Technology, when utilized correctly can streamline your business, make your marketing more effective, create more efficient processes, and just make your life easier. And it does that every single day really.
However, it can also create some major headaches, overwhelm and even stop us from moving forward because we get paralyzed with options and unknowns. And should we talk about the budget? Monthly tech subscriptions can be death by a thousand small fees.
It’s hard to get unbiased, un”affiliated” advice on where to start so that’s why I am so excited to have this conversation today with Michelle Kaye today and she is going to walk us through the tech we need and don’t need, at each stage of our business.
Michelle LOVES tech – imagine that! And she’s helping us figure out what platforms and programs we need, what free or low cost options we can sub if we need to and has tons of tips and tricks to get us using tech to help us grow our business and actually make our lives easier.
Are you ready to make tech your new BFF?
Link to handout: https://michellektraining.co.uk/tech-checklist/
Make this the year that changes EVERYTHING.
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Kristy: Michelle Kay has been in front of computers for 25 years.
And most of that time as a computer trainer and tech expert, she is here with us on the podcast
today to help us untangle our tech nightmares and help us figure out what tech we need in our
business, how to use it and how to get more efficient, because that's what it's there for.
Hi Michelle. Thanks for being with us today.
Michelle: It's lovely to be here and yeah, you're absolutely right. Tech is supposed to make life easier. But I think many people think the exact opposite, you spend hours and hours behind it, behind a computer, a screen or whatever, and it just gives you nightmares.
So hopefully today I'm gonna help dispel some myths and actually, you know, Maybe help some people out,
Kristy: basically. Yeah. You know, so many of us get stuck in the tech part or we don't even get started because we're overwhelmed by the tech that we think is gonna be complicated. Yeah. So I love that we're talking about this [00:02:00] today and we're gonna take some of the, the scaries out of the tools for our businesses.
So I saw in your, in your intro, you've been. On computers for 25 years. So I'm interested what your first computer was like, because mine was a Commodor 64 that they bought, we bought it on a clearance sale. It was a final sale. And when we finally tried to use it, it didn't work. So I don't know if that was actually my first computer, cuz I never got to use it, but I guess that would've been more than 25 years ago.
Michelle: myself now, but. Fortunately, I didn't actually, I know about the Commodos I had friends in university who had them, but I didn't. So my first real computer that was. And I used, it was actually an Amstrad PCW 9 502. And it's amazing that I can remember those details. I love that you can remember that it was a word processor. So it was, if I wanted AIC, I actually had to take the Daisy will print the Daisy will out of the printer and put the AIC one in.
So funny enough I didn't print in Anta very often. And when you switched it off, The [00:03:00] memory cleared. So it, it just, it was all like, , it was, it was old kids. They never
Kristy: understand the struggles. Right.
Michelle: I know I know. Oh, playing the Oregon trail.
Kristy: That was what we did at school. We learned computers. We
Michelle: played the, I mean, the, the, the thing that was hilarious is I first, I mean, your phone is X times.
I mean, we're not talking. Two or three times we're talking like 10, 50 times more powerful than the computer that sent people to the moon.
Kristy: how did you get into computer training?
And then how did you transition to, to what you're doing now, which is still kind of computer training, but yeah,
Michelle: it was, it was one of those really weird things. , apparently in sort of trainers, I'm a bit unique cuz. It's the only career I actually wanted. Every other training you ever talked to, they always had a major a career and then they became a trainer.
I was good at computers because of I did the business studies and that was the first computer.
I actually appeared to be quite good at them. I got them and the teacher liked me, so [00:04:00] I was able to use 'em at lunchtime and everything. So that was cool. And I just continued my ed, my formal education with computers. And then when I went to college, I was the first person who needed to use particular piece of software.
Lecturer or the tutor basically said, see that folder over there and pointed, yeah. That's your instructions? So being the first person, basically I had to learn it and then everybody else asked me questions. Mm-hmm and it was, I was always gonna be sort of a teacher, but it was always gonna be computers and somewhere at college, I heard finally this phrase trainer, I didn't.
Teach little kids. , I wanted to teach at least people who I could have conversations with. And then this phrase trainer came up and it was for adults and, and it just kind of clicked computers, trainer it, trainer mm-hmm . That that's the career choice and that's what I've, I've done for 25 odd years.
I've been a, usually a [00:05:00] corporate trainer, so I've always been in the, the corporate industry, but, , I thought it's really nice training corporates. It's a job.
