A new startup requires a lot of commitment and effort. From structuring the ideas to handling finances, everything needs to be streamlined. And often, the way you start a business, it goes a long way with a similar practice. So, it is essential to start everything in a systemized manner.
Besides, launching a new business can be a scary endeavor, if you don’t put things up the right way. Keeping things organized and well-managed can save you a lot of time and extra expenses. No matter you even save for a year of living expenses, it may take even more time to start generating income from your business. So, you need to be vigilant and wise all the way long your business journey.
This requires you to be smart enough to be able to use free resources for empowering your small business. There are loads of free resources, tools, guides, and schedule printables, to help you not be broke in the midst of your business start growing.
Here is a long and useful list of free resources and tools available on the internet so you can better focus on earning money instead of caring about how you spend it.
List of Free Business Tools and Resources
Online Productivity Tools
Today, when the whole world has condensed into a global trade unit with internet availability, almost every business incorporates online communication, marketing, and other business needs. There are a number of productivity tools available online that you can use to keep your business organized and well-managed. Here is a list of a few online time management tools to keep you on track.
- Evernote: A virtual to-do list for all your business essentials
- Google Calendar: Online calendar
- Google Keep: It keeps notes, save pictures, and set reminders, on top of all, can be accessed from everywhere with your Google account.
- Todoist: Task manager
- Cozi: Simple family organizer
- ClickBook offers free online appointment scheduling
- RescueTime: Time tracker
- Doodle: Schedule application that will sync all of your calendars together: Free for 14-days
The days are gone when you keep a diary to maintain business expenses or always busy editing and updating a spreadsheet for tracking your business expenses and income. The manual process is not only intensive but also time taking and has the potential for mistakes. So, save yourself from frustration and use a professional platform for your business finance. The resources listed below offer budgeting, planning, invoicing, bookkeeping, and accounting solutions.
- Intuit QuickBooks: Free 30-day trial
- H&R Block: Tax prep checklist and online tax filing
- Mint: Aperfect expense tracking app for business uses
- PearBudget: Free 30-day trial
- Wally: Accounting solution for your business
- Wave: Accounting solution for your business
With a startup or small home-based business, you rarely get a well-off location, all you have is your website to conquer a place in the heart of your audience. Having a website enables you to let people virtually visit your store and shop for their favorite products or services. On top of all, it allows your potential audience to find you via the web. It is definitely in your best interest to own a website, but if you are at a beginner’s level and cannot afford a website right at the start, you can use a free option among many. When you become able to afford, get a better-customized website to switch to a more robust platform. For this, you might need to consult a software development company to purchase your domain name and hosting. Moreover, if you want to go ahead with a mobile app for your business, you can get one by consulting with a mobile app development company. Until then, you have the following free or cheaper options available.
- WooCommerce. Ecommerce plugin for WordPress
- Yahoo Small Business: Free for 30-days
Project Management Tools
No matter you have a small or large team, you have to keep a check on everything. Especially if you are a service provider, you have multiple projects lined up to be delivered. To stay organized with all of your projects and professionals in clients dealing, use project management tools. Here is a list of a few business managemnt mobile apps and tools to help you at best.
- Trello: Online collaboration and management tool
- Asana: Project management platform
- Basecamp: Project management tool with free 30-day trial
- Airtable: spreadsheet and data table management tool
- FreedCamp: Free project management platform
- Wrike: Task and project management platform
Social Media Marketing and Management Tools
Marketing is a core need of a business, particularly a new one. If you are not good at showcasing what you have to offer to the people, you are not likely to sell them. Today, with social media heavily influencing the ways of marketing, it can be the foremost choice of every small business owner to help their business grow. Beyond the basics, you need to go through a number of ways to market your business and find what works for you. Here are some free tools and platforms you should use for marketing.
Social Media channels
- Facebook: Free social media marketing platform
- Instagram: Free photo-sharing media platform
- LinkedIn: Professional social networking website
- Pinterest: A visual marketing platform
- Twitter: Free social media marketing platform
- Snapchat: photo-sharing social networking platform
- YouTube: Video marketing
Social Media Management Tools
- Hootsuite: Free tools with access on three profiles and 30 scheduled messages per month
- Buffer: Social media management tool for increased engagement
- Tailwind: Pinterest and Instagram scheduler, free trial for a month
- Later: plan and schedule Instagram posts
- Mix: Social media bookmarking site
- SocialBee: Social media scheduler with free 14-day trial
- Sproutsocial: Free social media engagement report
- Survey Monkey: Allows you to gather feedback, collect data, and analyze survey results
Email & SMS Marketing Tools
- MailChimp: Free email marketing for up to 2,000 contacts
- Webpushr: Free push notifications to 50,000 subscribers for free
- HubSpot: Free email signature for multiple email services
- OneSignal: Send out push notifications to 30,000 subscribers for free
- FreshMail: use email marketing templates
- Constant Contact: Free 60-day trial without credit card requirement
- EZ Texting: Free 30-day trial
- Craigslist: Free online advertising
- Hotcards: 100 free business cards with pickup at their Cleveland Headquarters, elsewhere shipping cost applicable.
