Recent studies have shown that there are more than 25 million people in the United States running their own businesses.
Running a business is a labor of love. Achieving entrepreneurial success requires a strategy and systems that you stick to. Along the way, make sure that you stock up on the tools that will make your life easier.
So which are the most important? Here are some essential tools that you should embrace along your entrepreneurial journey.
1. A Reliable Computer (And a Backup!)
Before you do anything else, you need a working computer with an up-to-date operating system (OS).
Invest some money in a laptop that lets you get work done whenever you were on the go.
Make certain that your laptop comes with ample storage space. Plenty of laptop hard drives today have storage capacities upward of 1 TB or greater.
Check out the RAM, CPU, and determine which operating system you feel most comfortable with. If you travel regularly for business, be particularly mindful to choose a laptop with long battery life.
Picture what a typical workday looks like when you’re shopping for computers.
For example, a nice, laptop for browsing and answering emails would differ from a laptop you require for chopping up and editing podcasts or 4K videos.
Research some reviews and look into the various laptop options in today’s market. Choose the most reliable computer that you can afford.
Double down on this purchase by also getting a backup laptop to go with it. This can be a no-frills computer that acts as a stop-gap in case you have to put your main computer in the shop.
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2. Professionally Designed Website
Make certain that your website is well designed and up-to-date. This website will act as your calling card and portfolio, so it makes sense to put some time and effort into it.
The website should not only be packed with information, but it should be decorated in a manner that suits your personality. Look up some working templates that people in your industry have used.
Once you have a well-developed site, take the time to build some search engine optimization (SEO) strategies that will improve your traffic and traction.
3. Upgrade to a New Smartphone
You also need to have a business phone that lets you pick up crystal clear calls and video chats wherever you are. Today’s smartphones have huge hard drives, lots of cloud storage space, 4K video capability, and so much more.
By having a business phone, you’re able to jump onto Slack, hold a group chat, brainstorm ideas, and handle business almost as well as you could back at the office.
Once you go into business for yourself, make certain that you upgrade to the newest phone that you can find. Technology evolves quickly, so buying a brand new phone will serve as an investment you can hold onto for years.
You’re always connected to the world with your smartphone, so put some thought into the model you would like to carry around and use.
4. Unique Business Cards
Creating some business cards will help with your networking. We all connect digitally these days. Handing someone a physical keepsake will make a serious impression in this day and age.
Besides, people often add friends on social media without a second thought. Having a business card will take them back to how they met you and will help you to not fade into the sea of people that they network with on a regular basis.
Work with a graphic designer on your business cards rather than just choosing a stock template. Be sure that your business cards have all of your important contact information, in addition to a scannable QR code that takes them to your website, social media, or other web hubs.
5. Professional Headshot Photographs
Don’t think that you need to be in entertainment to have a quality set of professional headshots.
Placing your face on your marketing materials helps you create brand recognition and lets you show off some personality. People will get a sense of who you are and what you are about in the personality that you show in your headshot alone.
You can get some top-notch professional photos done for just a few hundred dollars, and this investment will carry you far.
6. The Evernote App
Keep in mind that entrepreneurship is something that you don’t get a time out from. That idea that you think about over coffee or when you’re about to go to sleep at night could actually be a million-dollar business.
When working a hectic schedule, it’s also difficult to organize your thoughts. The Evernote app will help you deal with these issues and then some.
You can use this app to create notebooks that let you brainstorm or jot down any topic you see fit. Taking the time to brainstorm opens you up creatively and lets you build on ideas at a later date.
There are several brainstorming techniques that you can try out to get your ideas out in the open.
Many people have taken to writing morning pages, as outlined in the book The Artist’s Way. In this book, the author explains that jotting down three pages of stream of consciousness journaling lets you open up your mind and go through the day less encumbered.
You can apply this to your life and then use the Evernote app to jot down thoughts that come to you throughout the day. Since Evernote is cloud-based, you can keep these notes forever without having to worry about locating a physical notebook that you might have lost.
Evernote lets you compile text notes, upload pictures, take audio notes, attach files, and so much more.
7. A YouTube Channel
Entrepreneurs should always sell themselves.
In this day and age, YouTube is one of the best places you can sell yourself. The video network is second only to Google in traffic and search volume. When you create a YouTube channel, you can build a huge following that you can network, market, and sell to.
When you start one of these channels, you can play around with some content ideas and figure out what kind of value people get from it. Several entrepreneurs have built empires starting with YouTube content.
8. Personally Author a Blog
In addition to helping a YouTube channel, you should open up a blog that you post to on a regular basis. Blogging is great for your search engine optimization and is an excellent way to get your brand out to the public.
When you write a blog regularly, it also helps you to get your ideas out. Before you know it, you’re opening a stream of inspiration and creativity, which can help you turn ideas into revenue.
Blogging makes your website more authoritative and allows you to grow traffic and a following.
9. Some Cloud Storage Space
The thing about entrepreneurship is that you are responsible for every “department” in your business. You’ll need to create archives of information, keep track of contracts, keep files for safekeeping, and more.
Regardless of what you do, you’ll need to keep upgrading your storage capacity. Upgrading to cloud-based storage is the most convenient way to store and backup your information. It’s helpful for entrepreneurs since the cloud lets you access your data anywhere you are able to log onto the web.
That way, you won’t have to worry about lugging around multiple hard drives or worrying about your data crashing or turning up missing.
10. Subscriptions to Important Publications
It’s always important to keep learning. The sooner you realize that entrepreneurship is a lifelong journey, the sooner you can buckle in and get to the work at hand.
Subscribing to relevant publications will help you remain a lifelong learner. Consider subscribing to media publications to stay up to date, business publications to learn what’s going on in the economy, and make sure that you always have access to valuable literature and video content.
An Audible account is worth its weight in gold since you can stay up to date with the latest great reads and the classics alike. It’s easier to listen to books during your commute and free time than it is to sit down and read several books each month.
Essential Tools for the Entrepreneur
Make use of these essential tools so that you can thrive as an entrepreneur. These tools will help you out no matter what field you’re in.
We’d be glad to help you out further. Check back for more tips on entrepreneurship!