If I hadn’t been able to work from home, I wouldn’t have been able to apply many of the attributes of traditional homemaking to my life. In particularly, I wouldn’t have been able to be home with my children as they grew up.
So here at Get It Down Pat, just as I’m all about anything that makes a traditional homemaker’s life easier, quicker, and better, I also want to share with you anything that can do the same to running an at-home business.
If you are finding yourself working from home for the first time — or even if you’re an old pro when it comes to working from home — I think you’ll find that the following tools can help improve your work-at-home life.
I’ve personally used all of these tools for a long time, so I know first hand how well they work. Check them out and see which (if not all) of them might help you do business better from home!
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FreshBooks — Accounting software
FreshBooks is a cloud-based accounting system that I used for my creative services business for many years. I love it! As a creative type, I’ll admit that I’m not always the best with numbers, bookkeeping, and accounting. But as a business owner, I have no choice but tend to such tasks. Freshbooks makes life so simple. It’s easy to use, very intuitive, and makes accounting, invoicing, and time tracking quick and easy. Plus, because it’s cloud-based, I can log in from virtually anywhere, as long as I have an Internet connection, and invoice my clients.
Click HERE to learn more and add FreshBooks to handle your accounting and invoicing.
Backblaze — Computer system backups
Now that you are working from home, you’re probably realizing all the more how critical it is to ensure that all your computer files are backed up. Of course, the day you don’t do it will be the day you wish you did. To keep that day from ever happening, backup your files using Backblaze. I used a competitor’s backup for a while, and the unstable nature of its software and its constant inability to play nice with my Mac made me switch to Backblaze. Without a doubt, it’s the easiest, most-intuitive backup system I have ever used. You just install it, start it, and let Backblaze do the rest. It recognizes your files and backs them up. Boom! Done.
And restoring files couldn’t be easier either. It’s available for both PC and Mac platforms.
Don’t risk losing your important files! Click the link below to try Backblaze today.
SiteGround — Domain names and web hosting for WordPress websites
OK, so you’ve decided that you ARE going to build your own website. Do you want hosting with that?
Of course you do. You’re going to need it… and a domain name, too, of course. And you can get everything you need, via a simple, user-friendly platform, by using SiteGround.
SiteGround had been strongly recommended to me by other website designers, and now, as a user, I know why. Siteground is amazingly easy to use, their pricing is much lower than their value, and their 24/7 support is out of this world. This blog is, in fact, hosted by SiteGround!
If your website is a serious part of your business — as it should be — then SiteGround is the perfect place to host it. Let them be an integral part of your online success.
Elegant Themes — WordPress building themes
Damn it, Kirk! I’m a designer, not a programmer.
It’s true. I’m not a programmer at all. I’m a designer and a writer and an editor — but a programmer, I am not. Despite that fact, I’m still able to go live on the Internet with great-looking, efficient, responsive WordPress websites for myself and my clients.
And for the most part, that’s thanks to Elegant Themes. I’ve used their “Divi” theme to build a number of websites, including my own creative services website (LaCroixCreative.com) as well as websites for clients.
Of course, some people just want to do their own website designing and programming. That’s cool — I totally get it! You can save a lot of money and maintain a certain amount of control when you build your own website. All the more reason to use Elegant Themes and their Divi theme. It’s easy to use, even for a beginner. And once it’s set up, with the power and ease of WordPress behind it all, editing and revising the website is a breeze.
If you are going to be building your own website from scratch, I’d recommend the lifetime membership to Elegant Themes (it’s what I have). That way, you’ll always have access to the updates to the themes.
WooCommerce — eCommerce platform
Of course, some websites are actually online stores. Those sites require an eCommerce platform. When I created an online store for my own business, WooCommerce was my solution. An extremely user-friendly plugin for WordPress websites, WooCommerce is the most customizable eCommerce platform for building your online business. If you are building your own online store, I highly recommend it. Best of all — you can get started with WooCommerce for FREE.
Stencil — Image creation
If you’re creating a website — or doing any marketing online — you’re going to need images. Not all of us are blessed to be able to use software like Illustrator and Photoshop to create images for the web. If that’s your situation, I invite you to check out Stencil. Stencil is a FREE online program that allows you to make your own images quickly and easily, without having to own — nor have a background in— graphic arts software. Even though I know how to use Illustrator and Photoshop, I use Stencil quite a bit, simply because it’s quicker and easier to use, especially for social media images. With just a few mouse clicks, you can create your own quality images, all by yourself!
Creative Market — Visual creative products
Not everyone has the funds to hire a graphic designer. For budget reasons, some businesses — especially small work-at-home businesses — need to create the graphics for their visual marketing and branding completely on their own.
To answer this need, there’s a great company that provides beautiful yet lower cost, done-for-you designs and gorgeous fonts — Creative Market! Creative Market is the world’s online marketplace for visual creative products. Their ready-to-use design assets have been created by independent artists from around the world. Fonts, patterns, illustrations, design templates — you name it, Creative Market supplies it, allowing you to do your own creative marketing design. (Oh, and every Monday, they offer FREE products to their email subscribers, so you’ll definitely want to sign up!)