Free tools to help run your business

Starting a business costs money.  You’ve probably heard that saying, “you’ve got to spend money to make money”?  That used to be true and to a degree is still is.  With the internet now a BIG part of entrepreneurship, there are a ton of free and low cost tools you can use to get your business off the ground.

Design Tools

If you are tech saavy and more of a DIYer, you can do a lot of your own marketing materials like business cards, flyers and logo design. This Introduction to Graphic Design course on Udemy teaches you the basics of design.  It’s not teaching you Photoshop skills (see that class below) but it teaches you the elemtns of design, using white space, balance, and basic design principles.

YouTube is always a great place to learn new stuff.  PS Pro on YouTube has some really great tutorials to teach you how to use the software to create your marketing materials.

But if you can’t afford Photoshop (which now comes in a monthly subscription format), Canva is a great alternative. It’s free web based design software that makes it easy to create!  Just start with one of their templates, upload your logo or photos and customize.  They have lots of formats from Facebook cover pages to flyers.

Money Tools

Need an invoice to give to your customers?  Invoice To Me is perfect for you.  Just go to the website, customize it right on the webpage , click Get PDF on the left hand side of the page and you can download it and send it on its way to your customer.  If you sign up for a free account, there are a lot of features you can get as well.

Mint.com is a web based financial management tool.  You can manage your expenses and income.  You can also set a budget and keep track of it.  I personally haven’t used this one, but many people have recommended it to me.

Various Tools

If you plan on sending out email updates to keep your customers up to date, Mailchimp is the best FREE software out there. Create website signup forms, manage your mailing list and keep in touch with your customers for free.

Need images to use on your website and other promotional places, Pixabay has some great free images that are not copyright protected. This is my favorite but there are many out there. Just Google “free stock photos” and you will find lots!

As a business owner, you need to stay organized.  Trello is a great tool to organize projects, to do lists and more.  If you grow your business and hire more people, it’s a great way for everyone to stay up to date on projects and tasks.  There is so much that you can do in Trello.

A few more free tools for your business. Dropbox gives you file storage in the cloud and makes it easy to share your files. Buffer is a great tool to schedule social media posts. Wix is an easy drag and drop website builder.

This is just a small list of some of my favorite free tools.  There is so much out there, you can easily start your business with little to no money.

Got a question about any of these?  Leave a comment below and I’ll be glad to help you out.

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