took Kelsey’s advice and Meg K the VA was incorporated in summer of 2017!
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I find so much joy when I’m writing and my team and I love working with clients to promote what they do, whether it be ghostwriting for a blog, collaborating on social media content, writing captions, scheduling posts, creating newsletter content, creating graphics on illustrator, writing speaking and grant proposals, and more! I also love to support graphic designers and other creatives manage their projects so they are free to do their genius work (and RELAX!)
At the time of this writing, Meg K the VA has been technically incorporated for barely twelve months! This journey has an entrepreneur and budding CEO has been a whirlwind but such a rewarding experience! I absolutely love supporting my people and even hired a few gals this year to support my clients and me!
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