How to Save Money When Starting a Business

Your easy guide to saving money through free resources and conscious thinking

Before I get into this blog post about saving money when starting a business, I wanted to announce that I now have a Patreon! If you like my blog posts and want to support me, it would mean so much 🙂

You can check out my Patreon HERE

How do you save money when starting a business? Isn’t it expensive? What if I don’t have much money to spare and put towards my business?

If any of these questions crossed your mind, don’t worry! You don’t need buckets of money to start any business. Sure, having some is needed and how much really depends on what type of business you are starting. However, I have created this guide to help you save money where you can.

This guide is for anyone who is thinking about starting a business, is in the midst of planning their business, and those who already have a business.

Here are 3 tips on how to save money when starting a business.

1. Write Out an Expenses List

You must write out a list of all possible expenses when starting a business. If you don’t know what you have to spend money on, how can you save any? Include everything from domain hosting costs to shipping. These are things that you will most likely not be able to get out of paying, or find a free alternative. But knowing how much money you will need will give you a good idea of how much to save before launching your business or continuing on with it.

Have a number in your head of how much your first month and first year might cost you. This way, you will know how much you need to make back for this to all be worth it.

2. Connect with other Business People

Connecting with other likeminded business people will not only help you create relationships that can benefit your business and theirs, but it can save you money. These are people who are going through what you are, or have. Maybe they have already launched a business or two and have valuable tips and pieces of advice that could save you time and money. It is really worth scrolling through Instagram, finding people who are in a similar field as you, and then reaching out to them with a friendly message. Compliment them on their progress and explain your story.

If you are having trouble making meaningful connections, YouTube is a great resource…and it’s free! So many YouTubers who have started business are on there, posting videos of the Do’s and Don’t’s when starting a business and how to avoid this and that. Here are my recommendations:

3. Do It Yourself!

Do as much of the start-up, planning, and creation yourself (if you can). If you have to create a website, take the time to watch YouTube videos or reach out to friends who can help. Don’t spend money on ads until you are financially able to, instead, focus on being active on social media because it will be way more effective!

Don’t buy anything you don’t NEED right at the moment either. If you don’t need a business plan on your website right away, or don’t need a premium MailChimp plan till later on, hold off until as long as possible. By the time you really need them, hopefully, you have saved up more money and it is easier to fork out!

Basically, be cheap!

12 FREE resources that will save you SO much money.

Design

Canva – This is a great beginner design tool that offers you so much for free. I highly recommend Canva because you can create images specifically for blog headers, Pinterest pins, Instagram stories, and more

PicMonkey – I used to use PicMonkey and I still think it is a great resource! I know it is good for making YouTube thumbnails, so a good tool for any YouTubers out there too

Courses

Coursera – I paid a lot of money for a membership but that is because there were a lot of specializations I wanted to experience that I can’t at my university. However, there are so many amazing free classes and you can audit any class for FREE

Pivot, Passion, Profit Workshop – I am an intern for Gypsy Journals who created this lovely workbook and playback for any creative entrepreneurs looking to thrive in their passions. I highly encourage you to take a look and explore her other courses with Ouiwegirl.com too!

Social Media Organization

HootSuite – This is a social media post scheduler and with their free plan, you can connect 3 social media accounts and post 30 posts a month. That is good enough for me, and it is super easy to set up and use

Later – Another social media planner that I used to use, but switched to Hootsuite just because it was more of what I needed. However, the layout of Later is great and is super helpful overall

Email

MailChimp – MailChimp is SO easy to use and the free plan is so far, all I need. When starting out, building a email following is essential for any business and including a newsletter will help to grow that. Which is why I use this handy tool

SEO & Writing

Google Keyword Planning – helps you find keywords that are popular and will lead people to your website/posts

Nibbler – gives you a popularity and effectiveness report on whatever website you enter

Grammarly – if you are writing lots, you have to have Grammarly. Especially if you are doing all the writing yourself! Grammarly ensures your writing is grammatically correct and consistent

Invoices

Invoicely – A free invoicing tool for small businesses and not to mention, it is simple to use! With invoicing, I look for simplicity which is why I like Invoicely

PayPal – I love PayPal and sometimes use it depending on the client, however, its free plan isn’t the best for businesses. It is still good to have free account with them though

When starting a business, it is important to be thorough, conscious, and critical. Not all businesses make their money back right away and you need to keep that in mind. That is why when starting a business, it is good to keep your expenses to a minimum until you are seeing progress.

