Being your own boss can make it feel like you have no one to rely on. Business tools are there to help you relieve that burden – you are not alone. On top of that, it’s super important to manage your business cash flow, especially in those early days. We’ve put together a list of our best marketing tools for small business that are free. Yes, you read that right, they’re FREE.
These are our best free business tools for small businesses (most of these recommendations are actually based on our personal experience and used here at Become).
Market leader Hubspot is an inbound marketing and sales software providing a huge range of business tools including customer relationship management, marketing and sales tools to increase your web traffic and lead conversion. Small businesses can start out with their free plan and upgrade as they grow to access extra features.
2. MailChimp Free
MailChimp is one of the top email marketing and management tools out there and is so easy to use even a monkey could do it. Best of all, they offer a free plan that is perfect for small businesses. You can create a free account that you can use for up to 2,000 subscribers and send 12,000 emails per month.
It’s really important to keep in touch via email with customers and subscribers. MailChimp offers an excellent way of building and managing your email list and sending out top-quality emails.
3. Google’s G Suite
While you can get a personal Gmail account for free, with access to multiple Google apps, it’s not very professional to have an @Gmail.com domain for your business. G Suite is Google’s cloud solution for businesses. You can create a G Suite new business account which will give you access to your Gmail account ending with @YOURDOMAIN.com.
You will also get access to Google apps such as Google Drive, Google Docs, and Calendar and cloud storage. There’s the option to start off with their free 14-day trial and then start paying only $5 per user per month. So even though it isn’t completely free once your trial is up, you get a whole lot of features for a minimal fee.
4. Google My Business
Google My Business is one of many free marketing tools for small business owners enabling small businesses to manage their online presence on Google, particularly on Google Search and Maps. This helps relevant customers find you online when searching for businesses online and also tells them your story.
5. Google Analytics
If you have a business website (which you definitely should have even if you don’t sell online), you can set up a free Google analytics account. With Google Analytics data analysis software you can analyze how your website visitors navigate and engage with your website. It’s an easy tool to use and will help you see what’s working and not working on your site.
Tracking employees’ work hours is essential to operating your small business. Overpaying can place a heavy toll on your cash flow, and underpaying can lead to disgruntled employees. Use TSheets, an Excel timesheet template, “to track employee hours, overtime, vacation days, and more.” Not only is it easy to use, but it can also result in saving up to 11% on your business’s gross payroll costs!
You can set up a free WordPress site with easy to use features, which should be more than sufficient for your business, especially in its early stages. In WordPress, you can and should create a blog and start blogging right away, creating relevant, engaging content for your target audience which you can then share on social media.
WordPress is the backbone to your SEO and website, and you can continue building as much ‘meat’ as it takes to get your website to where it needs to be. This could be through product pages, landing pages as well as your blog. As your business grows, you can upgrade to the right WordPress plan to unlock more useful features.
Not a creative bone in your body? Fear not, with Canva you can create professional designs for your business, which you can use in your social media, blog posts and on your website.
You’ll be able to create posters, leaflets, graphics for your email marketing and so much more. This is the tool you need to keep your designs looking professional without the need for hiring a graphic designer.
Slack is a personal favorite of ours and we Becomeers use it to communicate with our colleagues, teams and partners every day. Think of it as the WhatsApp for business. It’s a great alternative to email allowing for more casual discussion. Unlike email, you can put your settings to ‘sleep mode’ so that your colleagues know not to disturb you. And when you need something that moment, just ‘slack it’ – send a quick ping and your colleague should get back to you right away.
Groupchats are another handy feature (like WhatsApp): at Become for example, we have one group for ‘design’ where we can brainstorm new graphic ideas and get quick feedback on new vidoes and creatives.
Slack offers a free plan that allows up to 10,000 messages, 10 apps and integrations, and provides 1-to-1 video calls. All this is perfect for a new business.
Trello is a project management tool ideal for small businesses who want to get a taste of Teamwork Projects for an unlimited amount of time. The free package includes 100MB file space, 2 active projects, limited task boards, and basic project management.