But I'm only training this group of people, with everything that's happening and everything that had happened. I really want to be able to share my knowledge. You know, it it's quite a bank of information at this time. So I made the somewhat scary decision to actually go more online. Not that I haven't been online, obviously, but to actually see if I could help more people.
And that's where I am today. That's
Kristy: amazing. Well, lucky for us. So we are gonna talk about, we're gonna talk about tech, but tech is a pretty broad topic these days, just about everything has some elements of tech to it now. So, so when we're talking tech for our conversation today, we're talking about which types of programs.
Michelle: Well, first off tech, as you said, tech is huge, so it can be anything from the hardware to the software and all the [00:06:00] different types of things, but obviously, for your particular audience, it's about creating a business creating, shall I say an empire or starting your empire let's use. Yes, you can.
Right? Freezing. And it's kind of boils down to, well, what do you actually need? I mean, you'll see that there are so many people who say you need this, this, this, and this. And obviously they've all got like affiliate links. So it's like, well, you need this program because you click on my affiliate link and I will earn a little bit of money and that's great.
If, you know, if you don't, then that's a different topic. So I did have a good think and I boiled it down to 7 or eight, things. So you have got your idea. Hopefully you've listened to all the other podcasts, here. And so you've got a pretty good plan of what you want to do, but then you've gotta think about, well, how are you gonna make that happen?
So office, suite and [00:07:00] storage, you're gonna be creating things, aren't you, whether that is stuff, , that you'll send out, , maybe like a, a lead magnet idea, , of, of documents. , maybe you've got forms that you want people to do. , maybe you have got, , documents and things. It's part of your pay program.
You've gotta create something and you've gotta put it somewhere. So that's your office suite. So big wide thing and storage.
Kristy: Yeah. And right from the beginning, I, this is every time I do something. I think why didn't I do this right from the beginning. Is getting your stuff off of your own computer and onto a cloud based something, some kind of storage where it can be organized and where it can be shared, because at some point it's gonna be more than just you.
And this happens to be every time I start a business about a year in, I go, why did I do this all on my own computer?
Michelle: This is stupid. So that's other a great one. Yeah. The other thing to think about is what happens if your computer goes flat? Yes. You need a copy. I try not to
Kristy: think [00:08:00] about that.
Michelle: I found out the hard way about emails, but that's a completely different story., talking lot of emails. You need to be able to send emails. You are gonna have, , hopefully your empire is gonna be made up of lots and lots of customers. , obviously they all want to give you money. , how do you communicate with them?
As a, a general role email email is a big thing. , you will hear an awful lot of people talking about email service providers. If you wanna sound a little techie it's P no, it doesn't necessarily mean extra sensory perception.
So how are you going to communicate with people? Obviously, you've got a lot of different things in there. , but email is probably one of the big ones when people say, well, how can I find out more information about you? You've gotta have someplace to send them so that most people think websites, it's not the only option.
But some place to send people to go and find out more about you communications while we've mentioned email. Well, how else are you? For example,,[00:09:00] a coach or somebody providing services? What, how are you gonna communicate people with people? You know, do you use something like zoom or one of the other, , options?
You're gonna take notes now, whether this is just to get the ideas out of your head or whether it's notes on your clients, you've gotta have somewhere to put that, , products. Well, if you're creating products, how are you gonna create them? Now? Maybe that's part of the office suite. Maybe it is. And I don't, you know, I don't know all the different products that you could create, but again, how are we gonna do this?
And then lastly, but also one of the really important bits is how are they gonna pay you? How do you take payment? So that for me, I think was the whole was the key things. You've got other things around it, but that's what I came up with as, , the main list. Now, one key important thing that I'd like your listeners to, to really grasp hold of is you don't have to have everything immediately.
This [00:10:00] is all about what does your business, your specific business need? And more importantly, what can your specific business afford? You don't have to have the most expensive that does everything today. This is always something for tomorrow. You need the basics. And let's be honest with all the options available.
There's an awful lot of people and companies that offer you trials or free options, try things out, find out what's can work for you. So that's a really big thing is you don't need the most expensive, the biggest, the best, what everybody is trying to tell you. Or sell you now, but have ideas about, okay, well, when I earn this or when I get to this level upgrade, take it from there.
