Photo by Contributor Ashley Bush

Here you'll find links to:

Small business start-up resources
Learning business online
Contracts and forms
Payment platforms
Bookkeeping services and software
Project management apps
File sharing and cloud storage
Miscellaneous recommended tools

 

When Starting A Business...

99u
A great, online design mag for creative entrepreneurs

AIGA — Highly recommended
A great resource for designers with an online Resources section featuring helpful links and articles

The Calligrapher's Business Handbook — Highly recommended
The book by Calligrafile founder Molly Suber Thorpe, addressing all the most frequently asked business questions by lettering artists

Elle & Co.
Online courses, workshops, and downloadable workbooks for creative freelancers

Freelancers Union — Highly recommended
Free to join; offers great support about contracts, taxes, health coverage, and more. They also offer some great, member-exclusive discounts to third-party services here.

Freelance Kit
Bundles of useful material to help freelancers in all industries start out with all the resources they need

The Graphic Artist's Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines — Highly recommended
An indispensable compendium of rates charged by American graphic designers for just about every design service imaginable, including hand lettering

U.S. Small Business Association — Highly recommended
The government agency providing resources for registering a company in the United States and creating a business plans


Getting Paid

FundBox
Reliable cash advances on client invoices for freelancers and small business owners

PayPal
Highly trusted portal for accepting and making online payments, either directly or integrated into a website

Square Register — Highly recommended
Point-of-sale service making it easy to accept payments on the go

Stripe — Highly recommended
Extremely user-friendly payment infrastructure for selling online


Contracts & Forms

17Hats — Highly recommended
Client and project management platform for creating quotes, contracts, invoices and more.

Cuda Sign
Electronic signature service ideal for sharing and signing contracts with client

Freelancer's Union Customizable Contracts — Highly recommended
Build a standardized client agreement with this step-by-step contract creator.

Google Forms
Free service for creating surveys and simple contracts with free, customizable templates

Hello Sign
Legally-binding e-signature service. Among the nice features, it seamlessly Integrates with gmail. Paid monthly or annually.

Shake
Legally-binding e-signature service. Offers templates of all sorts

Typeform
Create visually appealing, easy-to-use, web-based forms and surveys

Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
An affordable legal aid and education organization dedicated to New York artists and its arts and cultural organizations.


File Sharing & Storage

Dropbox
Cloud-based file sharing and storage service; free and paid plans available

Google Drive — Highly recommended
Cloud-based file sharing and storage service that integrates with all Google accounts; free and paid plans available'

HelloFax
An e-fax service with free and paid plans

Mozy
Great for setting up automatic back-ups to the cloud.

WeTransfer — Highly recommended
Free file sharing up to 2GB, or up to 20GB with a paid account, which includes analytics and a customizable home screen


Miscellany

AIGA Design Salary Survey
Every few years, AIGA surveys graphic designers worldwide to find out their standard pricing for various services. You can search the results.

Breather – Shared Workspace Finder
Find work or meeting spaces in a city near you.

F*ck You, Pay Me
A great lecture by Mike Monteiro, Design Director, and co-founder of Mule Design Studio, about standing up for yourself when it comes to being a freelancer getting paid

Free Conference
Free, international conference calling, with affordable add-on services

WiseStamp
Email signature plug-in to create custom, graphic signatures for Gmail, iPhone, Mail, and Outlook

Yes, Equal
A global association of women designers founded by our own contributor, Isabel Urbina Peña


Bookkeeping

17Hats — Highly recommended
Client and project management platform for creating quotes, contracts, invoices and more.

Bench
Affordable small business accounting services provided by a team of live experts. Payable monthly.

GoDaddy Bookkeeping
Online accounting software for small businesses that reconciles U.S. bank accounts, PayPal, Stripe, Etsy, and more

Number Nerd Bookkeeping
If it's a human bookkeeper you're looking for, Number Nerd can do it all for you, or train you to do it yourself.

Wave Accounting
Free online accounting software for small businesses

Zoho Books
User-friendly, cloud-based accounting software for small businesses; small monthly fee with a free trial option


Staying Organized

Asana
Project-tracking and collaboration tool

Evernote — Highly recommended
One of the most popular productivity tools, with a robust platform capable of integrating into a range of workflows

Google Calendar
A simple yet robust calendar on the cloud

Trello
Create visual lists and boards to stay organized, and even share them with others

Workflowy
The ultimate text-based to-do list software on the cloud


Business Courses

The Blueprint Model
An online course by Shanna Skidmore helping creative entrepreneurs build profitable, sustainable businesses

Creative at Heart Conference
A conference offering education for creative entrepreneurs; tours the U.S.

Elle & Co.
Online courses such as Freelance Academy and Adobe Illustrator Basics

Skillshare — Highly recommended
Among so many other subjects, Skillshare offers courses in business, social media, advertising, and web design.


 
 

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