For a small business, money is in short supply. When you want to invest in software, you do not want to spend too much on those that will not have a significant ROI. Fortunately, there are several software you can use for free to optimize your business processes. Here are some of the best free tools in the market today.
1. Wix Website Builder
Your business needs a website. Aside from your store, this is fertile ground for new clients, increased visibility, credibility, and cheap advertising. A free website builder such as Wix can give you a free account.
Your role will be to focus on producing UI and UX designs for the site. Database administration and development courses offer training and skills in this area as well as Java, HTML, and coding competencies. As your business grows, though you might hire a website developer along the way, you will be equipped to contribute and steer your website’s direction.
2. Virtual Private Network
CyberGhost provides a Virtual Private Network service (VPN) to aid in security. 88% of businesses in the UK suffered a cyber-attack in the last 12 months. This emphasizes the need to have a security system. Consequently, as your business grows, so will your security needs. VPN services can conceal your online activity and limit access to network content. CyberGhost offers good protection, a reliable connection, and is on OSes, which is a modern operating system.
3. Wrike Project Management
The free version supports a maximum of five users, with no limit on collaborators. It also offers your business 2GB of storage. Also, it allows you to monitor group activities, share files, and manage tasks with ease.
4. Video Conferencing By join.me
It’s been estimated that 50% of the workforce in the UK will be working remotely by 2020. For a business, this creates the need for a reliable collaboration tool. Join.me is one such tool, allowing up to 10 video call participants, live video feeds as well as screen sharing.
5. Hootsuite Social Media Listening Tool
In this day and age, you cannot ignore social media listening. This is how you know what is being said about you and your competitors as well. For a small business that’s not yet ready to hire social media strategists or mega listening platforms, Hootsuite fills this gap. With its free version, you can manage several social networks, interact with followers as well as schedule posts.
6. MailChimp’s Forever Free Plan
This is an excellent free emailing service. It’s offered to businesses sending out fewer than 12,000 emails to 2,000 subscribers per month. The deal allows you to use built-in sign-up forms to get subscribers from the web. The software also helps you design messages for your audience.
7. Zoho Docs Document Management
This is an ideal solution for small businesses with light document loads. The free plan is available to 25 users, who get 5 GB of storage each. Further, you get unlimited file sharing, in-app chat for collaboration as well as the capacity to integrate to Dropbox.
8. SurveyGizmo Online Survey
The surest way to get real feedback from your customers is through surveys. Asking your customers for feedback also makes your customers see you as a concerned business. SurveyGizmo allows you to manage a limitless number of surveys, questions, and responses.
9. Apptivo CRM
While most tools for CRM are costly, complicated affairs, Apptivo CRM gives you a free starter software. It comes with 500 GB of data, detailed reporting, and some project management tools.
For a small business, this is an advantage in that it helps you better understand the system and its limitations. When you do go for a premium service, you are better prepared at recognizing your business needs and the customizable options you will need.
For a small business, the goal of taking up free services is to test the waters and see what brings value and what does not, before making expensive purchases. For this reason, the free services only offer limited features. You can access the entire range of services by upgrading to the paid services.