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Running a Small Business in a Virtual World

By Jake Talley, our Technical Solutions Expert

After the novelty of working from home wears off, you realize running a business in a virtual world has a learning curve just like starting your business. Just like when hiring people for your business, a little more time spent vetting candidates upfront will save you loads in the future. When picking the software your company will become dependent on, you’ll need to make sure that you “hire” the right tools for the job! More than ever there are a countless amount of services looking to offer value in trade for a subscription service. But making sure that you choose the best ones is a task in and of itself. Here are 5 tips from someone who has written the software, knows the lingo, and wants to help you make sure you pick the right services to run your business on.

1. Don’t let subscription creep grow. Try to reduce softwares you’re dependent on.

It’s easy to listen to each promise a company commits to make your life easier. And when you're frustrated at your current tooling its even easier to sign up for the trial services thinking that this one will solve your problem. Next thing you know your monthly bills are through the roof! Before you get that software take a step back and think about the problem you have at it’s core, can the tools you already have accomplish what you’re doing in a new way, or are there free tools that could do the just almost as well? Try those first before committing to a shiny new feature.

2. Really read through the documentation of the software you're using -- be a power user from the beginning.

It’s a pattern I’ve seen time and time again within myself. I’ll get a fancy new tool and reason that I’ll figure out how to learn it along the way! only to wind up flipping through the online docs later. Most software companies now days Invest a lot of time and effort into on boarding. Make use of it! take the time to read the quick start fully and you’ll be surprised at how much time you save down the road.

3. Get familiar with the digital marketing lingo.

Apis, Services, Ajax, Servers, Front end, Back end, Code Snippets. All these terms are here to stay and are becoming a normal part of business lexicon. If you come across a word you don’t understand, take the time to google and understand it before moving on with a gap in your understanding, your future self will thank you.

4. Try to find authentic reviews of software services.

Often times reviews and testimonials on software marketing sites are put there to make you feel good about the service and see them as “trust signals”. Don’t take their word for it, take the time to look at real users reviews on 3rd party forums, or ask your network for suggestions on software they use before pulling the trigger.

5. Use the trial periods and set reminders for yourself.

Most software now days uses a subscription based model to fund continuous development. To get you hooked they offer trial periods and hope that you’ll land in their ecosystem and end up subscribing anyways. Be aware of this! but also don’t be afraid to use their trial periods. Just remember to set a reminder after the time is up so you don’t end up with a software you don’t use.

These are just some things to think about as you learn to navigate optimizing your business online. If you have any questions on how you can reduce business costs through automations and online process, schedule a FREE consultation with us here.

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