Starting and running a small business is tough - knowing how to get the most for your money can be the difference between start up success and company collapse.
We’ve run the rule over five of the best free tools to streamline your operations and let you focus your time and money on the parts that matter the most.
Projects – be it big or small – will be at the heart of much of what you do as a business owner. That might mean building an extension, or updating your e-commerce site; Trello visualises your projects and lets you prioritise workload.
Think of this tool as a digital compilation of the thousands of sticky notes around your desk. Except tidier. Much, much tidier.
Hopefully by now you’re already up to speed on what social media can do for your start-up? You’re posting awesome content on your Facebook page, responding to customer service questions on Twitter and sharing your products with the world via Instagram.
Hootsuite is a social dashboard that lets you monitor all of your social platforms in one very easy to navigate feed. Customisable to your preferences, Hootsuite also allows you to schedule posts, set up key word searches and tap into social media insight with a report function.
Small businesses in the UK are owed an estimated £26bn, and late payment remains one of the most likely reasons a small business can fail. With Invoiceable you can automate your invoices and track those outstanding payments.
And unlike other tools, it doesn’t limit the number of invoices you can create – handy if you plan on creating a lot (and thus getting very rich).
The chances are you’re probably using Google Apps in some form or another already or at least have at some point in the past. Access Google Docs remotely, collaborate with colleagues on Sheets and do it all from a remarkably familiar looking set of tools.
Microsoft office has for a long time been the package of choice but with a hefty price tag; don’t be surprised too see more small business owners making the switch to Google Apps.
Social media, programmatic display, PPC, SEO… the list goes on… and on! It’s very easy to forget that email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to reach both existing and prospective customers.
The free package on offer from Mailchimp includes designer templates, personalised forms and a host of analytics tools. So nurture those prospects, warm those leads and upsell that new product – Mailchimp can be a start-up’s best friend.
Remember, this list is by no means extensive. As a small business owner you face countless challenges on a daily basis – but finding free, effective, easy-to-use tools shouldn’t be one of them!
What free tools do you use for your small business? Let us know in the comments section below!