Three Business Tools For Saving Money, Time and Your Sanity

Three tools for small businesses“It took me hours to figure out how to (fill in the blank).”


The sentence above, and those like it, are claims I hear from small business owners that just make me shiver.  It’s common to try to take on everything when launching a small business. Often our finances dictate this decision, but is it really a sound decision?

At first glance, we feel like we don’t have the budget to hire someone to train us how to do the work, or hire them to do the work for us.  So, we end up spending our personal time, and hours of it, trying to figure out things on our own. But if you look at it from a strategic perspective, isn’t your time also worth something?

Isn’t there something else you could be doing during that time that would drive business growth and success?

What if you subcontracted to have the work finished and then used the finished product to help grow your business?

It’s not just about money, either. The hours of free time you spend trying to take on every task will take a toll on you. Your productivity will slow and you will ultimately miss opportunities.

If you are guilty of “doing it all,” here are some cost effective business tools that might help you change your way of thinking.

Elance brings contractors and clients together online.  When posting a job, it takes a little time to sift through the proposals but you can remedy this by taking a few steps.

  • Be very specific in your job postings. Give as much detail as possible, so that the most qualified candidates apply.
  • Require verifiable work samples be submitted with proposals.
  • Require contractors have experience in your industry and geographic region, if needed.
  • Only work with “elancers” who have been verified through elance.
  • Pay using milestones. Set up your jobs using milestones for various stages of completion.  If you aren’t happy with the work product after the first milestone, make the payment and switch to another contractor.

I use elance for all kinds of small projects, like creating flyers, graphic design projects, social media content, and even for hiring a virtual assistant when my workload is heavy.

If you are a die hard do-it-yourselfer, might be your best bet. The site brings together instructors and students and covers virtually every business topic there is. In fact, if you are really, really good at an area of business, you might even consider becoming an instructor. One web design class sells for $199 and 13,000 people have taken the class so far. Go ahead do the math on that one…. Big $$$. The investment is on the front end and with any updates you might have to create, but once you have your classes finished, it’s all gravy. Udemy even offers training for the instructors.

Expert Circle helps identify the best vendors and products for your business. It’s kind of like having your own “Genie in a bottle.” Begin by building your custom business profile using their questionnaire. They’ll match you with the best products and vendors for your particular business needs and situation.

Now, with all this free time, save some money while making your business look really, really good. Take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Free Small Business Marketing. We’ve found 97 FREE tools to help you run your business and create outstanding marketing collateral. Use the content of our site and social media channels as an example! Buy your copy this morning and make your life easier by lunchtime.

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