Kristy: that's one of the great things too about so many of these online platforms is that they do have generally free or really inexpensive starter level. Yeah, I do. So let's talk through these just one by one. And if you [00:11:00] can kind of give us your. Your best bits of advice are tips or just thoughts on each of these that you think we should have in mind as we move forward.
Michelle: Sure. So we'll start at the beginning office. Okay. Remember I'm corporate or I have been corporate, so I am amazing at Microsoft. I will put this out there now. No, they don't pay me to say that, but it's true. , now everybody thinks when it comes to Microsoft Microsoft 365. Everybody thinks it's really expensive. No. So first off you can get a free version. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles, but you can get it free. You create a free Microsoft account and they will give you some storage space with that, and they will give you the basic software.
So that equals word, Excel, PowerPoint, outlook for your email. So that's outlook. And, , one note, which is my personal favorite program of the suite. You get storage space, , and, and that is free. Obviously you don't get quite [00:12:00] as much. You can pay extra for more storage if you want. And of course, if you then realize that you are using it a lot and you want more facilities, you can choose to go the purchase route.
So you can go through, you know, office, you can buy, for example, M 365, and don't forget if you're using. For your personal use. If there is just one of you, you don't have to go through a Microsoft business license. You can just go through Microsoft personal.
And of course the one that everybody is talking about is Google because Google is free. Yes. There is a paid version of Google, when you get to your empire level, you might wanna go. Paid version and at the end of the day, for me personally, it's what are you most comfortable with?
, I love, as I said, I love Microsoft and I am very, very comfortable with it. Now I am learning Google because I'm getting questions on it. It's completely personal preference. If you're [00:13:00] more used to, , Microsoft go for their free version.
If you are not really all, you want to try, , or change and have a go, let's be honest. I've got both. It's it? It's what do you need? You might find that, ,Google, because it's got the forms built in. Yeah. Actually might be better for you or you can mix or match. You can use Microsoft word. And you can use Google forms, you know, they will work together.
And if you do have both, you've also got twice the storage space.
Kristy: I use outlook for my emails. I love outlook for my emails, but I use Google, the Google drive I love the Google forms and I only recently started using them. But just to be able to send it a survey and have that information dumped right into your drive and.
There's so many really cool things you can do on there for free as far as the forms and the sheets go.
Michelle: , either of those will always give you storage. both of them will let you pay to get more storage
and then you've got other things which are only storage. So you've got things like Dropbox if you're, if you like apple, they [00:14:00] have iCloud. Realistically, it's gonna be Microsoft or Google in terms of your office, suite and your main storage. Okay, so that's option number one, moving on email. Absolutely. You've got so many different email providers choose whichever one you want. However, I learned this a little bit, the hard way I've been using my personal email account, ,for years,
but I was looking around and I was trying to sign up for a few bits and they weren't letting me use my email account because it wasn't a business version. So it wasn't, you know, Michelle K training or anything. And they said, well, you basically, you are not a, you're not a business.
So you can't join us depending on what you're doing. This could be an issue,
Kristy: so was it the domain that was attached to your personal email? That it was just like a Gmail or a whatever, so that they were flagging in it as a personal email. Okay. I know sometimes I'll run into, if you're trying to use an email, that's like a, an info corporated or something like that.[00:15:00]
Certain places won't let me use that because they want your, your actual email, not., general email box. Yeah. Yeah. So, and when we're talking about email here, as far as the email service providers, we're not, really talking about use, like your outlook or your Gmail. When we're talking about these, we're talking about, platforms where you can run your email marketing from which you do not wanna do from your personal email account.
Is that what
Michelle: drive you crazy? Yeah, so it will. So at the very least you want an email address that is business. Now, even if that's like. Michelle Kay at Gmail, But what you do need, is an email list you know, people are gonna put their hands on and say, I want your information.
What are you gonna do? Where are you gonna store them? A lot of people, will be talking about this email platform, email service provider. This is a company where you basically can store all the email addresses. So that's your email and your name.
You can also add things like tags, so you can say, oh, they're interested in this. Or they're interested in [00:16:00] that. They want my blog, they want my podcast. So they help you do that.
One of the things that is for me, so fundamentally important is that you can schedule your emails. You don't have to stand there or sit there and do that every time. Now you will want an ESP, however, you may not need it. Now, one of the things that I. Sorry. I didn't start doing years ago. We're starting to build my email list.
