As you might know (or you’ll soon find out), working for a startup is very different than working in a “typical” 9-5 office setting. As an employee of We-Care.com, I can tell you from experience that startups require a lot of work. When I first started, our team only had 7 employees–including myself! To this day, we can still fit the entire staff in an elevator, but it’s a bit of a tighter squeeze now that we have almost 15 employees. You can often find us working through lunch breaks, staying in the office until the wee hours of the morning, or dealing with “minor catastrophes”. Still, at the end of the day, we feel great about what we do. Each one of us can see how our work impacts the company as a whole, and more importantly, our world.
If you’re creating startup, or if you’re trying to hold your current one together, you’ll need all the help you can get. The following 5 services can be incredibly helpful for your business, depending on the type of work you do.
At We-Care, we often find ourselves doing everything at the last minute. Every time this happens, we say that we’ll “plan ahead” in the future, but instead, we find ourselves scrambling once again.
Your startup will most likely run into similar situations. You may discover a campaign you want to jump on, an invite to an event, an opening for a project, or other unpredictable opportunities you can’t afford to miss. You should always try to prepare yourself whenever possible, but it’s important to have a backup plan.
Regardless of what comes up, you’re probably going to need printed materials to hand out to clients or to display your work. If you suddenly need to create presentation binders, flyers, brochures, manuals, or even entire newsletters, you can get them delivered quickly with Mimeo. As long as you order everything by 10pm EST, they’ll have your package delivered by the next morning. Their service is speedy, but you don’t have to worry about them being careless–they have a 99.7% error-free rate. Plus, for the rest of this month, you can take 30% off your order with the code WECARE30.
If your best friend or spouse is an accountant, you might be in the clear…but most of us can’t afford to pay a full-salaried individual to track our finances until we get our businesses fully running (and succeeding). At the same time, it’s incredibly important to stay up-to-date with your balances, otherwise your entire business can go down.
For a more affordable solution, you can try LearnVest. Along with tracking your finances, Learnvest can help you use your budget to the fullest and tackle any challenges that come along the way. It’s free to try for 7 days, and after that, you can email them as much as you’d like with any questions you may have.
Since credit card processing services take a portion of each sale, certain small businesses only accept cash. In the long run, they can lose even more money by turning off their customers. Think about it: how many times have you taken a 10 minute drive to find an ATM (which charges a fee!) just to buy a slice of pizza or small item you don’t really need. At that point, unless you desperately want the product, you’re probably going to take your business elsewhere.
Intuit QuickBooks Payments (formerly known as GoPayment) is a trusted brand that offers Pay-As-You go or monthly rates. All you have to do is add a small reader onto your phone, and then you can swipe, scan, or key in credit cards anywhere. It also allows you to keep track of cash or check payments, so it’s like a mini cash register. You can even customize the receipts, which is a great way to make your business stand out and show its personality.
Coming up with a name for a company is difficult, and creating a logo for it isn’t much easier. You might be able to mockup a design of what you imagine the logo to look like, but after that, it’s hard to transition it into something that looks professional.
You can spend hours of your time drawing and scribbling out ideas, but in the end, you’ll probably need help. At 99designs, you can consult with a community of graphic designers whose sole purpose is to create a logo for your business. You can use ratings, comments, and private messages to help designers tweak the logo and fit your needs. The more details you provide, the easier it is for them to create exactly what you want.
Kickstarter is full of projects, big and small, that are brought to life through the direct support of people. The company launched 5 years ago, and since then, 7 million people have contributed $1 billion to independent ventures!
Some of the craziest projects have been funded through Kickstarter. For example, one guy got an emoji translation of Moby Dick to enter the Library of Congress last year. Another person asked for $8 to try a Chipotle burrito and he got over $1,000 in return. On an even larger scale, someone created a frying pan that looked like it was attached to a sword and called it Combat Kitchenware. This product had a fundraising goal of $7,000 but received over $45,000 by enthusiastic supporters.
Many of the services listed above will donate a portion of your sale to charity, for free, when you make a purchase through the links in this post (specifically, Mimeo, LearnVest, and 99designs). That’s how our startup works. To date, we’ve donated millions of dollars to charity. If you’re curious about our startup, you can go to We-Care.com/about.