With the advent of the internet, businesses have been provided with an endless array of money saving opportunities to take advantage of. Whilst industry leading software is available if you have the budget for the likes of Hubspot, it may surprise many small businesses there are tools online which are free to use and can help them to get the job done just as well.
Indeed, using many of the following pieces of software will save your business a great deal of money. Some of them are apps for your phone, others are cutting edge pieces of software you can download, but all of them are designed with productivity and ROI in mind.
There are all manner of tools your business can use to store important work online, and they’re free! The likes of Google Drive, Dropbox, and many others can be used in tandem to offer your business multiple GBs of free storage.
For small businesses, it will likely be all you need, with the added security of everything being stored in the cloud. No more work lost due to crashing computers, in other words.
Evernote and Slack
It’s important for any business to stay in contact and share ideas across projects. For this, Evernote is a brilliant option as you can brainstorm, take screengrabs from useful articles you stumble upon, and generally brainstorm your way to greater things. Consider it an advanced version of sticky notes – this Evernote guide will help you along. It’s a free piece of software as well, so you can develop your strategies in a productive online environment with no expensive charges.
Similarly, Slack is a free piece of software which allows your business to communicate easily. With its streamlined digital chat features, your staff can keep in touch and develop projects easily and effectively.
For a personalised email address and all of the fancy software Google has to offer, signing up to this is possibly one of the smartest things any modern business can do. With G Suite, your business can quickly and easily get setup with 30GB of inbox storage which is ad-free, professional, and there’s 24/7 customer support if you get stuck.
One of the big bonuses is you’ll be able to structure a bespoke email address: email@example.com (or .com). This adds an extra layer of professionalism to your business and will help you easily stand out in often overcrowded inboxes. This guide to setting up G Suite from Google is the ideal place to start.
Quite a lot of businesses remain unaware about streak, but it’s a massively helpful tool for business owners. Streak is essentially a CRM which you install into Gmail (you’ll need an account – this is also free), but its multiple features allow an entrepreneur to collaborate with colleagues, multipurpose, work with Google Apps, and everything is based in the cloud. The great thing about it is it doesn’t require much technical knowledge to setup. Just install and off you go!
One of the downsides of the online world is, of course, the need to remember a seemingly perpetual stream of new passwords for all the endless accounts you’re on.
There’s an easy way to remember all of this (as you’d expect), with the likes of Dashlane and LastPass offering highly secure ways to store your passwords in one place. From there, all you need to do is load the right login screen and you’ll be logged in automatically.
This may be a dreaded term for some businesses who don’t fully understand its potential. On the financial marketing side of your business, SEO can reduce overhead significantly by acting as multiple pieces of content marketing at once. It’s a free form of lead generation, can claim you important ranking positions to generate relevant traffic, and provides you with a golden opportunity to structure compelling content through meta tags.
You’ll need a basic understanding of SEO to make all of this come together, but you can start with free tools such as Google Keyword Planner and Yoast SEO in WordPress to help you claim ranking positions which matter.
SEO is deeply complex and requires on-site, off-site, and technical knowhow, but with commitment it will pay huge rewards. If you’re sitting pretty in first position on a key search term in Google’s SERPs, you have the chance to dominate your market. This beginner’s guide to SEO from Moz will help you get to grips with what to expect.
Katie is a finance specialist with one of the biggest firms in London. From savings to investments, there’s nothing she can’t advise on and she’s here to help spread the word and help you on your way to financial freedom.