3 Business tools I wish I had started using earlier

3 Business tools I wish I had started using earlier


If you think pirateship or etsy labels are good enough then you have never tried shipstation. It's automation and organization on a whole new level if you ship a lot of orders each day and sell repeats. I put if off initially because I don't like monthly subscriptions. Bleh. But the time it saves easily pays for itself. Over 10 years ago it only took 2 days into the trial to decide to keep it. It tripled the daily shipping ability and that wasn't even maxed out. Even though we aren't shipping as much each day, due to using FBA, I just can't go back to the old ways. They offer a free 30 day trial  click here.

Honestly, I don't think they sell their amazing features enough. You can set it up however your business needs so that it does everything for you. First you setup order filters, which include endless possibilites. Then you go to the automation rules to tell it what to do when that filter is triggered. For example I have each closet divider set to 4 oz but if they buy 2 then automate shipping to 6 oz. If order is over $100 then add insurance. If shipping is $8 change shipping from first class to priority flate rate envelope. If shipping is $26 then change order to express flat rate (so long as international order is false). You can even setup different criteria for each venue (store includes X + shipping paid=$Y). There are many more features I'll go into deeper in a future post.

When you're ready to print orders simply select all, print, and done! Mine are setup so it has a shipping label on one side and the packing slip on the other. This allows me to easily get the right label to the right order and double check each order for accuracy as it's being packed.

Adobe illustrator

Again, monthly payments. Oh so worth it. I haven't taken the time to make much of my own art, but still enjoy using this with bought clipart. Changing design colors is done in seconds and it keeps full resolution (unlike photo editing programs). If you make your own art then this it is the standard for design with new features added reguarly. 

Quickbooks Online

Look! Another subscription. This is why I used the desktop verison for years ( which they force you to buy new every 3 years anyway). The desktop version is not only overly complicated and packed with more features than any small business could need, but it's all MANUAL. After switching to the online version mid last year (I don't recommend mid year but it can be done) it was like setting tax keeping to auto pilot. And if you hate figuring out etsy and amazon monthly income and expenses, worry no more. Use an app and it's done for you. Have employees? They will auto file and pay monthly taxes. They even send W2s for you.

The one downside is you have to use a paid app to import amazon info. If you don't use FBA and don't sell much then it may be better to manually add the info once a month.

There is a learning curve to QB. Some etsy sellers have said it's too complex or can't do what they need (only supports 1 shop without paying extra for an app). If you want a second option then look into paperandspark. Made by a CPA they sell smart spreadsheets that imports certain data from different selling venues and lets you manually input other info. One great benefit is it's a one time fee. They also have video tutorials. 

Dec 3rd 2022

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