If yeah. If you haven't started yesterday the best day to start, it is gonna be today. As so many people have said, what do you do with your email list? Well, if you're not ready for an E P yet, use your spreadsheet. You've chosen your office suite. Both of them have a spreadsheet.
Just put it in there. You want. Separated out. So it's first name and surname and you want their email account, if you've got, different options. So for example, maybe you've got different lead magnets, so different interests. [00:17:00] You want to just write down, well, what is it that they, they picked?
Where did you find them? All of this. When you get to that point of an ESP, you can import it in. So you don't have to manually type it, thankfully. Cause of course you you're gonna be wildly popular and you're gonna have hundreds of names. But you can do that. Now. One of the really cool things is that your ESP.
So many of them, not all of them, but so many of them do offer a free trial. So your first 500 or a thousand emails are free. So as you're starting, you can start to build that up. find the one that you're comfortable with, cuz they're all slightly different. So going forward, what you want is you want to be able to automate things because you know, you are gonna be so busy dealing with your empire. You don't want to have to sit there and manually write and send an email when you need it.
So you want automation, which is I wanna set it up and preschedule. And at some point you're gonna want the automation where when somebody, for [00:18:00] example, actually says, right, I'd like to download your leave magnet, which is the thing that most people use, but actually it starts, what's gonna welcome sequence.
So you, you get here's the link to download it and then automatically it starts sending emails out. . Yeah. And
Kristy: I think the other thing too, that there's such a big benefit when you're using the email service providers, especially once you start really actively, trying to grow your marketing and, reach your people is, is the analytics that you just can't get any other way.
And, and you wanna make sure when I'm looking at the different platforms is do they have, cause some not all of them do have great analytics, but you can see, you know, who opened it, who clicked it. What did they click? And you can split tests. the most important thing on your email is your subject line, because if that doesn't get them to open it.
Nothing else in your email matters, cuz they're not gonna read it, right? Yeah. So you can do your split testing and, and you can send out one email and you can test both subject lines if you've got an email service provider. So I think once you're actively trying to really build your company, and build your marketing, there's so [00:19:00] much information you can get from those analytics.
That will help you grow faster.
Michelle: Absolutely. And you need to check, most of that sort of stuff is part of the paid account. So again, compare, the options. What is it gonna give you for? What price?, so you know, a lot of things to think about, remember, you don't have to buy everything today.
You don't even have to do it tomorrow, but at some point you. Okay. Websites and alternatives. So they have, you've got this person pounding on your virtual door.
I want information. Where can I go to find more? Most of the time we're talking about a website. Now, remember this doesn't have to be the most singy dancing website on the planet. It doesn't have to be huge. It can literally be one page. That's enough. You've gotta design it and build it, and then you've gotta keep putting content into it.
But you've got a number of other alternatives, which are like one page websites, lead pages, all, you know, [00:20:00] a whole bunch of different options where you just need basically a page that you can send people to and collect their email address. That's what you want. Google has a facility called Google sites.
It is part of your, your free Google account. And it will give you that first thing. and of course it's Google and it'll come in. But if you're ready to move that extra step up, then you can go for a website. There are so many to choose from. I have gone WordPress. I remember there are two word prices. There's wordpress.com and there's wordpress.org. wordpress.com is gonna be for example, your free, blog. So it's not, you can do it as a web, a website webpress.org is the one that's gonna be.
You need to create it, design it and play around or pay somebody else to play around with all the tag. So just to be a bit clearer, cuz WordPress is a little bit confusing with the two sides.
Kristy: And there's so many great platforms too, now that are user friendly. You do [00:21:00] not have to be a tech expert to
to build on so many of these platforms. I've built my own sites on Shopify. I built my own sites on GoDaddy. they're simple, there's usually no cost. I mean, cuz you're building it yourself. It's just the monthly fee. Yes. For you for hosting it. But it's a really inexpensive way to, it's also a great way, especially for your first site to figure out what you want.
Because if you dive right in to your first site with a designer, it's. Honestly, it's gonna take you a lot longer than you thought it was because you don't really know what you want until you start, you really dive into it. You start having the conversations with the designer and it's like, oh, I don't know.
I haven't thought about that. So if you do the first version yourself, I think it's a great exercise in really understanding what you want and what you need as well.
Michelle: I have a great story about that. Back in the late nineties, one of my first training roles, I trained HTML. So that's the language that all websites are built on.
