There’s no denying that small business owners are stretched for time and money when it comes to successfully running their business. Each day, companies are creating time-management tools to help make running a business easier. And while these tools won’t help to turn back time, or even slow it down, they will help you manage what little you have more efficiently.
If you are on a tight budget and want to improve how you run your business. Below are just a handful, 6 free small business tools every small business owner should be using.
6 Free Small Business Tools Every Small Business Owner Should Be Using
Google Drive is a very affordable, cloud-based office suite that includes a word processor, a spreadsheet program, a presentation program and survey program respectively, and cloud file storage. The suite allows users to create and edit documents online while collaborating with other users in real-time. It is tied in your Gmail account and starts at just $1.99/month.
Social management requires constant conversational monitoring. Scheduling posts in advance is critical to ensure your profiles are always active. That can seem stressing when youʼre already responsible for many other business tasks. To make your tasks easier and efficient, you can use Hootsuite. Hootsuite is a social media management system for brand management. The system’s user interface takes the form of a dashboard, and supports social network integrations for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare, MySpace, WordPress, TrendSpottr and Mixi. You can schedule, listen, and engage all from one hub. It has auto schedule feature that is handy because it pre-selects times for optimal impact. Hootsuite is free for up to 3 social media accounts. Anything higher is going to cost you $14.95/month.
MailChimp is one of the widely used email marketing platforms. It allows you to add contact details, segment these contacts into lists, send out group emails to select people at once and provides metrics associated with every email sent out. Most importantly, MailChimp has the ability to keep track of the contacts you meet on a day-to-day basis. MailChimp is free for up to 2,000 contacts and does not include automation. If you want that service, be prepared to pay extra.
LinkedIn is a beneficial free resource any business can use to its advantage. LinkedIn’s primary function is to connect professionals to other professionals—so you can use it for that purpose to extend your professional network. It can open the door to new clients, new workers and cross-company partnerships. It is the best way to find and introduce yourself to other professionals, by engaging in discussions on LinkedIn Groups, where like-minded professionals come together to share information. LinkedIn is free but if you want to advertise you will need to pay. Same with obtaining an upgraded personal account.
With Trello, your projects will practically manage themselves. As one of the more popular project management services, the software focuses on communications, idea sharing, and workload allocations. Trello offers email notifications for when team members post comments or upload project files. And with a mobile app, Basecamp allows you to manage all of your projects on the go and out of pocket.
Wave is a free cloud-based, integrated accounting software and invoicing tool for small businesses of approximately 9 employees or less. So far, their free services includes Invoicing, Accounting, Payroll, Payments and more, plus Personal Finance Software, too. They integrate their credit card payments through Stripe.
Do you have any go-to tools that your business couldn’t live without? Share them in the comments below.