9 best free business tools to get started in online business
You don't have to have loads of expensive softwares, tools and apps when you are starting your first online business. With these nine free business tools, you can jumpstart your first business on a budget.
It goes without saying that building a business comes with expenses; however, there are plenty of free tools to cut the costs when you are first starting out.
I’m going to break down nine of my favorite business tools - all digital, all free!
These nine business tools will help you get organized and streamline your workflow at no cost to you.
Sounds obvious, right? But do you know just how many aspects of your business needs the GMail app suite covers?
The apps that come with your ordinary GMail account are enough for you to start organizing your business.
The App Suite in GMail will help you, save organize and connect with your contacts via Email or Hangouts, plan your week (Cal), organize and design documents, slide presentations, resumes, reports, brochures and professional PDFs (Docs & Drive). There is also video conferencing (Duo), organizing your contacts (Contacts).
The GMail App suite covers just about all you need to do the basics in your business.
Naturally, once you have a website, autoresponder and need to email from a unique email address (email@example.com), you will want to upgrade to GSuite.
However, for starters (and if your web hosting already offers a free email address, like Bluehost), your regular Gmail account will suffice.
In fact, the functionality of the apps in GMail cover many of the functions of the other tools I am going to show you today.
While you could use Google calendar, ASANA is designed specifically to keep you, your projects, and your team organized and in a good work flow.
You can organize your business according to projects, set deadlines, and you have the benefit of project boards, list, and calendar view.
You can invite your designers, team members or project managers to view and manage your ASANA projects, add, or delete tasks.
ASANA helps you to break your projects into tasks so you can stay organized, accomplish more in a day, and stay on top of your project timeline.
ASANA offers advanced features with a paid upgrade, including Gantt charts - intriguing! However, I find that the free version is a great place to start and has all the functions you need, especially if you are a new online entrepreneur.
If you want to know more about how to be more productive using ASANA, check out my blog article: Top 5 Super-Simple Tips To Increase Your Productivity While Working From Home.
I could just shout it from the rooftops: I LOVE Canva!
The fact is, when you start your online business, or engage in any kind of digital marketing of your small business, you are going to need graphics - more than you would imagine.
When you are starting out and you are bootstrapping your way through entrepreneurship, you can take advantage of my favorite design tool absolutely for free.
Canva truly covers all of your design needs - both digital and print.
An alternative design tool, which you can find out about here, is Snappa. Snappa is very basic, and in many ways easier to use than Canva, but therefore lacks some of the sophistication that you can achieve with Canva.
#4 - Hootsuite
Hootsuite is a simple app for handling your social media marketing.
On the free plan, you can link 2 social accounts.
I find it to be an especially great place for organizing and automating my Twitter account posts and promoting my YouTube Videos on autopilot. However, which social accounts you use is up to you.
Social media is social. You will certainly want to take some time each day for native posting and connecting with your audience in DMs and messenger. Just be sure to allow social media managers to take some work off your plate.
With Hootsuite you can schedule 30 posts in advance on the free plan. If you schedule your posts once every 2 weeks, it works like a charm!
Not to mention, it is intuitive and simple to use. Zero complications. Try it for yourself!
#5 - LastPass
LastPass is a password vault allowing you to keep all of your passwords in one place.
In addition, you can organize your passwords into folders by type.
LastPass also offers a security challenge: The app will check for duplicate or weak passwords, locate them, and allow you to change them in a couple of clicks.
Naturally, LastPass can be used across all of your devices so you only need to remember one password. You can log into all of your sites from any device anytime, anywhere.
LastPass is an amazing and essential tool. If you aren't using it yet, what are you waiting for?
#6 - TubeBuddy
TubeBuddy is a very cool Chrome Extension that you can use to manage your YouTube channel.
Starting a YouTube channel, just like creating a blog, is a great way to create searchable content related to your business.
Surely not all new entrepreneurs are using YouTube; however, if you are, you will want to check out TubeBuddy.
TubeBuddy allows you to check the keywords used on similar YouTube channels and videos, do your video SEO research within the extension, create thumbnails & end screen templates, plus loads more.
#7 - Ubersuggest
Ubersuggest is my favorite place for keyword research.
This is the most comprehensive keyword research tool I have found that is still free.
Niel Patel’s Ubersuggest allows you to accomplish just about anything that premium SEO search tools do.
You can search keywords, get long-tail keyword suggestions, and search for the websites who are ranking for your keyword. To top it off, you can download all of your keyword research into .csv files or copy them to a clipboard if you prefer.
Niel Patel's awesome free tool also allows you to track keywords on competing websites so that you are able to stand out from the crowd.
I haven’t yet explored all that Ubersuggest has to offer, but I do know this: Whether you are blogging or creating YouTube videos, Ubersuggest is an essential free tool for creating searchable content.
#8 - Hemmingway App (hemingwayapp.com)
If you are writing a blog or sending newsletters (two essentials when starting a business) you are going to need some copywriting skills.
Whether you are just starting out and are not sure whether your copy (writing) is any good, or, if you are a scholar who has decided to go digital biz, you are going to want to make sure that your content is clear, concise, and easy to read.
Hemingwayapp.com is a website that points out areas of your text which are complicated or difficult to read.
This website allows you to edit your copy according to the highlighted areas directly within the app.
Give it a try! -- If you are new to copywriting, this app can really help you out.
#9 - Evernote
Evernote is a simple, well-designed, and free app that allows you and your team to organize your to-dos, ideas, project plans, article clippings and much more.
My favorite feature: The Chrome Extension which allows you to clip excerpts and entire articles from the web and save them in designated notebooks (like folders).
I used to use this app exclusively for this feature because it is so awesome!
When doing research for an article or a YouTube video, or even while doing personal research, when you come across something helpful you can clip it, save it to the appropriate notebook, and return to it later.
Evernote is available across all of your devices, so no matter where you are you will have access to all of your notes and clipped articles.
I highly recommend Evernote for keeping your ideas and research organized.
Wondering what to be grateful for today?
Just look at the applications that hard-working developers have created for us to use for zero cost!
It’s truly incredible the resources we have available to us today.
Starting an online business with the available tools and resources is not only 100% possible, but easier than ever.
Check out these free business tools and see which ones are going to help you jumpstart your own business today.
I hope you found this overview of my nine favorite business tools helpful.
Leave a comment: Which of these online business tools do you already use? Which are you considering trying after reading this article?
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