The Epic List of Free Tools for Small Businesses
Anyone who has ever started a business knows one thing for sure: the chances of success are raised considerably if you can keep your startup costs down. And that’s why I want to talk about some cool, free stuff for small business owners in today’s post.
In fact, let’s get right to it and look at some of the best free business tools for small businesses out there.
Free Tools for Financial Planning
You won’t succeed as a small business owner unless you have some financial know-how and the tools to rope your expenses in—and stay on top of your cash flow. Here are some of the best free online business tools to help keep your financial affairs in order.
· Wave Accounting. With this free cloud-based app, you’ll be able to keep track of your expenses, invoice your clients, scan your receipts, and be ready for tax time. The app will help visualize your business’ health with profit and loss statements, balance sheets and more. And you can add collaborators to work on your books if you choose.
· ZipBooks. This is another free accounting system that allows unlimited invoices, connection to 1 bank account, unlimited bookkeeping, and a credit card payment method. (You’ll be charged fees when you use it.)
· Cash Flow Calculator. Entrepreneur.com offers a free cash flow calculator that lets you see how making just one change in your operations will affect your cash flow.
· BizLaunch offers an amazing array of free small business tools. You can download a breakeven calculator, a business plan template, a startup cost calculator, a balance sheet and more. This site is definitely worth visiting.
· GnuCash. This free budgeting software app is double entry so it’s perfect for small business use.
· Profit Margin Calculator. Shopify offers a free nifty profit margin calculator that helps you set prices for your products.
· Free business credit report. If you plan to apply for a business loan or ask suppliers for credit, you’ll need to take a look at your business credit report first. Luckily, you can do that for free at Nav.com.
· Free payroll processing. If you have 5 employees or less, Xero will process your payroll for free.
In addition to financial tools, there a lot of free small business management tools that will help you run your business more efficiently. Here are some of my favorites.
Free Small Business Productivity Tools
· Canva. If you’ve read any of my publishing book, you know how important this tool is in my business. It not only allows you to create book covers, but flyers, brochures, blog post graphics, and much, much more.
· Insightly.com. If you have 2 users or less, you can use this CRM and project manager tool for free.
· Evernote. This popular app lets you take notes and stay organized for free. There is a reason this is the number one note taking device out there.
· Equitynet. This is a crowdfunding site for startup funds, but it also has some of the best software that will allow you optimize your business plan. You can sign up for a free account and use it for free.
· Evernote Scannable. This free app lets you scan business cards, receipts, notes, and documents with your iPhone or tablet. It’s a great way to organize all that paper.
· FaxZero. When it the last time you needed to fax something? I bet you had a hard time finding a way to send it, didn’t you? This free online fax app lets you send 3 free pages and 5 faxes a month.
· Freshchat. If you run an online store, it’s critical that customers can reach you when they need to. And this free tool will allow them to chat with you online. As long as you have less than 10 active team members, it won’t cost you a cent.
· HootSuite. The great app allows you to use all of your social media profiles from one convenient place. The free plan handles up to 3 social media profiles, 1 user, and 30 messages a month.
· HyFy. You’ve probably heard how video is the content for the web, and this free app brings that technology to email. Instead of sending a plain email, you can take a screenshot or use an image and record your voice. Receivers have 7 days to view it and you can record up to 10 minutes.
· Hunter. Have you ever wanted to get in touch with someone on a website, but couldn’t find an email address? This free app eliminates the frustration because it will crawl the website and hunt down those difficult-to-find email addresses for you.
· Join.Me. You can host a free video conference on this site.
· Ontrapages. Oh. My. Gosh. You can get up to 10 free landing pages on this site, and it will even host them for you for free. Even if you already have a website, you can create a landing page and link to it, or if you’re an author, you can create a landing page for each of your books. The possibilities are endless…
· Pixlr. This is my favorite site when I need to crop a photo, change the colors, or edit it in any other way. Best yet, it’s absolutely free to use and you’ll be able to download your creation when you’re finished.
· SurveyMonkey When you’re thinking about a new product or book, it’s smart to test the waters with potential consumers. And today’s social media culture makes it easy. Use this free tool to create online surveys to ask real people what they think about your idea.
· Sumo. This free software allows you conduct a deep website analysis, add popups, and grow your website.
· SEOProfiler If you run a website, you need to consistently analyze your metrics to know what’s working and what isn’t. You could either pay a professional thousands of dollars, or figure it out using this free tool.
· TrustPilot. I feel so strongly about business branding that I wrote an entire book on it, and one of the best ways to brand your small business is to get plenty of reviews. This website will allow you to sign up for free, and then it will create an independently ranked page for it. You will receive 50 invitations each month and can ask your customers to use them to rank you. The more reviews you get, the higher your ranking page will climb in the search engine results.
· UberConference. This totally free tool lets you set up conferencing with your employees, virtual assistant, clients, or anyone else you need to keep in contact with. And check out the cool factor in the hold music it uses.
· Google Analytics. Another free tool that will help you track the visibility of your website.
· JotForm. This oh so cool application lets you create an online form for free. Need a sales contract, proposal, or other professional form to help manage your business? Design it here for free.
· MailChimp. This is the email server I use and I love it. It’s only free up to 2,000 subscribers, which I’m about to hit, but I’ll continue with the paid version. I’ve tried others, but I’m pretty happy with this one.
· Wrike. If you handle multiple projects at once, like the formula I talk about in How to Build a Writing Empire in 30 Days or Less, you can’t do without a project management system like this. And you can get it for free as long as you don’t exceed 5 users.
· ZoHo HelpDesk. If you need a comprehensive help desk but don’t want to pay the fees typically charged for one, ZoHo provides a great option. It’s free to use for up to 3 agents.
It’s Smart to Save Money with Free Business Tools
What do you think? Can you see how using some of these great tools can save you money when starting a business? If I left any out, please leave a comment below and I’ll check them out!