Starting a business with your spouse is easier than you think.
We should also mention starting a business with your spouse is harder than you think.
So, which one is it?
Well, it's both.
The amount of accessible tools to start a business is mind blowing. Everyday we learn about a tool that is "new" and could help us with the business. And because of this ever increasing list of tools there aren't as many barriers to starting a business as there used to be. So, it should be easy to start a business with your spouse because someone else has already created you the tools you need to manage and grow your business.
But, because of how quickly tools change, or new tools sprout up, it can be difficult to start a business with your spouse if one of you has a tendency to lag in adapting to new things. How do you know if it's worth shifting work to a new system or software when it's just the two of you trying to turn a dream into a reality?
As we continue to help more great couples launch into their dreams, we are starting to recognize we are recommending the same group of tools to get started. These tools have worked for us for almost two years now and we still continue to suggest them to our clients at the ground level of their business.
Here's The Factory Media Network's Guide to five tools couples starting a business should use!
1. Squarespace - If your business can't be found online does it really exist? Let's be honest, if someone is recommended your business but they can't find it online the trust that was built through a recommendation has now been lost. Your potential customers see Google as an authority and you want your business to show up when searched for. We find the best tool to help a new business go from hidden online to "Open for business" is Squarespace. When you sign up for the basic level of Squarespace you get both hosting and domain (URL), which when the Factory began we had to pay two different company for these services. Plus, Squarespace is the easiest platform to work with to build a site. All you really need are some great graphics and we'll talk about how you can do that below.
2. Wave Accounting - Who doesn't like free when they are starting out as a business? Wave Accounting is an online accounting software that allows you to connect your bank account, create invoices, send estimates, do basic business accounting, and can even take online payments for a small percentage charge. Wave makes your business look legit. Did we mention it's free? I just recommended Wave to a a friend and newer client, a week later I got a text that read, "Wave Accounting is the BEST."
3. Asana - The biggest challenge to working with your spouse is having a clear understanding of who's responsible for what. Asana is a "Team productivity software that helps your team get work done." Mel and I will sit down for company meetings and open Asana to identify tasks and then place a name to the task as well as a completion date. Asana will then send reminders via email. Plus, Asana actually decreases the amount of email that takes place on the team because it allows for internal communicate online and in the app. We love Asana.
4. Evernote - Ideas fuel our business. So we need a place to capture ideas as well as share them with each other. Just because we run a business together in our spare time doesn't mean we sit around all day and talk shop. We use Evernote to capture ideas and discuss them using Work Chat to eliminate as much email as possible. Have I mentioned my deep hate for email chains? How is this different from Asana? We use Asana to manage tasks in the present and we use Evernote to discuss what could be in the future.
5. PicMonkey - We now live in a visual dominant world and because of this your business needs to have a visual appeal. If you don't have multiple hours a week to learn the basics to Photoshop you can learn to use PicMonkey. We love PicMonkey so much, we continue to pay for the upgraded membership for $33 a year even though we also pay for Photoshop. It's simply the easiest way to add copy to a graphic or edit images. Take a great picture from unsplash.com, add your own copy or unique styling to it, and you now have a great lead image for a blog post or a terrific header for your new website you built in Squarespace.
So there is the Factory Media Networks Guide to five tools couples starting a business should use. We use these same tools everyday and have found them to be consistently good. Don't let crappy software or tools keep you from moving a business forward with your spouse. Instead, identify business tools you both love and make the most out of them.
Have you found tools or software to help your business, we'd love to know what they are! Please leave a comment below!
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