Quick and Easy Business Tools

Reader Contribution by Tina Ames
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Did you ever want to start a small business but thought it was just too complicated OR have an existing business that needs a push? I have some simple tools to help. I have owned several businesses in the past 30 years – all in which I built from scratch and successfully sold as planned after getting them up and running. Business can be very complicated – but here are some tools to simplify, grow and upgrade. . .

Your appearance to the world should portray what you are offering. The main way to do this is a great logo design. I used to pay hundreds of dollars for logo designs until I found the website Fiverr.com. Here you can find sources to create logos starting at just $5. You can pay a bit more for more deluxe editions. You can hire people from around the world and get it fast. I have had brochures, flyers and product videos created too. It is simple as sending your thoughts, ideas or anything you can to describe your business. Most designers include revisions and changes if not satisfied. Make sure to research and get someone with great reviews. Try it – not a huge loss of money if you don’t like what is created.

After you have a great logo- have it printed. I have always used Vistaprint.com – but there are many other companies available for printing that is great quality and priced right. Always have something to give a prospective client if they ask that includes your logo, your name and a way to contact you. That can be a business card, a seed packet, a pen, etc. Be creative to make you unforgettable!

Barter! Money is just an energy form just as your product/service is. Why not barter locally? It can be big or small – but make sure to always claim on your taxes. Heck – I bartered a new tear off roof once for my truck, I also have bartered with my lawyer, hairdresser, landscaper, CSA, etc. Ask – and don’t be afraid. If they say no – say thanks anyways and move on. Some people have a hard time grasping the topic and that’s OK. When you do – try going one step further and trade reviews of your businesses on YELP, Facebook, website, etc.

Barter online too. I joined Simbi.com a few years ago and love to use this source as a symbiotic tool. You offer a service/product and get services/products in exchange. There are thousands to choose – from gardening advice, legal help, marketing services and so much more. It runs on a review system – so make sure to leave a great review if you are satisfied. You can trade locally and internationally too. The sky is the limit. No money is exchanged – just Simbi points. I have used Simbi for architectural drawings, proofreading, Airbnb guidance, postage stamps and more.

Having your own business can be rewarding and not as risky as you think. Using these tools, whether it is a large business or a small hobby business, can help. 

Tina T. Ames is an artist, homesteading and blogger and simple living instructor in Western New York State. Connect with her at Simply Abundant Living, on Facebook and Etsy. Read all of Tina’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.

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