Past generations might have been able to rely on the government and lifelong employers for job security and reasonable pension plans, but many millennials recognize that the way the world economy currently works doesn't make that a viable option--let alone an attractive one.
Instead, millennials are striking out on their own, taking risks and starting new businesses to pursue their own dreams instead of working for someone else's. And the barriers to entry for new entrepreneurs are lower than ever.
If you're thinking about starting a business in 2017, the following list of tools will help you do it right while keeping your costs down.
Having a presence on the Web is practically required these days--with the power of the Internet to help audiences find enterprising companies and individuals to give them what they want, you'd be crazy not to have an online presence for your business. These tools will help you get the word out and find your ideal customers, without putting too much stress on your bank account.
Wordpress - WordPress is chock full of powerful free tools for creating and customizing your website, along with a robust selection of optional paid features. You can hire someone to set it up just how you want it, or handle the design yourself--just make sure to bone up on the 2017 web design trends to make your site modern and effective.
SumoMe - SumoMe offers tons of tools for optimizing your website, from traffic analysis and split testing to list-building and super easy social media sharing.
Buffer - There's no better way to generate buzz for your business than by connecting with your audience through social media. Buffer makes it easy to publish and optimize content across all your social networks with scheduled posting and social analytics.
Starting a business is nearly as much about building a meaningful, engaging brand as it is about offering a great product or service. Fortunately, there's a plethora of great tools available to help you do just that.
Canva - With free templates and beautiful, high-resolution stock photos as well as the ability to create custom templates and upload your own pictures, Canva is a one-stop shop for DIY graphics--from page headers to pics optimized for social media to infographics.
Creato Logo Design - If you have the budget for it, hiring a professional designer to create a logo for your business can be a huge boost to your brand. Otherwise, it's easy to find tools for doing it yourself in the meantime. Start by checking out the 2017 logo design trends to make sure you create a memorable design.
Google Analytics - An important part of your branding efforts is using data to optimize. Google Analytics offers incredible insights into your website's performance, so you can see what's working and what's not, find out more about your audience, and track growth over time.
At the end of the day, no matter what else your business might be about, it's important to keep an eye on the money situation. Whether it's budgeting, invoicing, or paying employees, there are great tools online to help take the stress out of handling your finances.
QuickBooks Online - Though not free, QuickBooks has affordable options to help you run your business, with tracking for income, expenses, invoicing, payments, and more. Plus, it makes doing your taxes easier, whether you do them yourself or work with an accountant.
Mint - Mint automatically collects all your financial info in one spot so that you can quickly see what's in all your accounts. It's also helpful for budgeting and setting financial goals, with a visually simple, streamlined interface to make everything as smooth as possible.
Gusto - If you plan to have employees, Gusto can make it much easier to handle payroll, onboarding, reporting, and tax filings. With its affordable pricing, it's a powerful choice for the new small business owner with at least one employee on the payroll.
This is just a small selection of the tools available to you when starting a business as a millennial in 2017. With these suggestions as a jumping-off point, you'll be in good position to start off strong.