Youcanbook.me is an online scheduling software, making it easy for your customers to book appointments with you. They offer a free plan, however, you’re required to show their ‘powered for free’ branding on your emails and booking page. Nevertheless, it’s a great tool for small businesses that rely on customer bookings.
Social media is a must-have for every business, no matter the size. The more quality content you post more frequently, the more followers you’ll get on your social media accounts. Social media is not only the ‘face’ of your business, but will help you to generate customers, hire new employees and even help generate good PR as you connect with influencers in your industry.
Sounds simple but daily posting can be a headache and busy business owners simply don’t have the time or resources to do this. Hootsuite simplifies the process by allowing you to schedule all your posts in advance on all your social media channels including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. It also provides analysis of posts so you can see what’s working and what’s not.
You can create a free account that will enable you to manage 3 social profiles at no cost, and as a small business that’s all you’ll really need for now.
Pixabay is the king of free stock images with the largest collection of image media – over a million images, illustrations, vector graphs and even some video stock. You can simply select your desired resolution and download the file, easy.
Wix is synonymous with beautiful no-cost websites including free hosting. While you can absolutely create and set up your initial website for free, it is worth upgrading to a premium plan at some point, with the main benefits being a custom domain and the blockage of Wix ads. The most popular Wix premium plan for entrepreneurs and freelancers costs $12.50 per month.
Did you know a platform exists to help businesses get better business loan options?
It’s called LendingScore™ – and yes, it’s free.
Whether it’s your first time seeking business funding or you’re coming back for another round of capital, you can use LendingScore™ to make sure you get the most optimal deals for your business and increase your funding odds. By seeing a detailed board of your company’s financials, you’ll be able to learn the areas that need improving.
Become’s business loan marketplace allows you to compare all of your funding options in one place. It specializes in matching businesses with tailored funding solutions including unsecured business loans, lines of credit, SBA loans and more. Once a business owner fills out an application (obligation free) the company uses technology to analyze your business and:
- Find you the most optimal lender (from its 50+ partners)
- Compare funding offers in one place
- Provide you with a tailored LendingScore™ dashboard
- Give personalized info as to how you can get better funding options
- Get a to-do list on how to increase your ‘fundability’
You could get your LendingScore™ dashboard with FREE info and advice without actually choosing a funding offer. So you could apply for a business loan, but not actually go through with it. You’ll be directed to your free tailored dashboard where you can get your free business advice!
We love Square as a POS software for small retailers as it has great features at no cost, including features for sales, inventory and business management. The software comes with zero monthly or startup costs and the fees for payment processing are just 2.75%. You also get a free mobile card reader and online store.
What can online tools achieve for small businesses?
Online tools are there to make business owners’ lives easier. You’ll often find that they cut the time spent on tasks by more than half and can add creative and professional touches to your work and image.
There are so many high-quality free tools available on the internet with enough features to keep any small business going and growing. There are also many other tools available that offer free trials and have really affordable basic plans. Once your business has grown and you have more available cash, you can always upgrade to unlock additional features.
Is it worth paying for marketing tools?
There are loads of marketing tools out there to help you scale your small business including keyword finders, deep diving analytics and online advertising tools that can all take your marketing to infinity and beyond. The question you have to ask yourself is whether you are at a stage in your business where you can a) afford the tools and b) know how to use them to your advantage in order to make the investment worthwhile.
We would advise to try them out the best free marketing tools and then make the decision of whether you’d like to buy into a subscription or try something else.
How to choose the best free marketing tool for your small business
To choose the best free business tools that are right for your company, first, take a look at your business and spend a moment jotting down the areas you feel need improving. Try not to overwhelm yourself and list the top 5 things (be it organization, bookkeeping, marketing, visuals etc.). Once you’ve got those top 5 key areas listed, use our list to go to the relevant tools. If you’ve never heard of that tool, we suggest watching a couple of demos (plenty on YouTube) to figure out how to use and benefit from it.The best things in life are free! Which of these free tools do you use in business? Click To Tweet