I don’t know about you, but when it comes to running my business, I try to cut costs wherever I can. Sure, there are some areas where this isn’t possible (and I never sacrifice quality), but if I’m offered something at no cost to me that could help me become more efficient or effective, far be it from me to turn it down. So, if you’re frugal like I am, here are four of my favorite absolutely free resources that may just help you too.
Website Analytics: Google Analytics
It’s pretty hard to tell whether your website is effective at drawing in your target market if you have no idea how many people come to it, how long they stay, and whether or not they’re in the demographics you want to hit. Fortunately, that’s where Google Analytics come in.
When you sign up to use Google Analytics, you are able to see how many people have visited your site, what countries and cities they are from, their age and gender, and more. This kind of information is invaluable because it helps you easily see if you’re appealing to your target market or if you need to tweak your content. Google Analytics also tells you how your site’s visitors got there so you can see if some referral sites or social media pages are working better than others.
Video Conferencing: Skype
If you have clients all over the world or even just across town, then some form of video conferencing can save you a lot of time and money in travel. Skype is great for this purpose, as it is absolutely free and you can talk to anyone that has internet access at absolutely no cost to you.
Skype also works well for group calls, making it a great alternative for holding meetings if your company has different locations or if you’re working on a project that involves multiple people. As a side note, I’ve been involved in quite a few group calls and one thing I’ve noticed is that if you have more than 3-4 people on at one time, you want to only use the video when you’re the one speaking, as having everyone’s video on at the same time will likely slow the system down. You also want to mute yourself when you’re not the one talking so that your background noise isn’t distracting.
File Sharing: Dropbox
Some people use Google Drive to share documents and others prefer Dropbox. Either way, when you’re working with someone else on a project, placing a document or video in Dropbox allows you both to work on it at the same time, adding comments so you can communicate within that particular project without having to talk verbally.
Another benefit of Dropbox is it saves you from having to email something back and forth multiple times, putting you at risk of not having the most updated version. But when you use Dropbox, it ensures that you are looking at the most recent one.
Project Management: Asana
I had a client introduce me to Asana and, although I wasn’t too keen on the idea of trying to learn yet another project management site, I have to admit that I fell in love with this one instantly. It was easy to use, completely understandable, and I never felt lost once.
Asana lets you set up projects, create tasks, and more. It also keeps all of your project information in one spot so you and others on the task have all of your notes and comments in one convenient location. This makes it easier to go through the correspondence if there’s something you forgot and need to find.
You also have access to a calendar through Asana so you can quickly see what is coming up in the days and weeks ahead. It’s great for helping you plan your days in a way that enables you to meet deadlines and continue to pursue your business-related goals.
These are just a few of my favorite free resources. What are some of yours? Feel free to share them below!
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