This post will bore you to tears unless you’re into this sort of thing too, but I wanted to put together a roundup of my favorite business tools. They make my life easier, so I think they deserve a shout-out. None of these businesses are sponsoring Wit & Whistle or this post in any way.
I use Wave for all my accounting. I’ve tried a lot of the other accounting software out there, and Wave was the best fit for me. It’s like a free, simpler version of Quickbooks. In addition to tracking my expenses and income, I send invoices to my wholesale customers through Wave. The credit card processing fees are reasonable, and I’m able to customize my invoices. I previously used PayPal for invoicing, but PayPal limits the number of products that can be saved in their system (so I had to type a bunch in manually for each invoice—ugh). In addition, Wave’s customer support has been great when I need help.
ShipStation costs me $45 a month, which is painful because I’m stingy about paying monthly fees. However, for me it’s totally worth it. ShipStation imports all my orders from witandwhistle.com and from Etsy to one place. Then it allows me to quickly print all the shipping labels at once, and it even compiles a list of the products I need to fill the open orders. After I ship, ShipStation emails each customer their tracking number and a little message from me with my logo to reinforce my branding. It automatically marks the orders shipped on Etsy.com and on my website—such a time saver. By the way, I print shipping labels on my loveable DYMO LabelWriter 4XL.
If you aren’t shipping a lot of volume, Endicia is a great tool for printing individual shipping labels. Endicia charges me a $15.95 service fee every month. I thought I would cancel it once I started using ShipStation, but I love Endicia for the wholesale side of my business. I use it to quickly get shipping rates when I’m sending out invoices, and then to print labels when it’s time to send out an order. It’s nice to have all my wholesale shipping history consolidated in one place in the Endicia mailing log. Endicia also works well with the DYMO LabelWriter 4XL.
MailChimp has been amazing for sending out email newsletters. It’s free up to 2000 newsletter subscribers. Beyond that it’s crazy expensive. Well I think it’s crazy expensive, but like I said, I’m stingy. I go through my email subscriber list and delete subscribers who have never opened my emails to make sure I stay under 2000. (MailChimp ranks your subscribers based on how often they read your emails.) Since my subscriber list continues to grow (thanks guys!) I’m going to try TinyLetter for my next newsletter. It’s a simpler email tool by MailChimp that doesn’t have as many features but allows you to have up to 5000 subscribers for free. I’m a big fan of simple and free.
Issuu is a digital publishing platform for things like magazines and catalogs. You can publish for free by simply uploading a pdf. I use Issuu to publish my wholesale catalog. It’s easy to update, which I do all the time, since I’m always cranking out new products and discontinuing old ones. Lots of shops and boutiques scour Issuu for wholesale catalogs, so I’ve gotten a fair amount of wholesale inquiries and new customers simply from having my catalog posted there. Pretty awesome.
What are your favorite business tools?