For self-started small businesses, the costs of running a striving one is a bit difficult to handle. However, with the right tools in hand, it is not at all impossible to keep costs at a minimum or none at all. In this post, I will talk about the essentials of running a frugal business. It is ideal for people who yearn of building a business from scratch, whether online or with a brick-and-mortar store. Most of the tools I recommend in this blog are tools that I can vouch for, tools that I currently use (tried-and-tested), and tools that I believe are of great value to my readers.
Essentials Of A Frugal Business
A Free Public Business Address
As your very own CEO, Manager, and employee – you need a public business address to present to the world. If you are the type of person who wouldn’t want to give out your home address (especially if you operate from home), a public forwarding address for all incoming mail and packages is a must. The good news is that there are great FREE ones that you can utilize for your business.
- Shipito. Shipito is my number one choice for a free public business address. Not only is their interface attractive and professional-looking, but it is also user-friendly. They have excellent reviews online which makes them by far the most credible among the rest.
- Viabox. I have a Viabox account and the interface is great. Their website is easy to navigate, but I have not really tried their service yet in terms of receiving actual mail. Besides, you only need one for your business.
A Free Business Phone Number
You value your privacy and that includes your personal mobile number. In business, a mobile number is extremely essential no matter what kind of business you plan to build or run.
- Google Voice. With Google Voice, you are able to use your personal number using a different number. You will have the opportunity to choose from a variety of Google Numbers (US-based) that will mask your personal number. This has both text and voicemail which is really what you basically need. Unfortunately, this is only available to US persons.
A Free Email (If On A Tight Budget)
In order to show professionalism and legitimacy, a genuine business email is recommended. This basically shows that your business is true and is well-established. However, it may not be in the budget yet so here’s a few email services I highly recommend for starters.
- Msgsafe.io. With Msgsafe.io, you will be able to sign up for an anonymous email that you can publicly present or give out to your customers. They offer several domain options to choose from upon sign up, such as the domain ending in @concealed.company.com. I currently use this domain for some websites that I don’t fully trust (yet). Then, as my trust with a certain website builds, I eventually change to my real public email address.
However, if you have change to spare for a legitimate email, I highly vouch for Google Suite! Not only will you get the whole shebang for your buck, but the expertise and professional support you’ll get is just top-notch! It’s $5 a month. This is your Starbucks for your business — not a day but a whopping month.
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Free Social Media Advertising
What better way to promote your business for free than social media, right? Besides the fact that everyone is on social media, everyone likes to be on social media! It’s always great when your business gets known by word of mouth (a.k.a shared by others in the online world), and with the help of Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, your publicity increases your chances of acquiring clients/customers.
A Free Website (Domain Included)
Now, here’s when it gets a little bit tricky – getting a website for free is achievable; But getting a professional website is another. There’s nothing wrong with having a free website, but it’s always ideal to prioritize a great domain name for your business. It’s like your birth certificate or Social Security Number (at least according to my analogy). No one can and should have it but you.
- Blogger (Not selling online). Blogger is probably one of the first ever blog providers out there. It is the first ever blog I’ve had even before Google bought the platform way back in 2003-ish or so. With a free theme, you are able to acquire a professional-looking website for your clients. Most importantly, you can attach your domain name to it for free and Google will handle all of your content management. Ideal for online portfolios (e.g. designers, resumes), restaurants or food services, and other service-based businesses.
- SquareUp (For selling online/offline). If you are looking to sell online, guess what? SquareUp is my best bet. Not only are they leaders in the online e-commerce business, but their online e-commerce platform is 100% free to use to! Again, you only need a professional-looking domain (or not at all) to be presentable!