Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cool tools to run a shop

My sleeping pattern's been all funky (read: not going to bed when I should) so after doing some yoga inversions this evening, I'm feeling a bit more sane and level-headed. Now I can update properly!

I signed up for a webinar on how to save money and save time when it comes to running a small business/start-up. It was super informative because it centered around online tools to keep your business up to date and organized. Basically, all the ugly administrative, financial aspect that us creative folks like to ignore and put off. We like to create stuff, not number crunch.

A number of Etsy sellers and other self employed folks use Quickbooks, Excel Spreadsheets, post-it notes to track inventory, money coming in and out, possible project ideas, etc. Granted people go crazy (can you say tax time?) when suddenly you need to really get down and dirty with those notes, messy excel spreadsheets when you got to make a nice little payment to Uncle Sam. The webinar focused on tools to help, Evernote, Outright, Shoeboxed and Stitch Labs. What do these tools do?

Evernote - Keep track of those funny random notes, ideas, everything and anything you may want to remember
Outright - Keep track of your finances by linking to bank and credit card accounts, generate reports, etc.
Shoeboxed - Send them your receipts and business cards to extract the data so you can easily look up anything
Stitch Labs - Tracks your sales, inventory, reports and track product orders

Most of these you can link together which is nice. They all serve a function and it's all done online so you can access the information from anywhere as long as you have internet access. After seeing how these products work, I'm convinced these would be great for me, so I'm going to try them out and see for myself over the next month or so.

In addition to the webinar, I also attended an Etsy workshop over at the TechShop. Not put on by Etsy, but a seller who offered her advice and suggestions on how to run a shop. It was super informative and she offered some really great tips, suggestions and other tools on how to run a successful shop. One thing I revisited was my cost to make my cards. Yikes, it was eye opening!

So after doing some research and going through lots of receipts and I mean A LOT of receipts, I'm feeling a bit better about my paper clutter. Seriously, going through my receipts and paper clutter (my desk too) has been stuff I've been avoiding like the plague. I still have a stack of papers to sort through, but it's small compared to what I've done. January's been a pretty productive, eye opening month so far. Once you get started and tackle the hardest task, everything else seems like nothing in comparison.

Have you been avoiding your finances or other paper work like me? Do share!


  1. Oh yes.. I am staring at my box of receipts dreading doing my taxes... ugh!

    1. i know, i didn't even have a box. i had like 2 bags!!!!