News Flash… running a business isn’t cheap! A lot of startups and entrepreneurs feel the heat when it comes to investing in online tools that help to grow their business and keep the cogs turning. With thousands of tools on the market, it can be difficult to decide which you will benefit most from.
Many have multiple packages and it can be really confusing when trying to compare what you need. Panic over, we’ve done all the hard work for you and compiled a list of our best finds. All our suggestions are based on the free version of each programme and we’re sure you’ll find something you need.
So your business is on social media, you have 3 different accounts that you need to keep logging in and out of, that sounds exhausting! Try one of these social media management tools to help you maintain all your accounts in one place.
Hootsuite is a social media management tool that allows users to post and schedule content for a wide variety of social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. Hootsuite displays your accounts in a dashboard setting and you can customise what you want to see and in what order. If you upgrade to the paid account you can view social media analytics, reports and more.
Buffer is the simplest (in our opinion) social media management tool. You literally just type what you want to post and post it or schedule it, easy as 123. If you upgrade to the paid version you can receive weekly or monthly report cards which track your social media activity.
Google My Business
Google is the number 1 search engine in the world so you really should utilise this Free programme. Google my business allows you to post your business hours, location and prices. You can even upload a virtual tour and all of this becomes available to users who search for your business on Google.
Yelp offers free business profiles and allows you to post your business pictures, address and hours. Users can leave reviews about your business which you can also respond too.
Imagine if you could track your online activity in one place. Imagine you could see how many websites clicks you had, see how long users stayed on a particular page or check the percentage of people who visited your website but left straightaway. What if you were able to tell how users entered your website i.e via Facebook, this would be a really cool tool right?! Google analytics is free and offers all the above and more so sign up and gain insights into your website traffic.
HubSpot’s Marketing Grader
HubSpot’s free Marketing Grader is a force to be reckoned with. In under 30 seconds, it analyzes all of your marketing efforts, reviewing over 30 different factors and then provides an overall Marketing Grade on a 1-100 scale. So if you’re wondering if all the time effort and money you’ve spent is paying off then this is the tool for you.
A Facebook Pixel is a code that you place on your website. The code works as an analytic tool that allows you to measure and understand the actions that have taken place on your website. You can track conversions from your Facebook ad’s, track unique users, weekly and monthly visitors, Track your top landing pages, build targeted adverts for future use, re-market leads and much more.
Survey Monkey is an online survey tool that allows you to gather information from people who matter to you. You can use it to target your audience or maybe you want to survey your employee’s. Survey Monkey gathers the information and turns it into actionable insights. There are 4 price plans but the free plan allows you to ask 10 questions per survey with a maximum of 100 responses which isn’t bad.
There really only deserves to be one programme mentioned here and that’s the king of them all, WordPress! The ultimate blogging platform is 100% free and its used by some of the biggest corporations around the globe. In fact, according to Shoutmeloud, it powers 30% of the websites in the world. There are bundles of themes to choose from, lots of plugins to optimise your blog and its very easy to use.
Write a Business Plan they said. But how! Writing a business plan can be daunting and if you’re new to business it can be difficult to know how to get it right. Enloop allows you to add in your information and creates a business plan for you. There are some other cool features and it will even score your business plan so you know if you’re doing ok!
Our personal favourite design tool is canva. It’s very easy to design professional looking graphics. If you need to create a visual for facebook or perhaps you want to create a new banner for your blog, canva has a host of free pre-sized templates available.
You won’t need to hire a full-time graphics designer to get a logo worthy of your brand. Logocrisp makes it easy for you to get a logo in under a minute. Simply type in your business name and select your industry and logo crisp will instantly design and display multiple logos for you to choose from. Some are basic but some a pretty good and for a free logo builder this definitely tops the chart.
MailChimp is a marketing automation platform which allows you to share emails and ad campaigns. You can build multiple lists, campaigns and landing pages. There are a few free templates and It’s straightforward to use. One of our favourite things about the free version is the subject line suggester. MailChimp is pretty impressive for a free platform.
This is an add-on for Gmail and it’s definitely worthy of a mention in our top tools. Boomerang allows you to schedule emails so if you want to free up your morning then why not do all tomorrows communications tonight and schedule them to go out tomorrow. Boomerang also allows you to set reminders so if you need to follow up on an email and even better it allows you to opt-in for notifications if you haven’t heard back from the recipient.
Does anyone just pick up the phone and make a call? There are a multitude of ways we can communicate but keep internal communications under control and on one platform is ideal. Slack offers a collaboration of tea communication tools such as instant messaging, sending emails file sharing and more.
Is a mobile app and according to Fortune 1 billion people use WhatsApp daily to communicate and its popularity is growing with business users. Whatsapp allows you to simply create a group and add participants where all users can be active in the chat. You send instant messages, images and voice notes and Whatsapp is particularly good to use on the go. It can also be logged into on a desktop.
Skype is the original internet calling service provider with over 300 million active daily users. There is a free version and a business version and both allow you to make video calls from your desktop or mobile device. You can split the screen and have multiple users in the same video call and you also have access to an instant messaging service making it the perfect communication tool.
Zoom allows you to do more than just video conference. You can build meeting rooms, host live webinars and send instant messages. Zoom is a close competitor for Skype.
It can be difficult tracking employee expenses and it’s also time-consuming. Expensify makes it simple, from receipt scanning to reimbursement, Expensify automates every step of the expense reporting process.
Free images offer over 300,00 royalty free images for personal and commercial use.
Pixabay offers over 1 million high-quality royalty free images. You’ll find vector graphics, photos, Illustrations and videos.
Photos that make it on to the Pixel platform are all carefully handpicked from a variety of free image sources to ensure that you’re getting high-quality images. All of the photos are royalty free and can be used for personal and commercial use with no attribution required.
DropBox allows you to save files, images and videos to the cloud to access from anywhere. You’re also able to store and share files and collaborate on projects. You can visit DropBox from a computer, phone or tablet and any changes you make from one device will automatically sync across all your devices. Your 1st GB of data is free.
Once again Google makes the cut with it’s Google Cloud platform. Google cloud allows you to back up your files, documents, images, and other content. You can Integrate it seamlessly with other Google apps to never lose track of your archive files.
One of the best ways to set up file storage and sharing for your business is to use OneDrive for Business fromOffice365. OneDrive is a file hosting service where you can store and share all of your files in the cloud. You are able to view and edit all of your files using any of Microsofts programmes.
Asana is a cloud-based project management tool that helps both team managers and team members map out every single step and detail of tasks and projects within an organization. with the free plan, teams of fewer than 15 are allowed an unlimited number of tasks, projects and conversations; and have access to basic dashboards and search functionality.
Basecamp is a real-time communication tool that helps teams stay on the same page. It’s easy to use and you can organise people, delegate tasks, and monitor progress right from the get-go. It is ideal for resource planning and long-term scheduling.