From bookkeeping basics to rewarding referrals, these online tools can help you succeed.
1. Referral Candy drives word-of-mouth sales by giving your customers a coupon code to share with their friends online when they buy an item from you. If their friends buy from your store, the customer who referred them to you gets a reward, too. The app lets you customize the incentives you offer and tracks referral traffic so you’ll know how effective your offers are.
Plans start at $25/month
2. FotoFuze is a free app that makes cleaning up dingy backgrounds in product photos a cinch. While it doesn’t allow for elaborate effects, it lets you create a flawless white or black background with a few clicks. The result? Your pictures look more professional and your crafts are showcased more effectively. You can even upload your pictures directly to Etsy.
3. Craftybase software is specifically designed for crafters and other handmade businesses. The app keeps lists of the materials you use along with photos of them and calculates how much it costs you to make your goods. It also tracks expenses, recommends prices, creates a Schedule C for you and assesses your profit margins.
4. Google Keep lets you jot down ideas on the go and sync them across your devices. You can make a to-do list, create a reminder for yourself, include a photo and share your notes with others. No time to type? Record an audio note, and the app will transcribe it into text for you. Color coding, labels and strong visuals (the app looks like a collection of colorful sticky notes on your screen) make it easy to organize and retrieve your ideas.
5. Craftgawker is like Pinterest for crafters. Even the layout will look familiar to Pinterest users. This curated, crafting photo gallery features scads of eye-catching images submitted by makers around the world with hyperlinks to their crafting blogs (where you’ll find how-to’s for each project pictured). The app is a treasure trove of inspiration for makers who want to try their hand at new DIY projects.
6. Shopseen comes in handy for makers who sell in multiple online stores by offering a centralized dashboard that lets you upload product listings to Etsy, Shopify and other marketplaces simultaneously—and to your social media accounts. Not only does the app sync your listings, it helps you manage inventory by keeping track of sales across your platforms so you don’t accidentally oversell. It also lets you email your customers, calculates shipping rates and prints shipping labels for USPS, UPS and FedEx.
From $29/month for two stores to $499/month for unlimited stores
7. Scanner Pro turns your iPhone or iPad into a portable scanner, making it easy to digitize receipts, checks, invoices and multipage documents quickly and turn them into PDFs that you can edit, email or print. To scan, you hover your device over the paper and click. The app corrects for distortion and low lighting and lets you create labeled folders, so you can date and organize your scanned documents.
8. Around.io centralizes your social media marketing, saving you time and trouble. You can schedule your social media posts across platforms for the day or week, save up to 10 hashtags so you can add them to a tweet with one click, link your posts to your shop, make and share collages and more. The site also curates content tailored to your fanbase, so you can share links in your posts that will (hopefully) keep people engaged.
9. Shipstation simplifies shipping with a mobile app that lets you manage orders, ship at discounted rates, notify customers when their orders mail and track packages through major carriers from UPS to DHL using your smartphone or tablet. You can also print postage and brand your labels with your logo, website and other information. The app integrates with major e-commerce shopping carts like eBay and PayPal, so you can download your orders automatically and send tracking details to the selling platform.
$9/month for up to 50 shipments to $145/month for unlimited shipments
10. Cora keeps track of all your crafting supplies so you’ll have a list on hand next time you hit the craft store. Use your smartphone to snap photos of the fabrics you have on hand, so matching thread, yarn, accessories and other textiles will be easy when you shop. You can also make wish lists and organize your inventory.
Price: $6.99/unlimited fabric upgrade