Andrew Schrage, co-owner of Money Crashers Personal Finance

With the current economy and job market a lot of people are trying to figure out ways that they can make a living without having to rely on on someone else to hand them a paycheck.   Who doesn’t want the freedom to work for themselves and to pursue their own dreams?   While working for oneself definitely has it’s dangers, it also has AMAZING perks.     We wanted to learn a bit about Andrew Shrage and his start up business

Andrew is definitely a “dreamer” and a “doer” when it comes to entrepreneurialism.  Andrew started his business on a shoe string budget in 2007 and has managed to quickly turn the website into one of the more prominent finance blogs on the net.  With over 13,000 subscribers and 6500 twitter followers this website has become a very popular and trusted source of high quality financial information on the net.

If you are interested in following the online business dream, check out this interview we did with Mr. Shrage.  Andrew explains how he is molding his company  to best suit the ever changing internet world by developing a product and resource that is truly unique and interesting for his users.

How did you come to start your business?

I graduated from Brown University in 2008 with a degree in economics, and then took a job at a hedge fund located in Chicago. After just a short period of time, I became restless with the corporate world and wanted to provide some more meaningful education and value for people across a variety lifestyle and financial topics.

What kind of business is  How long have you been in business and how many employees do you currently have?

Money Crashers is a personal finance website whose goal is to educate its readers on how to make better spending and saving decisions. It offers tips on a wide range of topics related to personal finance, such as affording the high cost of college, investing, planning for retirement, and reducing monthly bills.

The site has been around for roughly 5 years, and we now employ more than 30 writers and editors.

What are some of your favorite technologies that have come out in the last 2-3 years that have changed how you are doing business online?   How are they changing your business?

I like the recent transition from Google Docs to Google Drive, as the new service allows me to store all my files in one organized place. I also love what I’ve seen recently in the world of mobile devices. I currently own an iPhone 4, and it has allowed me to do more business while on the go. I also qualified for a discounted small business service rate plan through AT&T.

Obviously to run a successful website such as yours on the internet one needs to have some working knowledge in marketing. What kind of tools are you utilizing right now in your business that you have found to be helpful in marketing your website and brand?

We’re currently aggressively expanding our social media marketing efforts. At present, we have pages on Facebook, Twitter, and a few other sites. We conduct TweetChats ever Friday, and hold frequent giveaways on Facebook.

If you were to give advice to a start up website with 5-10 employees regarding which software, services, or technologies are must haves to optimize performance, and streamline their efforts in online business, what would it be?

My advice is to become fully immersed in social media as quickly as possible, as this is a highly effective and inexpensive way to market a business. If accounting software is needed, consider using FreshBooks or Outright. Both offer very affordable price points, and the services they provide are more than enough for a first-time entrepreneur.

To help stay productive and organized, give Google Apps for Business a try. It includes email, calendars, document sharing, a search function, and more. It is also one of the most affordable productivity services on the market today.

Where do you go to find out about the next best technologies to implement for your business?

My favorite resource is the website, which does an excellent job of keeping up with ever-changing technology trends. It also has a handy “Ask a Question” feature, which I use whenever I need some quick help on a particular technology topic.

Where do you see 5 years from now?

I have very lofty goals for Money Crashers. In five years, I hope for it to be a top online resource for people looking for personal finance and lifestyle advice. The site has been blessed with a great readership so far, and I would love to see the readership grow. We have very high standards for the content we publish on the website, and I want readers to know they can trust what we put forth as being accurate and relevant.