When you finally start making money back, that is when you can spend it on premium plans and tools that will make your life easier. However, until then, the free options are here for you and honestly, they are pretty great!


I hope you found this post helpful and that it will save you money in the future. If you have any other free tools and resources, drop them in the comments below please!

And don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: July Writing Goals

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Tips for the Creative Entrepreneur

5 essential tips and tricks for beginner and experienced creative entrepreneurs alike

Happy Friday!

What is a creative entrepreneur?

A creative entrepreneur is someone who uses their creative skills to make money such as vlogging, freelancing, writing, etc.

Since I freelance write and edit, and am always doing side projects for some cash, I am what you consider a creative entrepreneur. Are you? Or is a creative entrepreneur the type of job you aspire towards? Whatever the answer is, I will be sharing crucial tips and advice for new creative entrepreneurs, experienced entrepreneurs, and those of you who want to become a creative entrepreneur and make money doing what you LOVE.

DETERMINE YOUR REGIONS OF CREATIVITY

It is important to determine the creative regions that you want to focus on and grow into a successful business. The wonderful thing about being a creative entrepreneur is that you do not have to stick to one creative pursuit…you can be known for many! For example, Kristen Martin is a vlogger, business coach, writer, and I am sure there are a couple other titles thrown in there too. When you are a creative entrepreneur, you have the freedom to be creative and aspire to the careers you want.

If you are just starting out, write down 1-3 creative careers you want to work on. For me, that would be freelance writing and editing. Those are still my two main ones that I am constantly growing and spending time on. It helps to keep my “eyes on the prize” so to say.

5 TIPS FOR CREATIVE ENTREPRENEURS

1. WRITE DOWN SHORT-TERM & LONG-TERM GOALS

One of the first things you must determine about your business is what are your short-term and long-term goals. What do you want achieve? Whether it is something small like reach 10 clients by the end of my first month or something big, like collaborate with Nike by the end of my second year (I don’t know, something crazy like that!), you must carve some sort of path you want to take your business down.

When creating these goals, include DEADLINES and STEPS THAT OUTLINE HOW YOU WILL REACH THEM. Otherwise, your goals might not go anywhere.

2. CREATE A FUND & BUDGET

Drop everything right NOW and set up some sort of system (bank account, jar, etc) that allows you to put money towards your business every week, month, or whatever works best for you. It is also crucial to curate some sort of budget. It doesn’t have to be 100% accurate, but make a list of possible fees and expenses you might come across in your business journey. This is especially helpful in the beginning of your business.

If you find that you are able to launch your business for only a small cost, use whatever is in your fund for a cushion or emergency funds for your business.

Do not think that you have to pour bucketloads of money into your business fund every month. Look at everything you have to pay for like bills, food, utilities, transportation, etc and figure out what you have left to spare. For me, I only work 2 times a week so I only contribute $40-50 a month. However much I end up putting into this account, it is nice to have money that is specifically for my freelance business to use if I want to run ads or update my WordPress plan.

3. BE ACTIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media will be the best place for you to share and grow your creative business. Depending on your business, different social medias will be the best choice for you but try to focus on no more than 2. If you attempt to be active on more than 2, you will stretch yourself thin and quickly burnout. You want to create new and fun content for your followers and the less accounts you must do this for, the easier it will be.

2018 Social Media News - Lyketil - Digital Creative Agency ...

What Social Media is Best for YOU?

Writer – Instagram, Twitter

Artist – Instagram, Pinterest

Crafter, DIYer – Pinterest, Instagram

Vlogger – Instagram, YouTube

Blogger – Instagram, Twitter, WordPress/Wix/etc,

Business Coach – Instagram, WordPress/Wix/etc, Twitter

However, you choose where you think your platform will flourish! These are just suggestions.

4. LEARN TIME MANAGEMENT NOW

Whether you are a part-time creative entrepreneur who still has a job, or a full-time creative entrepreneur, your time management skills will make or break your business.

