If you’re a solopreneur, you can easily skirt overhead costs that make running a business so damn expensive.
In this $100-a-month scenario, you’ll have to work from your home office or a local coffee shop, and this obviously leaves out supplies if you sell a consumer product (as opposed to, say, consulting). But using these easy and cheap tools, you can effectively run your business on a tight budget.
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Website: $16/per month
The number-one turn-off for me as a consumer is a poorly designed, ill-maintained website. If you want something clean and easy to update, you really can’t go wrong with Squarespace. For $16 a month, you get unlimited pages, galleries, storage, bandwidth, and fully integrated e-commerce that sells up to 20 products. It’s also intuitive and easy to use, so you can edit and build your site without having any real tech savvy.
You will also have to pay for your domain, which should run you about $10 for the first year. Chump change.
Accounting software: Free
While there’s no shortage of excellent and affordable accounting software out there, Wave is 100 percent free. You’ll have access to unlimited accounting, invoicing, and receipt management tools, and you can upgrade for more advanced features.
Legal services: $23.99/month
From simply starting up your business to protecting your intellectual property, it’s a good idea to have a lawyer on hand. For less than 25 bucks a month, LegalZoom will give you a bevy of legal services to cover all aspects of running your business.
Phone service: Free
Sure, you could set up a separate phone service for your business, but the idea of a business phone and personal phone seems cumbersome. If you’re already paying for your phone service, why not tack on a Google Voice number that forwards to your cell? You can check voicemail online, and the whole thing is free.
File storage: $15/month
If you’re generating a lot of files (or sharing back and forth with clients), give yourself unlimited storage space through Dropbox. At this price point, you can allow five users access to your storage space.
Meeting space: $15/hour
Nowadays, clients are fairly receptive to meeting in restaurants or coffee shops, but let’s say you want a monthly fancy-pants meeting. Liquidspace rents out meeting and conference rooms all over the country starting at $15 an hour. If you dig through the site, you can even find free rooms to book.
Virtual assistant: $29.99/month
If you’re a one-woman company or just feel like your day gets bogged down by minutia, hire yourself a virtual assistant. You can go on sites like Elance or oDesk to find hourly assistants, or buy a monthly membership from Fancy Hands. A price tag of $29.99 gets you five requests per month.