How Apps Can Help You Start Your Small Business
No matter how you look at it, starting and running a business is no small feat. The process of getting started is filled with uncertainty and anxiety and you’ll need every ounce of perseverance and patience you can muster.
As someone who was born with an unquenchable desire to sail my own ship, I’ve spent years of my life running side projects for some extra income while still working full-time jobs. I always hoped one of these ventures would become the success I needed to break free from the rat race. Time and time again, I found myself burnt out and feeling defeated. It’s hard enough to start a business, but starting one while working a 9 to 5? Good luck with that!
Once again, apps are changing the game
My entrepreneurial breakthrough didn’t come while working a day job. I’m not saying it couldn’t happen for anyone, but I can assure you there are better ways to reach your goals.
Instead of working a day job that drained me of creative energy, I turned to apps to be my side job while I focused on making my dream into my main gig.
Apps just don’t stop. And while the phrase “there’s an app for that” has become so ubiquitous it’s now often met with an eye-roll, it doesn’t ring any less true. Apps aren’t just programs for your phone. They’ve become so much more. They are portals through which we can access brilliantly life-changing services.
In this article, I want to talk about how I leveraged the launch of my small business with nothing but my iPhone. Instead of working a day job that drained me of creative energy, I turned to apps to be my side job while I focused on making my dream into my main gig.
Filling in the gaps
One of the biggest challenges when starting up your own business is how you’ll get the money you need to start. If you decide to get investors or a bank loan you might be set. But what if you want to start from scratch, without the pressure of a board to report to or the stress of long term debt? You’ll still need money, and the ideal way to make money is from customers. But attracting customers isn’t always easy in the beginning, and sometimes also comes at a cost.
Here’s where apps comes in. Specifically, apps that give you the opportunity to make money on your own time at your own pace.
Apps Like: Uber, Lyft, Postmates, GrubHub.
For some people, this is a full-time job. For the adventurous small business owner just getting started, this becomes your way to fill in the financial gaps.
These are all crowd-sourced services that give anyone the opportunity to make money on the side. For some people, this is a full-time job. For the adventurous small business owner just getting started, this becomes your way to fill in the financial gaps. Your small business may bring in profits here and there sporadically at first. You’ll need to even things out.
Ten years ago, this wasn’t possible
It’s incredible to realize just how much smart phones and apps have changed the world.
For me, it was a combination of Lyft and Postmates. Lyft for when I felt like being around people. Postmates for when I didn’t. Signing up was easy, and once I was approved and ready to go, it was just a matter of launching the app to make some extra money.
Postmates is perfect for quick runs in between other things. A standard delivery only takes about 10-20 minutes of your time. I was able to make up to $25 an hour this way, and the fact that I could do it on my own time freed me up to focus on building my business when it was best for me. And I got to use the time driving around town to brainstorm ideas and go over my agenda.
As my business was still in its early phases, I didn’t always have a client to make money from. Postmates made up the difference during dry spells and allowed me to make ends meet while I continued to work my way towards success.
What about other kinds of apps?
There are definitely other apps that can help you as you pursue your business dream. And while the main purpose of this article was to share how money-making apps can help you achieve financial balance as you get started, I’d like to share some favorite apps in closing. The following are app-based services that my business thrives on:
- Harvest : For time tracking and invoicing. Accessible via browser and app, this tool is full of helpful features and integrations.
- Seed Business Banking : An app-based banking service for small businesses that aims to simplify everything about traditional banking. It’s easy to sign up, secure, and run by an excellent team who provide the highest quality of support.
- Trello : Perfect for lists, task management, project tracking, and more.
- Slack : No one does work-chat like Slack. Make sure you get the giphy add-on!
- Google Drive : This one is a no-brainer. The easiest and cheapest option for creating and managing documents, spreadsheets, and file storage on a secure cloud-based platform.