And I trained, it was Microsoft front page. And when last year I decided, okay, let, let's go for it. I created what I knew and it's like, oh my [00:22:00] God, it's so nineties . It, it, it was, it was just so, so nineties, it, it didn't look anything like it does today. I then. Actually took the plunge. I found a coach who would've helped me actually design it properly.
I designed it based on some templates and I realized, oh my God, this is not me. It was a technology template, but it wasn't me. I finally finally got my head around, what to do, cuz as you said, the foundations are so important. and actually, if you go to my website, you'll see what it currently looks like, which fortunately looks nothing like it did.
Kristy: it's a process, right? It's a very big
Michelle: process. Absolutely. So I'm on, I'm on version number three and I am much, much, much happier. How many muchs can I put in so much happier about what I did? So it is, As, as people say, you know, done is better than perfect. You just need to do it and you're going to change
You're gonna our sites. Absolutely. I change them every few weeks. I think of something I wanna add something I wanna take away something I wanna change. So that's the, that's the other benefit to [00:23:00] having done it yourself is that you have full. Capabilities. You can change any time you want to, you can update it cuz you did it.
So yeah there's no shame in building it yourself. You do not need, if you, Hey, if you need a big site, if you have some strange functionality that you need on your site, that isn't available in templates, you know, every business is different. But don't feel like you have to, you know, get a big designed multipage site if that's, if that's not your
Michelle: business and that's not your budget.
Yeah, absolutely. and I will say for those people who are, you know, a few steps ahead, I would highly recommend do have, make sure you've, you've played around with your site, even if it ends up that you're gonna get somebody else to do it. You want to have played around with it because then you have a basic understanding.
If you say, you know, it needs to be X, Y, Z, all singing and all dancing, and you have no idea how they did it. If you don't continue with them, how do you make changes? So just again, sort of bear that in mind. So let's move on communications. There is so many. So we're gonna take email [00:24:00] out of that list because that's a whole big thing by itself.
And we've already mentioned a few bits, but are you, for example, a coach, how are you gonna actually coach them? If you're in, a specific area, Is it face to face? Probably not quite so much for most of us these days. . So how do you do that? We've got things like zoom.
Now. I personally do like zoom. It has a free version, however, don't forget. It's got limitations. Limitations. Don't have to be bad if you want to, to be able to have conversations with people which is short and sweet groups of people will don't forget. The free version is a limit to 40 minutes.
It's only gonna be 40 minutes and it lets you record it, you know? Then you can actually go to a paid version if you need that. And then you've got other things. So you do have Google how's its own, options as well. you need to have a play. What's gonna suit you. What's gonna suit how you are gonna work.
Do you want, other things like, oh, [00:25:00] so we've got things like slack, so you've got instant messaging. You can invite people in. Are you gonna have groups that people go to. Do you want to use things like Facebook messenger or WhatsApp? A lot of the stuff is free. So slack is free to a, a certain point.
Slack's limitation is how many messages go backwards and forwards. I think it's about 10,000. Now, when it's you and maybe a few other people, that's gonna take a little while to get to, unless you are really busy and love chatting with each other. Again, try different ones out and see what's gonna work for you. But you've, you've got all of those. You can always change things.
But remember when you're starting to send links out, you wanna change them as little as possible . Now this is where my favorite product comes in because you have, I'm sure millions of ideas in your head, millions and millions and maybe your memory is amazing.
And I know mine is amazing. Programs and for computer software for TV programs and some music as well in a few [00:26:00] books, but everything else, which is an awful lot, if I don't write it down, I'm gonna lose it again. You have part of Microsoft office gives you one note. My personal favorite,
Kristy: I'm gonna admit now I've never used. So I'm interested in how I should be using it because I have a terrible
Michelle: memory. I love, it really works for me. I can, I'm not gonna go into any depth, if you want depth on that, we can have another podcast, cuz I can literally speak about that for hours hours.
You do have Google keep wish is obviously Google's version, which is very, post-it note orientated. So you create lots of post-it notes and it has some advantages, but I want a, notebook. I want a digital notebook. And that's one note for me now don't forget you are using a windows, computer, or a Mac.
Funny enough. They've both got notes built in. They're not amazing, but they've got it. So you don't have to pay for it. If you have got a phone, there's probably a notes facility there. The only thing I would say [00:27:00] about those types of notes is. You put your ideas and they're great for in the moment, you know, you're out walking, you're out shopping idea pops and you think, write it down.