- Sendinblue: Free email marketing, unlimited contacts, 300 emails per day
- Clearstream: Free SMS marketing for up to 25 messages per month
Free Administrative Tools
If you don’t have Microsoft Office in your systems already, the yearly subscription can be a bit costly. There are some other options as well that work well and are free.
- GoogleDocs: Word processing, spreadsheets, slides, forms, etc
- LibreOffice: Word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, forms, and diagrams
- OpenOffice: Word processing, spreadsheets, multimedia presentations, slides and more
- PrimoPDF: Create PDFs
Free Communication Tools
No matter if you work with a large or a small team, you need to connect, communicare, and deal with your team on a frequent basis. Your business needs a professional communication tool to communicate with involved people on a daily basis. If you are already in the role of handling new business, you must know the importance of a pack of tools. There are a host of free and reliable communication tools available free.
- Skype: Free call, video chat, instant messages, and screen sharing for Skype to Skype users
- Zoom: Video and web conferencing service (free up to 100 individuals)
- Slack: Free business communication tool
- Google Hangouts: Talk to other people over the internet for free
- FaxZERO: Fax up to 3-page documents for free, two times a day
- FreeConferenceCall.com: Conference and video calls, up to 1,000 people for free
- WebEx: Free video conferencing free for up to three people
Design Tools and Stock Images
One of the most important and must-needed thing while starting a small home-based business is free to design tools. If you are using social media to market your products, you will need a lot of attractive photos and information to share. So, as an entrepreneur, you have to be fit in the role of a professional graphic designer. However, you can do complete justice with that role by taking help from these free design tools and stock images. You can also find other presentations and marketing materials for your business. For all of your basic photo editing needs, you can use these free and easy to use tools.
- Canva: Simple free online design platform and graphics creation and photo editor
- Pexels: Free professional-looking stock photos
- PicMonkey: Free trial and easy subscription
- Pixabay: free stock photos and videos
- Animoto: make free videos and storyboard templates
- Unsplash: Free stock images
- Burst: Free stock photos
- Wix: Free logo maker for your small business needs
- COLOURlovers: Color ideas, palates, patterns, and trends
- Dreamstime: Stock photos and images
- FontSquirrel: Free fonts for commercial usage
- Morguefile.com: Free stock photos for commercial use
- OpenShot: Free video editing software
Running a small home-based business requires you different types of forms and templates that you have no idea about until a specific situation arises. Whenever you need one, instead of planning and designing everythinig from scratch, you can use some great resources already available. Keep them bookmarked to use timely.
- Bplans: Business plans, proposal templates, startup checklist, etc.
- SCORE: Business planning, financial, marketing, and management templates and more
- Ryan Robinson: Free freelance proposal template
Along with the schedule to-do-list mobile apps and website, you might need physical sheets, calendars, and planners to help you gauge things at the moment. From daily to-dos to weekly goals and grocery to chore charts, you can do easily manage with useful printable available free to organize your business and personal life. Here is the list.
- Frugal Fanatic: Budgeting, debt reduction, worksheets
- EveryDollar: Budgeting forms
- Dave Seah: Productivity tools
- Thirty Handmade Days: Downloadable budget binder
- momAgenda: Planning, checklists, and tracking sheets
Tools and Resources for Bloggers
These days, blogging has a lot of scopes and many small and large businesses are using blogs to make their small business a success. If you run a blog, you will need some tools and extensions for your blogs to help you do it better and easier. Here are some specialized tools that are highly recommended.
- Google Analytics: website traffic stats and content analysis
- Grammarly: Free editing and spellchecker software
- Yoast: SEO optimization plugin for your WordPress blog
- AdRotate: Free plugin to serve image ads on your blog
- Askimet Plugin: Stop spam comments on your blog with this free plugin
- Capitalize My Title: Title case capitalization tool for blog posts and subject lines
- CoSchedule: Free headline analyzer
- Gravatar: Create a globally recognized avatar, helps brand your blog identity
- Rafflecopter: Free software for running giveaways
- Random.org: Randomly choose winners for your giveaways and contests
- SmallSEOTools: Plagiarism checker for guest blog posts
These are some handy tools to guide your small business towards a major one, however, as soon as you start growing and flourishing, be aware that your requirement grows with time and capacity. If you are right in your direction, there will be a point where your time becomes worthier than a few bucks. Don’t stick to the free tools even when your need grows for a paid one. Since free tools often have some limitations, invest in the proper tools that will ultimately earn you money and save your time.
About the Author
Zubair is a digital enthusiast who loves to write on various trends, including Tech, Software Development, AI, and Personal Development. He is a passionate blogger and loves to read and write. He currently works at Koderlabs, custom software development company in Houston that offers top-notch software development services to clients across the globe.