Starting a new business can be quite costly. Here are 5 free small biz applications that we recommend you use when starting out. They are all very user-friendly and can be upgraded to provide more advanced options once you have more income to invest.
If you are looking for a free Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) then Hubspot is great. It links up to your Gmail so that you can create a new contact, opportunity or task directly from your Gmail account.
You can attach important emails to your contact so that the information is kept in one place, set custom fields that allow you to categorize each contact and receive email reminders when tasks are due.
The CRM has a free version with opportunities to upgrade as you expand. The free version allows you to store unlimited contacts and can be accessed by multiple users. For an additional $50 per user per month, you can upgrade your account to sales pro which offers access to automation and templates.
There are a lot of free email accounts available or options to set up accounts with your web hosting. What we love about Gmail is the fact that it is designed to sync with so many different applications that can make your business life easier with integrations such as Boomerang for Gmail an app that allows you to schedule emails.
In addition, it gives you access to an online Calendar and Google Drive, which is a great tool that allows you to create and share documents with ease.
For businesses like ours that receive secure information and need additional storage, you can upgrade to Google Apps which is a version of Gmail developed specifically for businesses, for $5 per month.
This option gives you a professional email address, better email security, 24 hour support and 30GB of storage.
WiX has come a long way and is a great program that you can use to build your website. They have eCommerce options, forums and drag and drop design capabilities.
If you get your site designed by a developer that customizes WiX templates it means that in the future when you wish to make changes you don’t need to contact your original developer. Anyone proficient in WiX should be able to help you, saving a lot of money.
If your budget is too low to hire a developer you can easily learn to build a WiX website yourself with their drag and drop feature. We also recommend upgrading to premium when they offer a 50% off limited deal which usually pops up in the dashboard at various intervals.
Google Analytics is a free service offered by Google that helps you track your website traffic. Once you have signed up and added your personalized key to your website you can begin generating reports that give you detailed insights into your audience, their behaviours, and how they were acquired.
You can customize your reports, set conversion goals and link your analytics to your Google Adwords.
Google Analytics is the key to finding out if your website is attracting the kind of clients that you are looking for and for determining if your online marketing efforts are working.
Later is a great application that helps small business owners manage their social media. The free version allows you to manage and schedule 30 updates for one set of social media.
Upgrades to receive more analytics, hashtag suggestions and features start at $15/month.
There is a lot of awesome software out there that can really help small businesses. These are just 5 that have really helped us.