Posted on January 8th, 2018
Running a small business is definitely no walk in the park. You have to take care of everything - from ordering inventory to hiring employees to doing the books. The tasks and responsibilities can sometimes be overwhelming!
The good news is we live in a time where almost everything can be automated, and free tools and resources are readily available for small business owners and solo entrepreneurs to make use of.
Here is a list of our top 10 recommended tools and resources to help you run your business smoothly:
Google, the world's most-used search engine, offers businesses a free profile which you can set up. Business owners like you can add all relevant information such as hours, location, pricing information, reviews, and photos. A Google My Business profile helps entrepreneurs reach more customers and, if you have a complete profile, boosts SEO rankings.
A business requires a logo, some graphics for flyers and other marketing material, as well as labels or stickers. Graphic design requires software and expertise. Not really. Today, anyone can go on Canva, sign up for a free account, and start designing.
Canva has available pre-formatted templates fit for different types of marketing material. You can now easily create social media banners, marketing flyers, graphics, and what-not.
Best paired with Canva, this site is great for whenever you need stock images that are absolutely royalty-free. You can use the high-quality images from Unsplash to create your graphics for marketing and other purposes.
You can try Pexels too.
This tool is especially helpful for when you have a team of shifting employees. Instead of endless emails and phone calls, missed notes, etc., When I Work will keep track of employee availability and create a balanced shift schedule. When I Work also notifies employees when they work and allows them to trade shifts with other teammates.
There's a 30-day free trial in case you'd like to try it out and see if it's what you and your business needs.
You know how you receive an email that's not really urgent but can't be ignored either? So you'll need to get back to it later on - and it's too important to just be a "Starred" email status. Or when you need to follow up on an email the following week and want to be reminded of it? No sweat. Boomerang is a third-party Gmail add-on that lets you do scheduled sending and create follow-up reminders.
This one isn't entirely free though. You get 10 scheduled messages a month. The unlimited version comes with a small fee.
New entrepreneurs who just want to build their email list and send out important newsletters or email blasts to their customers don't need to jump in and subscribe for a pricey email marketing platform right away. Mailchimp offers a friendly, easy-to-use interface for creating email marketing campaigns. You can also customize your opt-in forms within Mailchimp. They offer awesome templates and advanced analytics that will definitely help you get started in your email marketing campaigns.
The free version lets you send 12,000 emails and store up to 2,000 subscribers.
When you were brewing the idea of launching a business, you wanted to learn everything about it - so you followed so many people and subscribed to tons of newsletters and downloaded a lot of free guides. As a result, your inbox is swamped with emails on a daily basis.
Unroll.me is perfect for helping you declutter your inbox by sending you a summary of all your newsletter subscriptions. From there, you can choose which ones to unsubscribe to and which ones to keep getting updates from. A great time saver!
Keeping your finances organized is a quite the hassle, especially when invoices and payments made, as well as transactions are all over the place! With Wave, you can do these all within the app.
Wave is designed for consultants, freelancers, contractors, and other small businesses owners who want to stay sane even with all the accounting documents. Wave allows you to customize your invoices with your personalized logo, and makes it easy for you to share them with your customers. You can also link your bank accounts to keep track of all your transactions and categorize them for easy tracking.
Even when you're a small business, you'll still need to handle some legal documents - and we all know hiring a lawyer to draft up these papers will cost a lot! LegalZoom allows you to bypass that step by helping you create an array of legal documents without having to hire a lawyer.
They have a wide range of documents ready for you - such as business formation documents, copyright registrations, trademark applications, etc.
There are so many other business tools and resources out there that will help you get your business to the next level. It's just a matter of research, and some trial and error too. Let us know if you're already using any of these tools or resources and share your experience with us. We'd love to hear from you!