It’s Easier Than Ever to Start a Business in 2020, Use These Tools

Not too long ago, starting a business often required years of planning and preparation. However, with modern technology, starting your own business is easier than ever. You just need to know what tools to use! Whether you’re trying to sell a product or pitch your services, here are some tools that you can use to your advantage.

Etsy

In recent years, Etsy has become a popular website for artists, crafters and anyone who makes homemade goods to sell their products on. Etsy works by allowing users to set up a “shop” where they can post pictures and details about what they sell. Anyone looking for that specific service just needs to search for it on the website. 

After people buy from your shop, they can leave reviews about their experiences. This is very similar to the process in place on Amazon with reviews!

Although Etsy caters to anyone who makes handmade goods, it can be especially beneficial for artists. People can commission custom portraits or custom jewelry based on the shop owner’s guidelines and style. 

Shopify

For a broader range of options, Shopify is another e-commerce platform that helps people start and run their business without ever leaving their homes. Much like Etsy, people who sell on Shopify can advertise their own products, but there is one difference. 

While Etsy operates entirely online, Shopify does include other features to allow its shop-owners to sell in-person at craft fairs or markets. You can use one of Shopify’s apps to help process payments and orders in-person rather than through a screen. 

Keep in mind that using Shopify does come at a cost. Shop-owners will be expected to pay a monthly fee in return for using the site. However, Shopify does personalize their pricing plans so that you can pick which payment plan best fits your needs. 

Business Incubators

While Etsy and Shopify can streamline the start-up process, they do have one disadvantage. E-commerce tools are typically geared toward business owners that are looking to sell their own products. For anyone that wants to open a business that deals with selling services or non-tangible items, using these tools can be impossible. However, there’s no reason why starting your business can’t still be easy or user-friendly. 

For one thing, business incubators can make all the difference. Since even the best entrepreneurs may need a little help, in the beginning, business incubators are organizations designed to speed up the success and growth of a start-up in its early stages. Many start-ups may be built on great ideas or hard work, but if they aren’t managed correctly, they might not survive. In this instance, a business incubator is extremely helpful.  

Business incubators vary on how they work. Some incubators might only deal with you online or on a virtual basis, others will communicate with you directly. One of the significant upsides of hiring a business incubator is that they often have plenty of resources. Many of the resources that a start-up lacks at the beginning such as accountants, lawyers and funding resources can come from an incubator. 

While not every start-up can benefit from a business incubator (and some entrepreneurs may argue that incubators draw your focus from what’s important), these “accelerators” can make all the difference in how successful your business is. 

Stripe

Even if you’ve got a great business plan, one thing that can stop a start-up from truly taking off is handling payments. Many new business owners struggle to find the best way to process payments, especially if they’re trying to work with customers online and in-person. This is where Stripe, your company’s personal cashier, can come in.  

Not only do large companies like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest already use Stripe, but this tool has a variety of flexible options at your disposal. By working across mobile platforms and desktop, one major advantage of using Stripe is that it incorporates things like Apple Pay, Amex Express Checkout and even Android Pay. 

For business owners that are located outside of the United States, breaking into US markets can be extremely expensive. For a fee of $500, you can even use Stripe to help you register with the IRS, open a bank account and get your business situated within the US. 

Slack

Although many start-ups may only operate with one or two owners, some new businesses may already have a plethora of employees. In this case, trying to manage projects together can be a challenge. Many applications aren’t designed to handle multiple employees or owners. 

One way to improve your communication and even boost productivity is with Slack. When your team needs to collaborate on projects or communicate with each other, Slack can provide the seamless interface and user-friendly design that you need. For businesses that may even have employees that work remotely, Slack is especially useful for improving communication. 

While starting your own business might have required plenty of planning and preparation years ago, it’s now easier than ever. With e-commerce platforms like Etsy and Shopify, you can begin selling your handmade goods in only a few hours. If your business has more traditional roots, business incubators can provide the vital resources that your company needs to be successful in the long-run. If you still have a few more kinks in your business plan, apps like Stripe and Slack are designed to make your life as an entrepreneur as easy as possible! 

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