Welcome back to the blog, readers. I’ve had a crazy week with clients having lots of fun projects. Because of the ups and downs of the week, I had a blog idea. I figured I’d share some business tools I love. We’ll talk about what they are and why they’re so great.
As I meet with clients or in coaching sessions, we’ve had some discussions around these tools. Just remember, if you’re getting started as a virtual assistant, online business manager, or even as a consultant, this doesn’t mean you have to run out and utilize these immediately. However, it’s something to keep in mind as you start to grow your business.
1. Profit First
The first tool I love is Profit First. It’s a methodology that’s really easy to implement into your business. It makes it super easy to bucket all of your income into different accounts. So, I keep my Profit First book next to me. I’m not an affiliate; I just love the system. It’s something that a lot of my clients have used over the years, and they kept referring it to me.
I keep a little cheat sheet on my desk. Every month, when I am reconciling all the invoices I’ve received, I bucket the money into different accounts. Profit First teaches you that your income should be separated in percentages to at least five foundational accounts:
- Income account,
- Profit account,
- Owner’s compensation account,
- Tax account, and
- Operating expenses account.
Having these five accounts allows you to have a system set up for success to truly grow your business. The book itself has extremely relatable content: including notes on setting money aside for your taxes (if you’re 1099 and not an employee). In short, the book is fantastic for getting accounting set up. When I go to pay taxes, the money is already set aside. When I have to deduct operating expenses, I draw from that specific account.
Implementing this last year has allowed me to make the most profit on a regular basis out of any of the jobs I’ve had in the past (not just remote jobs either)! Wondering when to implement Profit First? Whether you’re 5 months in or 5 years in, you can implement Profit First. It will scale up with you.
Next up, I want to rave about Contractista. I use contracts a lot in my business, including NDAs. If you offer a particular, unique offering in your business – an NDA clause is necessary. It helps you protect yourself, no matter the scope of the engagement. Clients may ask you to sign an NDA as well. That will help protect your working relationship, your work, and its common practice. As well! When you show up to work with a contract for your client, they know you mean business. It’s not a sketchy deal. It establishes you as a professional.
Contractista is a service that creates and provides attorney-drafted contracts. Whether you provide an individual product or just consulting, this resource is necessary. These contracts can be downloaded, and you can use them time and time again with all of your different client engagements. The fee you pay for Contractista will pay for itself in one or two contracts.
The creator, Kailey Jacomet, is a trademark attorney. Be sure to follow her on social media for fantastic advice.
The third resource that I recommend – a business tool I love – is Dubsado. I am an affiliate, yes. However, I did it because I love it! Dubsado is a stellar resource, and you can save 20% if you sign up. As well, they have a free plan. You can get your first three clients free, I believe.
Mostly though, Dubsado is all about automating a lot of aspects of your business. I like to use it to automate my leads and client processes. So, if I have traffic to my website, the visitor can book on my calendar, schedule a discovery call, and receive a questionnaire – all through an automated process.
If the call goes well, a scheduling automation I have set up can easily send them a contract template that aligns with my brand. I plug in the details, whatever package I’m offering, and send it off. For all my entrep friends who are starting out, the overwhelm of contracts, sharing proposals, and communicating with clients can be eradicated with Dubsado. To be fully transparent, I hired someone to help me set it up. Once this was completed and streamlined, I was even able to add more packages to my list of services.
A contemporary to Dubsado is Honeybook. Both services link to Stripe and PayPal. The integration is seamless. The automation of sending proposals – even my clients agree – is of excellent quality. Clients notice. They really do.
Have you noticed that I can’t say enough about Dubsado?
4. New Tool: StreamYard
Okay, here me out. I’m bringing in a relatively new business tool into this blog post, but I think it’s worth sharing. StreamYard is a streaming platform that entrepreneurs can use to live stream to their Facebook or Youtube page. It’s still in beta testing, but it works very well for being beta. Another component though, is that it’s a new tool you can share with your clients. Being at the forefront of new tech makes you a tech-credible virtual assistant.
If you introduce StreamYard to your groups and your customers, you’re going to allow them to livestream with ease while networking/connecting/building your credibility. It’s a win all around.