Running a small business is just as complicated as running a big company, even if you may not initially think so when starting. The key is to buy digital tools that can keep things running optimally. Many of these tools offer automation, superior metrics, and superior task managers to enable higher productivity.
Most of these digital applications have become mainstream since their creators know the impact on the small business community. With small businesses now thriving, the only way to keep them this way is to find the right technology.
Fortunately, many tools out there are free. Here are 21 free tools to help you run your small business more efficiently. This includes some with a localized angle.
1. Google My Business
There isn’t any better place to start than with a product by Google. With Google My Business, you basically create a free profile in their search engine results. It allows you to give info on hours, location mapping, what your prices are, and even virtual tours.
2. Google Analytics
Don’t forget about how important analytics are to your small business. Without them, you could get lost in what your business reality really is. Google Analytics is your best bet as another example in how friendly Google is to the business world.
Many small businesses use this as a complementary tool to Google Analytics. Unbounce helps you figure out ways to avoid bounce rates, specifically by creating effective landing pages for more conversions.
4. The California Small Business Development Center
Those of you operating small businesses in California might want to consider the free resources available from the SBDC Network. They provide free one-on-one advising on how to run things. It’s all paid for through the U.S. Small Business Administration.
5. Using the Small Business Administration for Other Services
Speaking of SBA.gov, it’s a good idea to use their site as a major resource for all small business matters. They frequently post current issues about small business to help keep you relevant.
6. WordPress for Blogging
It’s amazing WordPress.org is still a free service to create websites and blogs. They still offer beautiful templates to create professional blogs for any type of business.
7. The Local Small Business Development Center
Sponsored by the SBA, try this center to help you find more localized information pertaining to helping your business. It gives you websites and addresses on where you can find practical tips.
Perhaps you’ve never heard of this site, giving you a free template for business plans in virtually every industry. It’s a good alternative if you don’t know where to start on planning your business path.
For those of you needing to find capital to help fund your small business, try this popular service. With angel investors also using AngelList, you can match yourself perfectly with the right VC.
Here you have an online service providing professional graphics for your blogs or marketing materials. Canva covers all territory through their graphical templates.
Don’t underestimate the use of infographics in your small business marketing. You’ll want to use PiktoChart for infographic templates. You can’t go wrong here as a free service, especially since a lot of the imagery isn’t overly basic.
While a basic email service, it’s the best option if you’re starting out and need to send thousands of email newsletters to customers. MailChimp provides great design templates for a professional touch.
13. Small Business Services in New York City
Those of you starting a small business in New York City should definitely use their Small Business Services as an alternative to the SBA. Their small business courses feature valuable content and all paid for by the city.
Your first thought on office communication is probably Skype. Try Sococo as an alternative because it provides a completely free virtual office environment. You can communicate digitally with your agile team easily in other locations.
All the legalities of running a small business can become a big hassle. Docracy provides legal document templates to help you deal with contracts. It also saves money preparing these with a lawyer.
The problems of payroll on paper can become a major time consumer. TSheets is a GPS-monitored system letting employees track their own work time. This gives you an accurate and cumulative view of time your employees put in during a day. It also integrates with QuickBooks and Xero.
To deal with environmental issues in your Texas-based small business, consider TexasEnviroHelp. They provide free resources to help you stay compliant to environmental regulations.
18. Google Drive
No doubt you’ve heard plenty about Google Drive. It’s time to use it as a great productive tool, especially collaboration among field employees. What makes it great is it also helps track spreadsheet edits in real-time. For data storage, it’s the best of all free options available.
You’ve maybe overlooked HootSuite for your social media marketing. There isn’t a better tool in automating your social media postings for better time management. Plus, it helps you better engage with followers.
As you create blogs and other content, you’ll need images to make it stand out. Flickr offers free stock images to use for whatever you want. They offer diverse imagery as well, redefining what you may think stock imagery is.
21. SBDC in Florida
Florida also has a Small Business Development Center, and they already provide a lot of free tips on their website. They’re as much of a fan of Google as others. Recently, they’ve given tips on free Google tools to use. This ranges from GMail to Google Webmaster Tools.
Visit us at Camino Financial to learn about our easier business loan process to help you start the small business you’ve always wanted.