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My Favorite Small Business Tools - for herbalists and other crafters

Updated: 3 days ago

As a small business owner, I have spent hours upon hours trying to find the most efficient, reasonably priced, and simple ways to run my herbal business. I have compiled my very favorite tools into an easy to browse list below. If you are just starting out and looking for some solutions, or a seasoned business owner looking for some new ways to do things, I hope this list can help you!




Accounting/Inventory Software


CraftyBase Software

I searched far and wide trying to determine the best software for my unique business situation. I looked into Quickbooks and after a free trial realized that it was nowhere near right for me. I needed something to track inventory and expenses, create invoices, save my customers and vendors, create revenue reports, connect to paypal, track my wholesale customers, and track lot numbers. I honestly didn’t think that anything existed that would cover all those bases, and then I found Craftybase. This allows me to input every single tea recipe (and I have SO MANY!) and every single lot number of every single herb I purchase, and it accurately tracks my inventory and tells me which herbs went where, and when I need to purchase more herbs.

It does take a lot of time to input this information into your account when you are first getting set up, but once you do the leg work, it’s a well oiled machine. I can't tell you how much I love this, and I am going to love it more come tax time! This would be great for any small business with a lot of moving parts. And, its really affordable.




Shipping Label Printer


Rollo Printer My whole business depends on efficient shipping and it has been the cause of my biggest headaches. One of the things I wanted to improve immediately was the packing and label printing process. Packing has been covered really well thanks to the USPS who provides all my shipping boxes for free, and delivers them right to my door, and picks up all of my packages for shipment for free on the day of my choosing. But, the shipping label took a little longer to square away.

I, again, spent hours looking at every shipping label printer on Amazon, Office Depot, and Best Buy and just couldn’t find anything that fit all my categories. I wanted something reasonably priced, something that didn’t use ink that I would need to change, something super compact so it wouldn’t take up much space, something that didn’t have crazy expensive labels, and something not extremely complicated. Rollo was mentioned in a small business Facebook group I am a part of and after a few minutes of research, it sounded perfect. I ordered it and received it just a few days later. And it did not disappoint! I had it set up in less than ten minutes, and had printing labels down to an art another ten minutes after that. The fact that it doesn’t use ink is a huge plus, and if you want cheaper labels, you can purchase some knock off’s on Amazon. You can also purchase the printer from Amazon as well, but I opted to purchase directly from the company.

One thing to think about when purchasing this printer - it is NOT wireless. So, if you have a newer MacBook like I do, you will need a USB adapter so that you can hook this printer up when you need to print. This does create a tiny hassle as opposed to wireless, but in my option, it is completely worth it.


Logo


I used Fiverr to create my logo and I really couldn't be happier. They have thousands of graphic designers in literally every price range. If you remember my first Raven's Moon Apothecary Logo, it was only $60 and I loved it. My current logo was also made with a graphic designer from Fiverr and it was around $100. The process is super simple!


Client Management Software


Practice Better

One of my big goals going into 2021 was to digitalize my intake forms and find a way to streamline my client intake process as well as find an easy way to track my client notes and formulations. So, I tried out a couple of client management software options, and after just a week with Practice Better, I am hooked. Not only does it allow me to create custom intake and liability forms, it also creates a client portal where my clients can view their custom protocols, schedule appointments, and communicate with me (and it is HIPAA compliant!). No more PDF's being sent via email, and asking clients to print, fill out, and scan back from to me. No more creating client protocols from scratch from Word, converting to PDF, and emailing them. What sold me was the customizable protocol templates. I often recommend similar things to clients based on common health concerns/goals, and I was able to save all of my recommendations that I commonly send out, and I can easily attach them to each client protocol instead of typing them all up each time I see a new client. I love LOVE it. It's going to save me so much time!


Bottle Company


Packaging Options Direct

If you are looking for any type of bottle for your products, I highly recommend Packaging Options Direct. The best part about them, besides the extremely competitive pricing, is that they offer free shipping, which I wasn’t able to find with any other bottling company. They also have fantastic customer service. I did have a few items break in transit with one of my orders and they sent a free replacement just days later.



Bags/Packaging


Clear Bags

When I was first starting out, I tried out SO MANY different types of bags, but none of them were quite right. I wanted windows so that my product could be seen, I wanted them to be a certain size, and I wanted them to be COMPOSTABLE! Which was very hard to find. I then saw another herbalist share about this bag, and I was sold. They are a bit more expensive than purchasing bags on Amazon, but not by much, and you’ll probably feel better not supporting Amazon anyway, right? They occasionally offer 10% off their products too, and the give great bulk purchase discounts. (Sign up for their newsletter to hear when they are offering a sale).