Small Business Toolbox
20+ Essential Tools to Help You Start and Grow Your Business
Let’s face facts: Good tools help you build great things. Whether you’re just starting a new business, or you’re looking for ways to keep growing and make your company even better, it’s the right tools and resources that can lay the foundation for greater success.
Here are 20+ free or low-cost tools you can incorporate into your small business toolbox today.
Asana helps you keep your work organized and on track. For each project, you create and assign tasks for yourself and others to complete. Also, the cat hack is entertaining.
Buffer is an application where you can schedule all your social media posts in advance. It works on the major social media networks.
Calendly lets you and the people you want to meet with schedule meetings without a bunch of back and forth emails.
Gimp is like a free version of Photoshop. You can use it to create and edit different types of image files for both print and web.
Google Analytics keeps track of your website traffic, giving you access to important data like where your visitors are coming from, what they’re reading on your website and what devices they’re using.
Google Docs allows you to write and edit documents that are automatically saved to your Google Drive for storage. Google Docs doesn’t have all the features of Microsoft Word, but hey, it’s free and useful for real-time collaboration on documents.
Highrise allows your business to keep track of customers and all your interactions with them. Good for building relationships for sales and customer service.
Hubspot’s marketing software is too much too soon for many small businesses, but their Academy offers a bunch of free marketing certification courses that are great for sharpening your marketing skills.
Jack Rose Web Studio
Jack Rose Web Studio can help you convert your website into a 24/7 marketing machine! Blas and Sarah do everything from design and development to setup and maintenance so you can focus on scaling your business, and not fighting with your website.
Have too many passwords these days? LastPass stores and organizes all your passwords.
Mailchimp helps businesses keep in touch with their customers through email marketing. Limited use is free but bigger audiences and automation workflows require a paid plan.
Meetup helps you find groups in your area for networking and fun. Many cities have groups for entrepreneurs as well as for people in specific professions. And when your work day is done, Meetup has lots of activity groups where you can meet new friends.
PayPal is an online payment processor that’s great for small companies who want to do business internationally. They’re recognized worldwide and charge moderate fees.
The Pomodoro Technique helps you manage your work time better. The idea is that you set a timer for 25 minutes and focus on a single task like creating a proposal, writing a speech or whatever you need to do. When the 25 minutes is up, then you take a five-minute break. That 30-minute set is called a “pomodoro.” After four pomodoros, you take a longer break, like 20 or 30 minutes. Try it! You might be surprised at how much you get done.
Skype helps you keep in contact with your customers and team members through Internet-based phone calls and video calls. Skype to Skype is free while Skype to phone is reasonably priced.
Like to work with music in the background? Spotify can add more music variety to your work routine with their mood- and genre-specific playlists.
SurveyMonkey allows you to easily create and distribute your own surveys and questionnaires online, but they offer paid market research options too.
Time and Date
“What time is it right now in Hong Kong?” “Is Monday a holiday in Canada?” If you’re dealing with different countries and time zones, Time and Date is a life saver. It’s a treasure trove of the latest time- and date-related reference info.
Toggl tracks your time and helps you report where that time went. It’s easy to use and free for solopreneurs and small teams.
Wave is free accounting software that helps small businesses keep track of their money. Tracking and invoicing are free, but payroll services for employees costs extra.
WooCommerce is an ecommerce plugin that helps people sell on their WordPress websites. It’s popular, sturdy and can be customized.
Which tools and resources are essential for your business? Let us know.
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