This is post four of five in a series, Starting a Business on the Cheap.
So you’ve got your business off the ground, things are picking up and you’re wondering, where can I get some help without breaking the bank? Well, I’ve got some good news for you. First, you can obtain assistance from virtual personnel. Second, you can leverage free resources from some very generous experts and business oriented sites.
- Virtual Assistants – engage a virtual assistant to help you with everything from scheduling appointments and performing research to editing documents or monitoring your inbox. Typically, you’ll pay $12-$24/hr and can have work done as needed or have a dedicated assistant for a certain number of hours a week or month. To find one, search for “virtual assistant” or use sites such as odesk or Int’l Virtual Assistant Association. Be picky, speak to references and be quick to switch until you find someone who suits your needs.
- Virtual Projects - whether your outstanding projects are big or small, simple or complicated, it’s easy to find the right people to help. First, consider sites like elance or odesk, which allow you to post a project and receive bids. Second, consider a site like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, which lets you post projects and have lots of people work on it.
Here are some helpful sites, all free, with blog posts, tools or articles to help you sell, market and operate better:
- Seth Godin – blog posts, ebooks
- Jim Collins – assessment tools
- American Express Open Forum – blog posts
- Inc.com Start-Up – articles and posts
- NFIB Business Resources – articles and posts
Next week I’ll wrap-up the series with a post on back office support such as virtual accounting, backup services, etc.
Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, but I only recommend products or services that I have experience with and would recommend regardless.