When starting your own business, the first step is having an idea that you believe in. But once you have that idea, there’s a lot of work involved in getting it off the ground. Often, entrepreneurs don’t think too much about the implementation details - the “plumbing” that’s required to turn your dreams into a viable business. What goes into naming a business? What does the management/ownership structure look like? What accounting software should you use? How will you pay people, and how will you get paid? If all that sounds overwhelming, here are five tools to get you started on your journey from idea to execution.
You may be more familiar with a market-leading product like QuickBooks, but for many businesses just starting out, a behemoth like QuickBooks is massive overkill and an unnecessary expense. Wave is a true full-featured double-entry accounting platform that lives in the cloud, and gives you all the features you would need from an accounting suite (direct bank data imports, invoicing, expense tracking, etc.) in a clean, easy-to-use package. Best of all, it’s completely free. The company is headquartered in Toronto, so by using this software, you’ll be supporting fellow Canadian entrepreneurs.
Looking for a payroll solution? Look no further than PaymentEvolution, a simple cloud-based payroll service designed by and for Canadians (and based right here in Mississauga). Calculate source deductions, create payslips and tax forms, and even set up direct deposit for your employees. PaymentEvolution lets you use most of its features for free for up to 5 employees, and offers competitive pricing beyond that, which means they grow with your business and succeed when you do.
Square is the easiest way to start accepting credit card payments. They provide you with a free credit card reader that works with your mobile phone, and you pay a small transaction fee only when you use it, with no monthly fees or other commitments. In addition to accepting credit cards in person, can even use Square to send invoices that your customers can pay online.
Keeping track of receipts can be hard. Why not let an app take care of it for you? Shoeboxed lets you simply take a photo of your receipt and it automagically enters the date, total, payment type, and category for sorting. It’s completely free for basic functionality, with different pricing tiers offering advanced features like integration with accounting software and human-verified data extraction/categorization.
This one isn’t a piece of software or service, but a podcast that chronicles the nitty-gritty steps involved in starting and running a business. The first several episodes of Startup cover a wide cross-section of topics ranging from choosing a name for your business, pitching investors, negotiating partnership terms, understanding your customers and your product-market fit, and so much more, all told through the voice of an actual startup founder going on this entrepreneurial journey and experiencing all of the issues above.