Every small business owner is under tremendous pressure to chase new clients. There is so much to do - manage expenditures, raise invoices, deal with client issues, and handle business operations, etc. So many business owners get distressed and feel like giving up soon after they start.
Smart founders are always on the lookout for new tools and resources to keep their business on track and under control.
Don't worry if you haven't started your tool hunt, I have created a list of free tools and resources to help your business save time and money.
Trello helps team collaboration and improves personal productivity. The tool has an easy-to-use interface where business owners can manage a variety of projects in one go.
For instance, you can create a board for a new project and start allocating tasks (or cards). The tool lets you add, remove, and tag members in a board. You can also set task timelines to each card. The project management app allows users to attach documents within tasks so other members can access them.
Struggling to promote your business on multiple social media platforms? Hootsuite is a simple social media automation tool. Use this free tool to post on different social media profiles in one go. The tool helps time-starved small business owners to schedule their posts in advance.
The free version of the tool allows you to link, up to three social media accounts. Having an active social presence is a necessity for every business; this tool makes social media marketing a breeze.
Make sure you’re using the right post image size for each social media platform - you can use this free cheat sheet as a ready reckoner.
A good part of your reputation is dependent on how you communicate with prospects, customers, employees, and investors. A simple mistake like a typo in an email can be a cause for embarrassment. Don’t worry, you don’t have to go back to studying English Grammar basics, this tool works as your language assistant. The free version helps you check and correct all kinds of basic grammatical errors.
#4 Google Drive
Managing and editing documents was never this easy. Google Drive is a free tool that helps business owners to create all sorts of office documents: word docs, spreadsheets, and presentations.
The tool lets you collaborate with the team by providing them with access and editing rights. You can add comments and suggestions within documents and guide the team to work on them. The tool provides 15 GB of free cloud storage to let you save and access work at any time from anywhere.
Thanks to free tools like Wave, every small business owner can send professional invoices. Wave is an easy invoicing and accounting tool.
The cloud-based software is ideal for freelancers, consultants, and small businesses. You can use this tool to send invoice reminders and payment receipts to clients. Wave helps you to manage estimates, expenses, and taxes like a pro. The accounting tool is easy-to-use and accessible on the go.
WordPress is the most popular website development platform. The Content Management System comes with many useful plugins that help optimize and manage a site. The platform allows business owners to set up and run their business website in no time.
The hosted version is completely free, also you don’t have to manage the technical side of the website.
Professional email marketing with your brand logo and messaging is one of the keys to converting leads into long-term customers.
This email marketing tool is free for small business needs, that is, up to 2000 subscribers and 12000 emails per month.
MailChimp provides you with pre-designed templates to start creating and sending newsletters in no time. The tool also features A/B testing and auto-responders in the free plan.
The free-to-use CRM tool comes with a variety of features such as lead management, email, and task management. Business owners can use this tool to manage customer and prospect relationships.
The software helps you to track sales and customer deliverables. Insightly helps you to import, manage and tag your contacts. The software lets you access the free mobile app to manage all your business information.
You don’t have to be a designer to create marketing collateral to showcase offerings and USPs. This free tool comes with hundreds of templates to create designs that suit your business requirements.
You can use the tool to create social media images, blog graphics, brochures, infographics, event invites, and what not.
Business owners can use free stock image websites to upload rights free images into this tool and create some awesome designs.
Communicating with clients across cities and borders is not exorbitant anymore; Skype lets you chat or call for free. The chatting app helps you share documents and images at the click of a button. The tool features group chat for a quick online discussion.
One of the essential ways to promote a business and get website traffic is to create content, but how do you start? The best way is to know your audience pain points and create content that answers their queries. Ubersuggest helps you do a quick keyword research to know about common search terms in a niche.
#12 Survey Monkey
One of the keys to business success is to know and understand the preferences of customers. This free tool helps businesses to create online surveys and share them with the intended audience.
The tool comes with a response filtering feature so you can track only the relevant responses. The cloud-based app comes with pre-built and customisable templates to create professional-looking surveys.
#13 Google Analytics
A Google Analytics-integration is a necessity for every business website. The tool helps business owners to track visitor growth and profile.
It's easy to place the Google Analytics code snippet in the HTML code of a site and start analysing site-traffic. The tool lets you observe and analyse many metrics such as traffic sources, bounce rate, average time on site, and visitor location, etc.
#14 Google Calendar
The free app from Google helps business owners to schedule and manage meetings. You can share your calendar with co-workers and friends so they can take a note of your upcoming schedule.
The application is helpful for setting meeting and task reminders. It’s easy to start using this app by logging in to a Gmail account.
Time is money and if you can manage it well, it’s easier to get ahead of the competition. Clockify is a free time tracker with many interesting features. The tool helps small business owners to manage personal and team productivity. Track task time using a timer or log hours manually, this tool gives you ample choice to ensure efficient task completion.
Use this tool to track and share billable hours with clients or manage team attendance and payroll.
Over to You
Running a small business is no piece of cake, use the right tools and you’ve got your work cut out for you. Don’t worry if you don’t have access to funding or the best of talent, small business success is about intelligence and persistence. A little proclivity to technology can give you all the power to get ahead of the toughest of competitors.
About the Author
Abhishek is a wordsmith with marketing acumen. He works as an International content marketing consultant, blogger, and publicist. His articles have appeared in some of the top marketing publications. Besides being a voracious reader and a prolific writer, Abhishek is a lover of arts and music, follow him on Twitter here.