The phone is amazing to do that. And the note section in there, but how do you pull that out? What are you gonna do? Things like, Google keep and Microsoft one note, both have a search facility, which is the best thing in the world because you think didn't, I write something about that and you wanna go search for it.
And that that's really where it is. So you'd want something that's searchable. So yeah, by all means, think about all of that. You've then got the other side of the notes, which is, you know, for your clients, you're gonna have notes, where are you gonna store those? How are you gonna store those, all of those types of ideas.
Okay, perfect. Notes I think is actually quite a, you might not think about it, but it it's actually quite a big thing.
Kristy: I use the one on my phone all the time. For sure. I use it for like my shopping lists and, and then sometimes I'll write something in like email the note to myself so that I don't [00:28:00] forget, cuz otherwise I'll just forget that I put it on my phone, but if it's in my inbox, then I'll then I'll see it.
But I have never tried the Microsoft. So I'm going to look at it now cuz I probably need that.
Michelle: It's my favorite. Don't forget it is part of the, the free version. So, personally I absolutely adore the desktop version, but to get that you do have to have the paid account, but there is, the free version, does include, the online version of it.
So doesn't have to cost
Then moving onwards products. So, you know, you can have a product.
How are you gonna create that? What is it? Is it a physical thing? How are you gonna do that?, I am not great on the physical side. I'm great at the digital side, because that's where my business is. So again, it's well, what software do you need to create that? Do you need something specific? Yes. Your office suite can create things to a degree and it may be that that's all you need, but do think about for your specific staff, what is it that you need to do?
So like, ,
Kristy: if it's a [00:29:00] digital product, maybe it's canvas that you need, or maybe it's loom to
Michelle: do screen recordings.
Kristy: Or you're right. Maybe you need some kind of, drafting program for
Michelle: whatever it is that you, you, or yeah.
If you're doing a book, but you know, again, think about that. Will your. Office suite, whichever one it is. Will that do for now? The answer may very well be yes. If the answer's no, then obviously you need to go and look for that, but it could be, it'll do for now and then let's improve and get a better piece of software later.
That again. And of course, if you're talking about physical products, then that's a whole nother thing to do. And that's a whole thing that you've gotta think about in terms of your budgets as well, last but not least. How are you gonna take the money now again, you have got a wide stream.
The, the main ones, I mean, you've got things like PayPal. Key thing with PayPal is you have to have a business account to actually accept that money. Just sending things, between friends. And if you're talking low, low numbers, that's probably fine. But if you're [00:30:00] having to deal with all the tax and all of the legally stuff, then you need to make sure you're doing this right.
So you will need for PayPal. You'll need a business account. Then you've got, you know, well, if it's on your website, for example, you've got a shop on there. How are you gonna do this? Now, if you're talking a physical product, then Etsy Squarespace. Some of those big ones will have this already built in.
They'll have the options and that you can use that because they've already designed it to work with their product. If you're talking more of your personal website that you have either designed or created. Then you're gonna again think about that. So my side, I use Stripe because that's a very popular one, but look at well, what are they gonna charge me?
And of course, with digital things, you are talking worldwide. It's not just, you know, The us, the UK, Europe, whatever you're talking about everybody. So not what are they gonna charge you, but what are they gonna charge you if it's in a different currency and how much is it gonna cost?
So let's say, you know, [00:31:00] it's $10. Well, I'm in the UK. I deal in pounds as a general rule. I get better exchange rate for my pounds when I buy us dollars. So if it goes backwards, so from us to UK, It's not such a great rate and I could be losing money. So again, think of all of this, and how you're gonna do that.
And if you're talking about more of a bricks and mortar store, well, are you bricks and mortar and digital, in which case what you want is something that'll do both which again, there's a lot of things that will do. So I'm pretty certain that things like PayPal have little card readers that you can have them on your website, but you can also have a card reader with you.
A few things to think about. That's probably the one that is more, a little bit of research to find out what's gonna work for you and don't spend your money there because you wanna spend the money to relatively make the money.
Kristy: And it's well worth slowing down on that step and taking some time to really compare them because they can get quite complicated on how they charge you the fees.
They have a, some of 'em will have a monthly flat [00:32:00] fee and they'll have like lower per transaction rates. Some of them will have a per transaction. Amount percentage plus a percentage and some will just have the percentage. So it's gonna be what's best is gonna be different depending on your business.
