More and more people are now coming up with their home business ideas to cope with the changing times. And there is no shortage of platforms that you can choose from with the dozens, possibly hundreds of different platforms where you could launch and market your home business ideas.
The challenge, however, is in the management and administration which sadly gets easily overlooked in the often zealous excitement of starting an online business. Luckily, the internet is chockfull of systems and services that can help there as well.
So whether you are selling a product like baked goods or offering services like graphic design, here are a few tools I think will come in very handy for your home business ideas. Best of all, these are all completely free!
The Google Drive Ecosystem
The backbone of management and administration is keeping everything in order. The entire Google Drive ecosystem is the perfect tool to turn your ideas into a reality for two very simple reasons: 1) It’s free and 2) Everyone already has a Gmail account! Well, mostly.
The highlight of Google Drive is that it’s a cloud app, meaning everything is saved on the internet. Moreover, files or even entire folders can be easily shared with only those that are supposed to see it. So you’re also secured that any private business information is locked away from the public. And whether you’re using your personal account or create a new one specifically for your business, it’d be smart to beef up the security with 2-Factor Authentication.
Google Sheets will be your go-to, I’ve only recently become more aware of its power and capabilities. I have to say, it is very impressive to the point where I prefer using Google Sheets than opening up an installed spreadsheet app like Excel or Libre Office.
On top of that, it has seamless integration with all the other Google Drive apps like Google Forms that can tie in with a Google Sheet for a quick and easy database capture of practically anything you can come up with. Order form? Sure. Registration? Yup. Design Service request? Why not.
Google Forms can even be used as an internal tool like for inventory tracking that will instantly input drop-ins and pull-outs into a neat spreadsheet.
With the many pre-built templates, scripts, and resources you can find online, the limits of Google Sheets and the whole ecosystem of Drive is limited only by your ideas and imaginations.
Financial Basics by Wave Financial
Okay, now that you’ve got your databases and ideas neatly sorted and organized then it’s time to deal with the finances and cashflow. The way you handle this area of a small business is crucial because it proves how serious you are in what you’re doing and also breeds trust with your customers that you are legitimate and honest.
Amazingly, there is actually a free tool that will boost your professional cred in terms of payments and accounting. It’s called Wave Financial and was specifically designed in helping small businesses with the basics of invoicing and accounting.
Of course, it goes beyond just invoicing and can even produce accounting records if you know what you’re doing. But for the most part, it does the basic job of creating estimates and customer invoices so well that it is absolutely shocking why this service is free. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself, there really is nothing to lose.
Discord Not Just For Gaming
I’ve mentioned before how Discord is trying to edge out of the strictly gaming communities and grow their influence on the mainstream industries. I still stand by my opinion it is one of the better ideas, especially now that they’ve unlocked a bunch of new features that you can use even as a free user.
Sure there is no lack in your choice of instant messaging app, but I’ve always found that Messenger, Whatsapp, Viber, and even Telegram have severe limitations in organizing groups and messages. This, on the other hand, is where Discord shines out because it has dozens of permission levels, roles, moderation, channels, and many more use full features.
But the feature I appreciate the most from Discord is the drop-in-drop-out capability of their voice channels. Unlike messaging apps that require you to initiate a group call then drop when everyone leaves, Discord voice channels are persistent in that you can connect and disconnect from them at will. Think of it kind of like an office room you can enter and leave whenever you need to talk to your coworkers.
Not to mention the voice quality is very good, one might even say better than Skype and other VOIP solutions. And again the permissions and roles come in as well so only certain people can enter specific channels making team-based organized channels something much easier to manage than a ton of separate group chats.
If This Then That
I’ve sung the praises of IFTTT many times already because it really is that good. It’s essentially an automation app with dozens of integrations that translate to hundreds of possibilities. Best of all, it’s easily integrated with the majority of Google Drive apps and you can even use it to automate your social media platforms to make marketing your home business ideas a lot easier to manage.
If you’re willing to dig a little deeper and join the IFTTT community, you’ll be able to unlock a lot more powerful features including Discord integration. Now it does take a little bit of programming, but not so much that you’ll have to study an entire course or anything. Moreover, the internet is rich with IFTTT resources that you can copy and adjust to your needs.
Spark Your Home Business Ideas
Now that you got the tools under your belt the real challenge is making your ideas into a reality. And there is no tool that the digital world can offer since it is completely up to your blood, sweat, and tears to see it through.
So whatever it is that sparks your passion, may your ideas spur you on to success! Let me know in the comments below what tools you use or if you have any questions on the ones I’ve shared.