Financial guidance for financial independence

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Friday Top Five (Business Tools Edition)

Today I'm coming to you with another edition of the Friday Top Five, where I post a top 5 list, following a quick and easy set of rules:

  • Items listed must be financial in nature
  • I must utilize the resources myself
  • Each post will focus on a different topic/category

The intent is to highlight some items that add value to my world, in hopes that you discover one or two of these resources might also provide you some benefit.

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Today's top 5 will relate to small business, as I will highlight the tools I've integrated into my own business and now can't live without.  Since these are all related to operations of a business, I consider them financial in nature (to follow my first rule from above).  Here's hoping one or two of these might be of help to you as well.


By conducting the majority of my business online, I couldn't even begin to function without a proper website.  Squarespace has made the website creation process about as seamless as possible.  With their plug-and-play platform, you don't need to be a sophisticated computer programmer to have a good-looking site up and running in a day.  How detailed, functional and personalized you want to get is up to you.  Plus, their analytics tracking feature is second only to Google Analytics.


This just might be the best application ever created.  No need for a secretary anymore, or those annoying back-and-forth emails trying to nail down a meeting time.  Calendly syncs up with your work calendar and allows clients to book appointments at a time that works for you both.  I still smile every time a meeting pops up and I didn't have to do a darn thing to get it on the books!


If you're working with contracts, there are quite a few online options out there that are making the delivery and signing process seamless (DocuSign, HelloSign, etc.).  I tested a handful and landed with SignNow simply because I found their creation and customization process more intuitive than others.


For accounting and invoicing, I work with Wave.  Again, this is another platform that is bringing ease to tasks that would normally be complicated and convoluted.  And maybe the best part of Wave is that it's free!  There is some back-end work required in creating your customer lists and invoice/service offerings, but it's rather smooth sailing from that point forward.  For the accounting piece, you simply sync up your accounts and let Wave do the rest.  But take note, the accounting platform currently only operates on an accrual method (no cash-based option).


I am a God awful graphic designer.  There is no question about it.  However, Canva has the ability to make me look like I have a little bit of skill from time to time.  Whether creating a blog post title, Instagram graphic or a logo, Canva can be your sidekick in helping you market yourself in a more presentable light.

BonusDropbox - There are a number of other services I could include here (Fiverr, MailChimp, Moo, etc.) but I going with Dropbox simply because of its sheer utility.  Having easy access to all your files no matter where you go and what device you're on is truly a game changer.  Dropbox acts as a separate cloud-based drive to store your priceless files, while also making them shareable with colleagues and/or clients. 

Are there any helpful tools that you can't go without in the day-to-day operations of your business?  Please share!