As a creative entrepreneur managing the finances can be one of the most stressful aspects you take on as a business owner. Especially when you are first starting out and money gets tight.
Personally, I tend to be very cautious with money. I've been this way since I was a kid and my mom used to ask if I was sure I wanted that toy/candy/etc... I still have to weigh the pros and cons when buying a pack of gum. Clearly, I'm scarred for life. But, it made me very smart about money, which my financial advisor husband OGJP (Original Gangsta JP) appreciates.
All of that to say, I keep my business expenses as small as possible. I only invest in resources I find extremely beneficial to my business. If I can't measure the ROI, I quit using the service. So, in this post I'm going to go over what resources I use, why and how much they are.
1 | Tailwind
Tailwind is an app and website that assists in scheduling your social media content for Instagram and Pinterest. As of right now, I only use it for Pinterest.
I love Tailwind because I can easily queue content from my blog, participate in group boards and share others content. Any content scheduling I can do in bulk is a must-have for me.
With their bulk image upload, drag-and-drop calendar, multi-board pinning, hashtag lists... it's easily one of my favorite resources on the market. Plus you can get a free trial!
I'm currently on the plus plan of $14.99/month.
2 | Adobe Creative Suite
The number one resource I use every single day is my Adobe Software. The three products I use the most and recommend that all creative entrepreneurs learn how to use is: Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign.
I use Adobe Illustrator for icons, social media graphics, logos and much more. Adobe Illustrator is considered the industry-standard for creating graphics due to it's vector-based software. Vector graphics allow the user to infinitely scale design.
I use Adobe Photoshop for brand photography and products mock ups. Adobe Photoshop is the ideal platform for Raster-based images. This makes this software ideal for anyone retouching or editing photo's.
Lastly, I use Adobe InDesign for all content upgrades, workbooks and printed documents. Adobe InDesign was created with printable documents in-mind. It is the ideal software for menu's, brochure's, poster's and much more!
I currently spend $32.13/month on all three software's.
3 | G Suite
G Suite is a little less glamorous than the other resources I use, but I think it's essential for any small business owner.
G Suite is also the most affordable resource on this list at just $5/month per user. Plus, you can get a free 14-day trial. With this, you get access to your domain email, storage, 24/7 support and much more.
I originally purchased G Suite for my professional domain email. I think it makes a significant difference to my clients when I can email them from a branded email account. But, after learning more about G Suite I take full advantage of their storage and software.
I use G Suite's Google Docs for all of my client projects. I specifically use the Google Docs for my client questionnaire's. Google Docs is perfect for this so I can view the document while my clients are working on it to ensure we are staying on schedule.
I also use Google Sheets to track my website and social media analytics.
I spend just $5/month on this resource!
4 | Creative Market
Creative Market is one of the more fun resources I use for my business. Creative Market is a community-driven website, similar to Etsy, where shop owners sell digital goods. Creative Market is primarily targeted at creative entrepreneurs and small business owners.
I love to use Creative Market for purchasing fonts (see below), stock photography and product mock ups. I also use Creative Market for anything a client might need that I don't offer, like a custom font design.
For full-disclosure I also make money from Creative Market as a shop owner and affiliate partner. The links to Creative Market in this blog post are affiliate links and if you purchase something through these links, I may get some cash-money. Thanks!
The amount I spend per month varies due to demand. I typically spend no more than $40/month. Frequently spending no money for a few months in a row.
Powered by Creative Market
5 | Etsy Advertising
One resource you may be surprised to hear that I use, is Etsy.
I have an Etsy store for a few reasons, but the primary reason being the ability to advertise my services. Etsy is a great platform for my business to advertise because it is a community of like-minded women in search of purchasing products and services.
I find that this is a more beneficial use of my advertising budget due to the ready-to-buy mindset on Etsy versus a social media platform where viewers are primarily in search of information and inspiration.
Etsy is free to use for viewers. Shop owners spend $0.20 per product upload and a small portion is taken by Etsy during purchase transactions.
The amount I spend per month varies due to the nature of this service. I typically spend between $20-$40.
6 | Squarespace
As you probably already know, I use Squarespace to host my blog and website, aka my business's home base.
I also insist that all of my web design clients use Squarespace as well. I recommend Squarespace for it's usability, beautiful templates and all-in-one features... just to name a few perks.
If you'd like to learn more about Squarespace you can view my blog category, their help forms or watch one of their video series. I think the best way to learn more about Squarespace is taking advantage of their 14-day free trial.
I'm currently on the personal plan and pay $124/year. I recommend beginning with the personal plan unless you need a specific feature that isn't included due to the simple nature of upgrading your plan when necessary.
7 | Free Resources
I also wanted to share a few free resources that I couldn't run Jordan Prindle | Designs without!
I love these products so much, that it felt wrong to leave them off the list.
Later is a social media scheduling app and website that I use to schedule my Instagram. My favorite feature is the ability to preview my feed before posting any content. This has improved my Instagram content creation significantly! Another feature I love about Later is the push reminders. I don't know about you, but I get caught up in my work throughout the day and if my phone didn't remind me to share my post, I never would!
Buffer is another social media scheduling software, but this platform I use solely for my Facebook page. Although, I think it would also be a great resource for businesses managing Twitter accounts. Buffer is extremely user-friendly and simple to use. My favorite feature about Buffer is the ability to bulk schedule once a week and it automatically posts for you. Anything I can automate in bulk, is a must-have!
And Co From Fiver is the software I currently use to manage client contracts and invoicing. However, I would like to set aside some time to learn more about the software because it can do a lot more than just handling contracts and invoices. For example, It can track your time, expenses, create recurring payments and much more.
What are some of your favorite resources? I'd love to hear about them in the comments section!