When you are working another job, it is important to not let your creative side hustle take over the job that makes you money! Starting out, your profit as a creative entrepreneur will be small and slow. That is why having a main source of income is necessary. Ensure you don’t get too caught up in the excitement of starting a new business and forget to focus on the job that pays the bills.

Excellent time management is also important for full-time creative entrepreneurs because you need to define the line between work and life. I know for me, when I am working on projects I love such as freelance writing and editing, I get so caught up in it that I forget to take breaks and live my life. At the beginning of your business, this isn’t the worst thing, but as your business settles into a steady rhythm, you have to know what hours of the day are spent on your business and what hours are spent enjoying life.

5. TOOLS FOR THE SUCCESSFUL CREATIVE ENTREPRENEUR

There is a LOT of behind-the-scenes work that goes into being a creative entrepreneur. From posting on social media, keeping track of your goals to creating content, there are so many tools at your fingertips that will make your life so much easier. Here is a list of my favourites!

Hootsuite – This is a tool for scheduling social media posts. The free plan allows you to connect up to 3 social media accounts to the site and create posts through there.

Trello – Keeping all your content ideas, goals, and notes in one place saves SO much time when you are doing everything for your business which is why I love Trello. You can create boards for different projects and add to-do lists, notes, pictures, etc all in one easy-to-access place.

Colorpick Eyedropper – If you are creating content on Canva, Photoshop, or some other application, this tool is super helpful. If you want to know what colour something is when browsing online or admiring the profile of another creative entrepreneur, Colorpick Eyedropper allows you to find out what the colour is. It’s super easy. You just click it (it is a chrome extension so you have to download it) and hover the cursor over what colour you want to receive the code for.

Wordtracker – This is for SEO and finding out what words/phrases are being searched up. If you write blog posts, captions, bios, etc, this will help drive traffic to whatever you create. There is a free version, however it is pretty limited. This is something that would be a great business investment!

Canva – If you want to create your own ads, social media posts, Instagram stories, etc, Canva is a MUST. It offers you a user-friendly place to create eye-catching graphics…and it’s FREE!


Those are all my tips and pieces of advice for starting and developing your creative business. I hope they were helpful and inspiring! If you have any others, share them in the comments and spread the knowledge.

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

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5 Tips for Succeeding as a Creative

5 tips for achieving success in your creative field and enjoying the process.

Happy Friday!

There is no clear path for a creative, which is why I wanted to share my 5 helpful tips for succeeding in a creative field. When you choose a creative career, you are also accepting a path that will take you down unexpected twists and turns. You are accepting that failure will knock you down often. You are accepting that your success will look different than your favourite author, artist, photographer, etc.

While we are told that success in a creative field is rare, I don’t believe that is true. Scratch that, I know that’s not true. At a young age, I have found various forms of success already that comfort me in my decision to choose a creative career, and continue choosing it. I feel confident that with all the time, effort, and work I’ve poured into my writing, I will continue to find success as a creative.

Success for me has looked like this:

  • Winning writing contests
  • Short stories published
  • Large portfolio of published articles
  • Continuous freelance projects: editing, re-typing, etc
  • A responsive community on my social media and blog

So many opportunities have arisen in my creative career already, and I am only 18 years old! That means you too can easily find success as a creative.

Here are my 5 tips for finding success as a creative

1. Constantly Produce Content

The first thing you need to do is to keep all your content in a portfolio and continue to constantly produce content for it. Have a lot of it too. Having that one “brilliant” story idea is not enough in this highly competitive field! As a creative, you need to always be at your laptop, writing. Or at your easel, painting. Or behind your camera, taking photos. Whenever you have the time, even if you don’t feel inspired, you should spend time creating content and expanding your ever-increasing portfolio of work. If one piece doesn’t work out, guess what! You have several others to pick and choose from and then throw out into the world.

It is important to diversify your content too. For example, I am a writer and at first, my portfolio only consisted of fiction short stories. Now, it is filled with more stories but also articles, blog posts, social media posts, and newsletters. I also have manuscript editing experience. It all relates to my core passion of writing, but I display expertise in so many forms of writing. Check out my blog post on how I organize all my content HERE for more info. This is the driving force behind all my success and opportunities that I’ve been offered, and the opportunities that have found me without having to search for them. The point is, the more content you have and the more you make it public, the easier it is for you and success to meet up at some middle point!

