During the month of March I participated in a challenge called Biztopia. It was a challenge to step out of our comfort zones to grow our mailing list and our connections. I finally told my ‘head’ to shutup and started connecting with people I know would benefit you. One such person is Loralee.
What grabbed my attention about her is that she runs her business on a tight budget. In fact for the first two years she only spent $30/month. For someone like me who tends to buy one shiny product (yarn, books, and patterns) after another, a budget is a wise course of action.
P.S. Read to the end as Loralee shares her new monthly biz training program. For the rest of March you can get her book “How I Run My Online Business for $30 a Month” for free.
**edited by Sara Duggan
Loralee, can you introduce yourself and talk about your background?
I went to college later than most after working some pretty crummy jobs and having a few failed entrepreneurial attempts (Including selling crocheted baby blankets in a crafters market). When I graduated I was able to quickly find a corporate job in an up and coming financial software company as their General Accountant.
I left that company just before 2000 and started teaching small business owners how to use accounting software and took on some bookkeeping clients. In 2009 I became quite ill and had to rethink what I was doing. I created a portable business that I could run from anywhere including my bed.
4 Tips for Running Your Crochet Business Blog for $30 a Month
- Utilize free webinars and telesummits – treat them the same way you would a paid program. Show up for each session, take notes and follow through on assignments.
- Purchase unlimited long distance phone package from Skype
- Replace current tools with free tools – fax, social media management, accounting software, digital file storage, program delivery, scheduling software and anything else that helps you run your business
- Invest in domain hosting – cost can be as low as $10/month
Can you share one tip to help new business owners organize their accounting documents?
Great question! And I’ve really had to put on my thinking cap to answer. It would have to be, “Automate as much as possible.” We’re all busy and if you’ve spent time to have many of your tasks automated, it will be so much easier to pop in and check where you’re at. Make adjustments and wise decisions about your business in the short & long term.
A few ways to begin automating include:
- using software that imports your banking and credit card data automatically, allocating items into logical accounts along the way.
- having a folder that’s easy to access (on your computer desktop works well) called Business Receipts and getting into the habit of saving every single digital receipt as a PDF or JPG into that folder, so you always know where to look later.
- setting up a rule with ifttt.com to send any email that has the word “receipt” in it, to an evernote folder
- adding a 30 minute recurring appointment into your calendar every week to quickly pop in and check on your your bookkeeping, so you always know where you stand.
How Were You Able to Make Money Each Month?
I’ve always naturally recommended products and programs to other people (including a lot of free programs) and I slowly began to earn money through some of the affiliate programs I had signed up for. This was a big turning point for me & really fit into my business model, because I love to teach & offer information freely. So in this way the companies who I connected people to were paying me, instead of my customer paying. It felt like a win, win.
What one piece of advice would you give those starting out?
Keep trying things until you find something that works for you. What’s that saying, “Fail often, Fail Fast”?? I’ve gone through stages where I’ve been terrified to try something in case it fails. Yet when I get out there and try, I always learn something. If it doesn’t work, it’s so much easier to shake it off and try something new again.
The more people you work with and the more chances you take, the faster you’ll find what really works for you. And I believe that’s what most of us want – To be making a healthy income doing work we love.