We all know taking that journey to entrepreneurship can be intimidating but exciting. You decide to go out on your own because you have a hot new product, or you believe you can provide a service better than what is out on the market. That’s great! I love people who take a chance on themselves!!
Starting your own business presents its challenges like:
Having to build your customer/client base
Limited capital to start
You are the CEO, CFO, CMO, CTO, and COO of the company. You are also the manager and the employee. You wear all the hats.
It also presents its own opportunities like:
Being your own boss.
Making the decisions.
Testing out your theories.
Making money for yourself.
Create something for yourself.
It is a wild ride, but I promise you it is worth it. Now my passion has always been finding ways to leverage technology to business better, more efficiently, and automate what I can. I want to empower entrepreneurs. There are applications out there that can be implemented to help do all that, but they cost money. When you are a starting entrepreneur want to make sure to closely watch your cash flow and sometimes the budget is not there to implement some of these applications. Therefore, I have created this list of top applications that I think you guys can use to help you make money. The best part about them is they are FREE!!!
This week we will be part one which will focus on applications to make you money:
Azlo – www.azlo.com
Azlo is an online only bank that is owned by BBVA Compass. Why do I recommend Azlo? Because it is fee free. They can do that because they have no branches and work exclusively online. Azlo was created for entrepreneurs. They also have an open API and integrate with Stripe and Square. Why is this important? Because Azlo lets you send invoices to clients. You can connect your Square account and collect credit card payments and bank transfers. That is huge for someone that needs to send invoices to their clients. I will say if your business is cash heavy then Azlo is NOT for you.
Azlo – www.azlo.com
Like I said earlier Azlo has a great invoicing function built in. I use it for my side hustle, and it works great! I connect Stripe to process credit cards on sight and my Stripe account to have them pay me by credit card or ACH bank transfer.
Invoice Ninja – www.invoiceninja.com
I LOVE Invoice Ninja. It is a much more robust invoicing tool that entrepreneurs can use to collect money. They have a strong invoicing function but what I love about them is you can send quotes as well. So, for those of you that like to send quotes to your clients Invoice Ninja supports it. My favorite part about this application is the fact that you can connect Bitpay or any other of these crypto currency payment options and collect Bitcoin. How awesome is that! This is something that can be beneficial for you if you are working with the younger generation.
Square – www.square.com
Square is an awesome payment system if you collect payments face to face. They provide you with a card reader that connects to your phone and you can collect payments right then and there. The best part is they send you that reader for free. There is no monthly fee to use this. They charge you per transaction. While this is not quite free it is a free way to accept payments, so you do not have to worry about cash and checks and wasting the time to go out the bank and having to cash those or deposit those.
Stripe – www.stripe.com
Stripe is an online payment processing system that allows you to collect credit card payments and ach bank transfers. You can connect these to your invoice functions and your clients can pay you through there. This helps automate that process and helps increase your cashflow. It makes it easier for you clients to pay you therefore they pay you quicker.
Bitpay – www.bitpay.com
Bitpay is an online service that allows you to collect payments in Bitcoin. This is a great function to have if you want to add that to your revenue stream and be able to provide more payment options to your clients.
CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGER
Hubspot – www.hubspot.com
I like Hubspot because they provide a thorough platform for you to use as their free version. A customer relationship manager is a way for you to manage the interactions between your current and potential customers. It is a great way to capture leads and ensure that none slip through the cracks. I use it for the side hustle and has helped me tremendously.
These different applications are great for you to get started and hit the ground running with sales. As an entrepreneur we want to ensure that we do the work, but we also have to ensure that we work ON the business. This will automate a lot of those problems of chasing clients for money or waiting till the end of the week to go to the bank and deposit checks. By automating this then that means you have more time to sell and grow your business.
Our next blog post will be Part 2 of the series which will be Back Office Processes.