OK firstly, what is a Micro-business.
Well I would define it as a business that’s normally run by one or two people who outsource pretty much everything else thorough a MOTHER LOAD of technology, plug-n-play consultants, services and virtual assistance along the way!
I see the future of work being a place of choice. Where people can become their own individual ‘brands’ and work any time, any place and any how they please.
Individuals will engage by focusing on specific value they create for the people and companies they interact with – rather than engage traditional employment contracts.
My business over the last six years has evolved from recruitment to HR Consulting to Coaching and interestingly my ‘office’ is my Apple laptop, and my eenie meenie Louis Vuitton ‘over the shoulder strap’ handbag that holds my iPhone and coin purse (for my lattes of course).
I have worked in shared office spaces, from home and from cafes. I have coached clients from the poolside in Bali (only once) but THAT was totally awesome!
So what are the tools I use day in and day out that support me and enable me to be mobile and work from anywhere at anytime in the world?
Here is a list of my ‘dream-team’ of SaaS applications that give me life and support day in and day out. They are on all my devices (home, phone and laptop) and give me confidence that when I need them they are always there for me!!
#Gmail – I was a Office365 gal til it just literally gave up the ghost one day and stopped working for now reason. Could not get onto ANYONE to support me to switched to Gmail. LOVE the calender and everything about it.
#Xero – Let’s do beautiful business shall we? This was my first look at clean, beautiful accounting software and so began my love affair with all things UX and SaaS applications.
#JobAdder – This is actually a job posting software and recruitment management system but I have used it as my CMS, my document management system AND a mini HRIS for some of my clients….they are Australian made and managed by @BrettIredale and have always been at the backbone of everything I do.
#GetResponse – Email marketing software and holds my database of my loyal tribe!
#Canva – I have taught myself and made myself look like I have an ace design team by using this online graphic design tool – also Australian made and managed by a WOMAN @MelaniePerkins… whoop whoop!
#Wordpress and #Squarespace – my two websites www.iheartmyjob.com.au and www.rachelsparkes.com.au are wordpress and Squarespace. WordPress is fabulous for online courses and I worked it mostly out myself but needed a developer for the techie bits. Squarespace I did 100% myself in about 8 hours.
#LinkedIn – its like my shadow. It’s with me 24×7. This is my platform for networking, learning, talking, and positioning. This is probably my most important tool.
#Facebook – of course this is where I spend down time and post photos of food I eat (just joking) I’ve used it for advertising and private groups for my career coaching courses.
#Vimeo and #YouTube – My speaking videos and promotional videos all go here and I use this tool to integrate with other social media.
#Dropbox – what would I do without drop box! All storage of all my files go here and I share files with teams throughout the world! Love love love the Dropbox.
#GoToMeeting, #Zoom, #Skype, #GoogleHangout – online video meeting tools. All easy to set up some free. GoToMeeting costs an annual subscription and is a bit fiddly for me. I love Google Hangout the most – its free and you see everyone.
#Camtasia and #ScreenCast – recording your screen or videos that are happening if you don’t have that functionality on your online video meeting tool. You can also edit in this tool. ScreenCast has a great setting where you can speed up or slow down the video – great for webinar replays that you want to be shorter!!!
#VideoMyJob – new Australian start-up by @DavidCarman @DavidMacciocca and @TimMundy and AMAZING for using video to post a ‘video job ad’ or even for using to put up Video Blogs under your own brand.
#Hootsuite – Social Media management. I use this to get all my social media posting done in an hour for the entire month. (except for my blogs I write and publish them direct to LinkedIn).
#Spotify – I love paying $12 a month for ALL music I can ever want. The only draw back is that I can’t have Taylor Swifts ‘Shake it Off’ but one day…..
#Basecamp and #Trello – Ihave used these tools for project management and team communication. Basecamp integrates with email and ‘gamifies’ progress on projects or marketing campaigns. Trello is good for keeping all information in place for my coaching clients.
#Headspace and #Smiling Mind – I use these two apps for daily and on the run meditation. I find that if I’m too ‘busy’ for meditation I’m not meditating enough. Mindfulness is the key to keeping on the right path and being more effective and productive in a day.
#Fiverr and #99Designs – I have used multiple providers on these sites from animated videos and book cover designs. So affordable and quick! I prefer Fiverr.
#Evernote – I’m a compulsive note taker but tend to put them in a drawer never to be read again. With Evernote I can take a picture of the notes (or photos) tag them and now they are searchable for future reference. I now do this when researching ideas for my book!
If you are thinking of starting your own business or being a contractor or consultant be encouraged and know that technology really has ‘got your back!’
What about you? What technology could you not live without? Perhaps you are thinking of starting a micro-business and have a question for me? I’m happy to help….
Love your work!
PS If you’re passionate about creating a career you will love and want to turn it into a reality then I have something amazing for you.
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Because life’s short so lets do something AWESOME!