Here are the TOP 4 FREE TOOLS I use for my small business.
Disclaimer- I am not being paid in any way for sharing these. I am sharing totally from my own experience and opinion. (And to help anyone who might find this helpful.)

Shipping. Ugh.

Shipping is the place where I have to relinquish total control, the place where I have to hand over my products for someone else to take care of. And I hate it. You can’t get past it or do without it if you plan on getting your product out to customers. I will tell you no matter which carrier you choose you will always have issues. Not one of them is perfect all the time. However, my top choice is :

1 . USPS
Let me explain before I move ahead. I do not use “stampsdotcom” through USPS to do my shipping. It comes with a monthly fee and the shipping rates in my experience are more expensive. What I do use is their free shipping supplies. If you ship through them, and I’ll explain in #2 how I do that but bypass paying a monthly fee, you can get certain shipping supplies free. Find those here:…/free-shipping-supplies/_/N-alnx4j

2. Pirate Ship
Pirate Ship is a free USPS and UPS shipping service/software. You can use it as a stand-alone or if you use Shopify or a few other e-commerce sites it will connect and work hand in hand with your store. It’s a breeze. They offer discount rates, which we all know no shipping discount is really a discount. It’s all expensive. And to be honest, I lose a lot in shipping. But as a small business, you have to weigh what works and what is best for your business. Taking a hit in shipping is often worth it to me. Shipping is extremely hard to navigate sometimes for a small business, especially in the beginning. You just have to try and do the best you can. You will not always get it right. Rates are constantly changing and it’s hard to change with it. It’s why you may see my products shipped in a box and then slipped into a padded envelope. It’s because I am working the system and trying to get us the best price. I will not price gouge shipping costs.

3. Wave Accounting
I love Wave Accounting for many reasons, but mainly because it’s free and easy to navigate. I know a lot of people use Quickbooks, I used to use them too, but I got sick of paying the monthly fee. All these monthly payments that help you run your small business smoothly especially if you are a one-woman show like me adds up and can drain your profits quickly. Wave offers the same type of accounting as Quickbooks, and I think even more reports and such for free. If I could hand you some advice if you are just starting your business it would be to start off strong with good accounting.

4. Canva
Canva is a free design tool that will help you with so many things for your business! Photos, business cards, social media, graphics, websites, etc. Canva will help you with all digital or printed work. Although I prefer photoshop for a lot of work I do I know a lot of people find it hard to work with, but in a pinch and needing something quickly or to gain ideas Canva is a great alternative tool for a quick and simple almost done for you, easy to use graphic designer that you can get for free. As an example, the photo with this post was created with Canva just by using drag and drop. It’s very easy and even on the free account, you get thousands of free templates.

I hope this was helpful!! If you have any questions about these or anything else I’m happy to try and get answers for you. If you want to know anything else about running a small business just ask. I am not a know it all but am happy to share what I have learned. Running your own small business is a journey. It will have ups and downs, victories and defeats, stick with it, as it can be such a rewarding act of faith!

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