How large is each transaction? How many transactions are you gonna have in a month? How many you're gonna be international? You wanna kind of think all of that through and then really. Work out the numbers, theoretically, what one's gonna cost compared to another and, and it can be quite surprising. yeah.
Yeah. We use, we use Stripe as well. For a couple of our businesses, it works quite well. I know there's also little square readers that you can use on a mobile phone. But there's so there's, so there's so many ways to do it depending on, on what you're doing and, and how much your thing costs as
Kristy: Lovely. So that's that? Whew. That's a lot, , that's a lot, but it's, it's all stuff you need to think through. So I really appreciate this because usually when people are talking about, different tech programs, they're often. you said they're affiliates for one or the other.
So it's,[00:33:00] often hard to get, really unbiased opinions or advice on this. So, so this is all neither Michelle, nor I are paid by any of these companies to talk about these things. So this is all just our personal opinions, on, on things as well as. As Michelle's obviously her, experience and expertise in these fields, as far as what, what you wanna look for.
Now. One thing I wanna tackle before we go, because you have been in the corporate world for a long time, you're also, an entrepreneur and we have a lot of, women on our community that are just getting started on their business journey. So what is your best piece of advice?
And it could be tech related. It could be non-tech related. But your best piece of advice for. Women founders women starting their business
Michelle: empire. I have already mentioned it, but I will mention it again because this is so worth saying, start building your email list. That that is the one thing. If I knew what I was doing, realistically, I would have started this years ago, because even if it's just, even if it's just friends and family, you're gonna need to market to people [00:34:00] because they're not gonna spend money with you.
If they don't know you exist. So build that email list, as I said, free, do it on your spreadsheet. You're gonna have it with one of your suites and then you can build up to your P and, and make it amazing, but start building that. If you haven't already done it, start doing it today. Simple as that
Kristy: that's such a great piece of advice.
And I think we stop ourselves because we think, well, we're not completely ready yet, but you don't have to be completely ready to start building your audience. You don't even have to know exactly what you're selling to start building your audience. You just need to know who you're targeting and who your audience is gonna be.
And just start building that relationship.
Michelle: Start, just start, just start, at the end of the day, if you, if you pivot and it. One thing. It was one thing. And it's now something else don't worry. the people that you've already spoken to might be interested in pivot. They might not be. And if people are not interested, you say, thank you very much.
And you go and find the people who are[00:35:00] people are unsubscribing occasionally from my list and I'm thinking, thank you, obviously we weren't. Right. Thank you for, for taking the opportunity to let me know that we weren't right. And you have to think no. Oh my God, people are unsubscribing.
I've gone down. I'm losing people. I'm losing. No.
Kristy: You know what it's and it's all perspective because I think we all get that Pang of, well, what did I say? Well, why didn't they, why did, why didn't they wanna hear me? And, but, you know, in the end of the day, I would much rather have them unsubscribe than just never open my emails.
They're doing me a favor by unsubscribing because they're helping my open, open rates. Right. The more times it goes to their inbox and they just don't bother opening it the worst. My, my, deliverability gets on my email. Yeah. So please unsubscribe, if you don't want my emails you're you're, you're helping me
And remember. Yeah. And remember when you've got that leave Magna and you're making, you are asking people to give you their email address, there is gonna be an awful lot of people who are getting that because it's free. Yeah. And that's the only reason they've got it. So, yeah, absolutely. As you said, they are helping [00:36:00] you, Say, thank you.
I mean, quietly to yourself, maybe not necessary to them in an email because they're not gonna write it away, but yeah,
Kristy: well, so Michelle has an amazing tech checklist for us. She's been gracious enough to share with us and we've got the link for it. In the show notes. For you. So if you have a look at the show notes, if you're on a platform where you can't see the show notes, you can always go over to the podcast website, which is one step empire.com, and the show notes and the links and all the other episodes, all the good stuff is there.
So it's one step empire.com. That's the, podcast website. So I just wanna say, thank you. Thank you so much for being with us today, Michelle and tackling this topic. We really appreciate having you here.
Michelle: Very welcome. I hope it helps people because as you said, there is so much confusion about what you need and what you should buy.
And it's very easy to spend money and realize that that was the wrong thing. So again, people just try things out. If there is a free [00:37:00] version, go for that first, never just dive in because you know, you're gonna have a budget. you wanna use the budget the best way you can.
Kristy: Agreed. Thank you so much, Michelle.