2. Choose 2 Social Media Platforms to Grow

As a creative, social media is essential to your success because it is how others will find your portfolio and how you will network with other creative minds. I recommend really focusing in on 2 platforms because otherwise, it gets a little much. Feel free to make your creativity known on several platforms, but pour your energy into posting on 2 at the most.

Before choosing your social media platforms, consider these tips:

  • Which platforms do you gravitate to already?
  • Google what platforms are best for your creative passion
  • Research what days and times are the best to post on those platforms
  • Make posting/being active on social media part of your weekly routine (you should post as much as possible, but also don’t overload your audience!)
  • Plan out some ideas of what you will post. What type of content? What photos? What captions?

Instagram and Twitter are popular platforms for writers, and while I am active on Instagram, I despise Twitter. I have to force myself to post on it every once and a while because if I don’t, I will never post! That is why I have been switching over to Pinterest lately. I enjoy the creativity Pinterest requires, similar to Instagram. It is exciting to post to Pinterest and because of that, I actually do it!

Grow your social media presence, connect with other creative minds, and it will be much easier for success to meet you.

3. Spend Time Replenishing Your Creativity

On the path to finding success, you have to make an effort to replenish your creativity so you have the energy to continue working and creating. This means watching movies, reading books, looking at art, etc.

This is something else you should schedule in daily! Whether it is thirty minutes or an hour, make it a priority to inspire and spark your creativity. Lately, I have been spending my mornings reading or watching movies. I have changed my working time to starting in the early afternoon and ending in the later evening because I was finding it hard to remember to replenish my creative well. This way, I am doing it first thing in the morning and starting my day off right.

4. Set Short-Term + Long-Term Goals

It is crucial to have goals for everything you are trying to achieve, but it is also important to have a plan of action for these goals otherwise they mean nothing.

For example, if you want to reach 1,000 followers on Instagram that is great but how are you going to do it? Are you going to follow a certain amount of people every day? Are you going to post every day or every second day? Are you going to determine who your audience is so you can post content they will like? These are the action steps you must think about and plan in order to achieve that goal of reaching 1,000 followers.

Sit down with a notebook and write out all the goals you want to achieve in the next few months, and then in the next few years. This will help you gain a clear idea of what steps you need to take in your career to achieve these. This also means you will most likely see results faster! Check back in with these goals every month and see if you achieved them, or are well on your way to doing so. Adjust things if you are not close to succeeding in them until you are.

5. Get Used to Failure

Failure is inevitable as a creative. Even if you’ve been faced with it 5 times already, failure will find you again. I was greeted by failure for the first time regarding my writing when I was 13 years old. I had sent short stories to a few contests but only got the mass email that read: “Thank you for submitting to our contest, unfortunately, your story has not been chosen…” Does this sound familiar to you? Well, if it doesn’t, it soon will be!

Failure is something I am used to now. Yes, it still stings but I take it as a hint that I need to work on my writing a little more. My writing can always be stronger. But no matter what, I always pick myself up after facing that rejection or failure and push forwards. It has never once discouraged me from submitting to other contests or literary magazines. It has never once made me feel like a was an awful writer because rejection from a contest or literary magazine does not mean that! Rejection and failure mean that you gave your art to the wrong person, but the right person is still out there.

That is why it is important to follow the previous tips because when you have that portfolio of work to share, and that social media following it will allow you to find the right place for your art.

I recommend checking out my Instagram account because I began a series called “So you wanna be a writer?” that touches on finding opportunity, learning from rejection, and overall, pursuing creativity. The posts (there are 2 currently) are filled with tips and tricks for doing so. Click below to read them!

HOW MY WRITING JOURNEY STARTED: THE IMPORTANCE OF PUTTING TIME INTO YOUR WRITING AND TRUSTING YOUR SKILLS

SEEKING OPPORTUNITY


Those are 5 tips for succeeding as a creative. I hope they were helpful because pursuing creativity is not always easy but that is the fun of it!

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

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