You can go broke fast as a new entrepreneur. Here are 16 free tools to help you get started and even grow a sizable business, while preserving your funding for what really matters.
1) Google Drive / Google Docs
Web-based office software & file sharing.
Google Drive is Google’s cloud-based file storage system, and it integrates seamlessly with the file sharing & collaboration tools inside Google Docs. I relied on Google Docs extensively while compiling this book project because it meant my virtual assistant helpers & I could all work on the same file at once.
Drive is free for up to 15 GB of storage.
Canva offers a free suite of design tools for creating social media ads, PPC ads, infographics, beautiful slides, magazines and a lot more. Comes with plenty of free stock photography built in. You can even use it to create custom and consistent filters for all your brand images. Great starting tool if you need design and you are trying to DIY it.
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This free project management tool is used by an enormous number of freelancers. So, you should have no problem finding a team who already has experience with it. Easy to use to do lists, delegation tools and collaboration for remote teams.
4) Google Trends
A great first step to figuring out what’s hot and in demand out there. This is a very simple tool to find out what people are talking about and searching for online, whether interest in something is increasing or decreasing, and if there is enough web traffic to begin building an SEO campaign around.
There are so many email tools out there today. From Getresponse to AWeber to Infusionsoft, most do exactly the same things. Mailchimp will get you started with list building and automated follow up, for free. It even has web forms, popups, and a basic landing page builder. One of the best things is that it integrates with virtually everything else for free. You can always export your contact list to a new service if you want to upgrade to something more complicated later.
6) Google Analytics
It’s crazy how few entrepreneurs and businesses use this powerful, free tool. It doesn’t matter how much of a genius you are and how creative you are, you need data to make sound business and financial decisions. Google Analytics will give you a quick overview or deep dive into who your customers really are, what they love about you, what is turning them off, and how to optimize for more conversions and spend your marketing money more wisely.
Boomerang for Gmail enables you to schedule emails for later. This is perfect for giving yourself time to think before your response goes out, to time landing pitch emails to investors, and to target marketing messages to land at just the right time for your prospects. The Respondable feature aims to help you write better emails too. It does this by ranking your message on a variety of factors, including reading level, length, positivity level and staying on subject.
LinkedIn is a goldmine for startup entrepreneurs. It is a powerful platform for building an audience, targeted recruiting, networking and gaining direct access to angel investors. Make sure you’ve polished up your profile and publish to your feed regularly. Even though is free I find very useful the premium experience which gives you access to message people that are outside of your network.
In an age where banks fee you to death and are still catching up on technology for swiftly sending transfers, PayPal is powerful. It’s like a no cost bank account, merchant account and credit card processor, allows you to instantly and quickly take payments and give refunds. PayPal also now offers a variety of POS tools as well as small business loans and lines of credit.
There are a lot of DIY website builders and blogging tools out there today. WordPress still runs most of the web. It’s free to setup your own website or blog, still one of the easiest to use and comes with an enormous amount of plugins. A great starting point for testing your business idea and beginning to get traction.
Medium is essentially a free blogging platform. You don’t need to mess with any design. Just start publishing clean content, getting the word out about your startup, updating investors on your progress, and attracting more customers.
If you’re a highly mobile entrepreneur and are allergic to wild cell service roaming fees and ‘unlimited’ plans that really aren’t – then Skype is probably for you. Use it to make free calls, record podcasts, host meetings, and conduct video sessions. There are plenty of plugins to check out too.
Use AngelList to find a startup job, post a job, network with investors, see who is investing in what, and to invest in startups as well.
Post job openings for free on the world’s largest freelancing platform, and screen from the best experts for your needs in the world. Get just the work you need on-demand without taking on hefty overhead or salaries.
Use Calendly to schedule appointments, calls and investor meetings with ease. Integrates with Wix and Google Calendar.
Local events matching your interests.
Use Meetup.com to find local gatherings & networking events in your niche.
Meetup is always free for attendees, and if you want to host a group it’s just $5 per month.