Free tools for small business owners
Running a small business can be costly. However, there are some great tools out there that really improve your productivity and are completely free for small companies.
One way to grow your business is by utilising your email list. Ask your audience to sign up and then periodically send them well-crafted emails full of valuable information.
Mailchimp is an app that allows you to create and send email and newsletter campaigns while managing your contact lists. You can apply tags that will enable you to specify the groups you contact, as well as scheduling your campaigns, so you don’t have to worry about manually sending each one. It’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers and 10,000 emails per month, meaning you can give it a whirl before committing any money.
Trello is a collaboration tool that organises your projects into boards. In one glance, Trello tells you what’s being worked on, who’s working on what, and where something is in a process.
You can invite as many people as you need to collaborate with on your project for free. Plus it has an app so you can keep in touch wherever you go.
Quora is a question and answer platform. You can create an account for free and get chatting. Answer other people’s question relating to your niche and build your reputation as a thought leader. Ask questions to get an idea of what people think about a topic that relates to your business. Or just look at the conversations people are having around your industry and use it as inspiration for blog posts, social media and other content ideas.
Lastpass is a password manager that protects you and your business from password-related data breaches. It can generate random, high-strength passwords for any websites and applications you access, alongside storing all your passwords securely in a vault which you can access across all your devices.
You can also store secure documents such as your passport or driving licence details, credit card information, and you can create and share secure notes. Lastpass can be used individually or set up to use with a team, having full control over who accesses what information. Plus, it gives you the ability to securely share passwords with third parties without them ever knowing what the password actually is, as it can launch and log in to a site from the vault.
Buffer allows you to plan and publish your content for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, all from one simple dashboard.
Their free plan let’s you connect 3 social accounts, schedule 10 posts with 1 user licence.
Need to connect with clients who are in a different location or even time zone? Skype is a solution that allows you to speak and meet face to face with potential clients, team members and anyone who is pivotal to your business.
Want to know how much traffic your website gets? What pages your audience are clicking on? What are the demographics of your traffic? Google Analytics can show you all the critical numbers for your business to help grow your online presence. Google Analytics uses clearly marked charts and graphs making it easy to use and understand.
Depending on your business structure and the software you prefer to use, there are a number of cloud-based file systems that could revolutionise the way you organise your company.
If you use Google, then Google Drive offers you the ability to store and share documents, videos and much more. You can edit documents in google docs or export them into MS office to edit in word, excel etc.
Are your systems Microsoft based? Then use OneDrive to keep all your information in the cloud safely. Freeing up space on your computer and making them accessible from wherever you are.
Alternatively, you may wish to use Dropbox to store and share files. You can even set up teams and give your employees access to specific folders.
Need to record your time accurately? Toggl makes time tracking so simple you’ll actually use it. But even if you forget, their tracking reminders and idle detection have your back.
Break down your hours by projects, clients and tasks to see what’s making you money, and what’s holding you back.
If you found this information useful, you may also want to check out the following:
- 10 productivity tools freelancers love
- How to set up a business from scratch
- 8 financial figures all business owners should know
MRA specialise in business solutions, and are Life Centred Business Consultants based in East Sussex we service clients across the South East, Sussex and Kent, including smaller towns such as Ashford, Battle, Bexhill, Bodiam, Brighton & Hove, Cranbrook, Crowborough, Eastbourne, Hailsham, Hastings, Heathfield, Herstmonceux, Lewes, Mayfield, Newhaven, Rye, Seaford, Sevenoaks, Tenterden, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells