There’s a lot that goes into setting up your new business. Fortunately, there are tons of free tools to help streamline your business operations. Below we highlight the types of software and applications that every small business needs and how to get them without spending a penny.
25+ Free Resources for Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs
Free Word Processors and Document Management
If you’re a small business, you may not be thrilled about spending money on software for document management. Sure, you can get Microsoft 365 for about $70 a year, but that’s money you could allocate toward something else — like putting together a direct mail campaign.
Lucky for your budget, G Suite is a totally free option for document management that includes solutions for email, spreadsheets, documents, and presentations. Plus, anyone who uses these programs will appreciate the breadth of features and how easy they are to use. If you’ve used Microsoft Office before, you should have no trouble picking up the G Suite applications.
The most significant difference between the two solutions is where the files are saved. G Suite is a web-based platform, and everything is stored online in your Google Drive (that’s free too). Since everything is automatically saved in the cloud, you don’t need to worry about losing your work if your computer locks up.
G Suite also makes it easy to share access to original files. This means you can worry less about old versions of files floating around. Of course, if you want to work offline on your G Suite documents, you can do so — you just need to make the file available for offline use.
However, if you’re looking for a more traditional desktop experience for document creation and management, the free and open-source LibreOffice is a great option to try.
Free Website Builders
This one is included as “free” with a big old caveat. Most website builders allow you to set up a site for free. However, you should expect to pay a monthly fee if you’d like to use your own domain name — which is something you’ll probably want to do when creating a site for your business.
Even so, excellent website builders like WordPress, Wix, and Weebly shouldn’t put too much of a dent into your business budget. Depending on the range of support you need, pricing for these options range from $6 to $50 monthly.
Free Website Analytics
If you want to see how your website is performing and do it on the cheap, Google Analytics may be the perfect option for you. Google Analytics helps you track and analyze web traffic so you can understand your audience and what they want.
You’ll be able to see where your traffic is coming from, how visitors spend time on your site, and where they exit from your site. With this information, you’ll be able to determine which aspects of your website need improvement.
Free Email Marketing Tools
Email marketing is a powerful tool for engaging customers and can be one of the best free ways to promote your company. Fortunately, there are lots of email platforms out there — and most offer a free option. In choosing a platform for your business, you’ll want to consider the size of your list and how many emails you plan to send each month.
If you’re a small business and just getting started on email marketing, a great choice is Mailchimp. We love that Mailchimp offers a forever-free plan that’s a fantastic asset for small companies with less than 2,000 subscribers and who send less than 10,000 emails a month.
Free Tools for Social Media Automation
Being visible on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn can be a powerful way to connect with customers. Still, it can be challenging for an entrepreneur or a small business owner to keep up with the socials when there’s so much to do.
Free Design Programs for Beginners
You probably know that good design can get much-needed attention on social media and websites. Plus, stellar store signage can literally stop people in their tracks. Still, you probably don’t have the time to become a master designer or a big budget for a freelance designer.
If you don’t have photography or artwork, don’t worry. Pixabay, Unsplash, and Burst are three websites with a fantastic selection of high-quality images you can use for free on your website, in your promotional materials, and anywhere else you’d like.
Free Collaboration Tools
If you collaborate with remote employees, partners, or vendors, a collaboration tool can ensure you’re all on the same page. Slack is especially great for organizing conversations about projects in one place. Monday.com and Trello help keep projects on track with collaborative workflows. All these tools offer free plans that can be great for small businesses.
Free Scheduling Apps
While there’s much debate about the best free scheduling app, we like Calendly. It simplifies the process of scheduling appointments and easily integrates with other tech tools. Google Calendar is also a great option.
Free Video Conferencing
You may already have a trusty video conferencing tool that you use — it seems like everyone has used Zoom, the leading free option. But if you’re looking to mix it up, other free options include Google Hangouts and Skype.
Free Public Relations
Sharing your expertise is one of the best ways to score some coverage for your company or products. You can sign up to be a source to Help a Reporter Out (HARO). By providing great answers and insights to reporters, you may be able to secure invaluable press coverage.
There’s also a free tool you can use to ensure you stay on top of the information that matters. Use Google Alerts to monitor what’s being said about you, your competitors, and industry news. With Google Alerts, you can create weekly or daily alerts for the critical topics surrounding your brand and get an email roundup of the most popular content.
Free Process Automation
Here you might be wondering, what is process automation, and why do I need it? The simple answer is that automating processes can eliminate and reduce busywork, making it easier to get your job done.
Suppose you find yourself entering the same information into multiple places. Or maybe it seems like you’re constantly toggling between software or apps. If this sounds like you, there’s a good chance you’d benefit from using a process automation application. Our top pick is Zapier which integrates with over 3,000 popular apps like Google Docs, Slack, PayPal, HubSpot, and Convertkit.
Of course, integrating all your programs can be a challenge and there are times when a free tool like Zapier can’t achieve the desired level of connectivity. If you’re not as connected as you’d like, give Point B a call. We can integrate your applications so you can seamlessly deliver an optimal customer experience.
Freeing Up Funds For What Matters
By spending less money on software and technology, you’ll be able to allocate more funds towards what matters: Creating a better customer experience. In our experience, many companies invest their money in stellar websites, mobile applications, customer outreach, and other tactics to generate customer loyalty.
Whether you’re trying to open a small boutique or getting your e-commerce business set up, there’s a lot to do. We hope these free resources help you on your way. But if you’re overwhelmed, Point B Solution can help you create a better customer experience that spans across channels.