Starting and running a business can be costly. If we are not careful, spiralling costs can get on top of us and make our cash flow very unhealthy. So let’s look at some ways of saving on costs. This list of 5 free tools for small business is a great starting place. These tools represent not only a great cost saving opportunity, but also a chance to improve productivity within certain areas of your business.
WhatsApp is a great multifunctional, Swiss Army Knife-style, business tool. On face value you can use it as an instant messenger to improve internal communication. You can also make video and phone calls from wherever you are in the world, saving on costly international phone plans. It supports file sharing and your data is encrypted. What more can you ask for from a free messaging app? Check out this blog post to see more reasons why WhatsApp is great for business.
If you don’t have the budget to hire a social media marketing expert and don’t have the time to spend posting numerous times per day, then you need Hootsuite. This social media automation tool lets you easily schedule your posts across most of the social media platforms. This will allow you to effectively plan your social media marketing and save you heaps of time in the process. The free version has limited functionality and only lets you manage three social media accounts, but it should be enough to get your small business started. Later, you can consider upgrading, if the need arises.
Email marketing should be a part of every business’s marketing strategy. MailChimp lets you easily create and send beautifully designed emails to your subscriber list. You can easily upload you contact list from an Excel document, design an email newsletter or promotional email, and send it to the whole list, or to a segmented group. The free version has limitations on functionality and number of emails you can send, but should be adequate if you have just started to grow your email list.
This file storage sharing system from Microsoft is incredibly handy for businesses just starting out. Creating a free Microsoft email account will give you access to OneDrive’s cloud storage with 5GB of free space. You can store your company documents here and share them easily between team members. Although this article is focusing on free business tools, I would highly recommend upgrading to a premium business account. For $5 per person, per month you get access to 1TB of storage through OneDrive and a ton of other Microsoft tools to help you run your business. Check out this blog post to see all the ways you can utilize OneDrive in your business.
We have all heard of Google Analytics and AdWords, but something you may not have heard of is the Keyword Planner tool contained within AdWords. This is something you probably would not have come across unless you have run any AdWords campaigns. You can access this without committing any money to advertising with Google and it should play an essential role in increasing your organic search traffic. This is key for anyone running a business on a budget. Type in a keyword phrase and Google will tell you how popular it is and what the competition is like for that keyword. It will also give you a list of other similar keywords.
Start Improving Your Business’s Performance
This list represents what I feel are some of the most useful free tools on the market, essential for running a productive business. Saving costs where you can in business is vital, especial in the early stages. Hopefully this article has given you some insight on how you can improve your business’s performance while keeping costs down.