20 Free Tools for Entrepreneurs to Improve Their Business : Under30CEO 20 Free Tools for Entrepreneurs to Improve Their Business : Under30CEO
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20 Free Tools for Entrepreneurs to Improve Their Business

| October 19, 2011 | 13 Comments

free small business toolsWho doesn’t like free? There are a ton of great free resources available for entrepreneurs online. It can be tough to sort out which ones are worth the time and which ones will do more harm than good. Here is a list of 20 free resources that have been recommended by small business owners.

100% free:

1. Google Docs: Create documents, presentations, spreadsheets, forms and more with this powerful tool. It’s all free!

2. Unpaid interns: Find a way to compensate them with college credits or connections to your network for that paid job they may be looking for later.

3. HARO: If you’re an expert on something get connected to reporters who are looking for sources for stories.

4. Facebook, twitter, linkedin: All of social media is a huge free resource for every business owner. Every business has a chance to use some of the platforms out there to benefit their business.

5. SEO: Nothing is ever guaranteed when trying to rank in search results but it is free and if you can pull it off for the right keywords your business will see the benefits.

6. Google Alerts: Set alerts for your name or your businesses name to see when it’s mentioned somewhere online. Or use them to track the industry and the competition.

7. Quora: Have a question? Ask it on quora and get answers from the community. Or search their growing database of Q&As from all industries.

8. Tumblr: The easiest way to create a blog for your business.

9. Open source software: Whatever you are looking to do there is a good chance there is an open source software substitute for it. While some of these programs may not be as robust or fine tuned many of them are extremely powerful and useful.

Premium options available:

10. FreshBooks: Online billing and invoicing software to help you invoice like a pro. Accounts are free up until 3 clients.

11. Echosign: Digital document signing software. Their free account allows for 5 signatures each month.

12. Mailchimp: Email marketing at it’s best. It’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers.

13. Dropbox: Service that allows you to bring all of your photos, documents and videos anywhere. Upload them to dropbox to access them on any of your computers or through the website. It’s free for up to 2GB.

14. Skype: Free calls to to anyone in the world with Skype. Only pay for premium features and to make calls to phones.

15. Hootsuite: Manage all of your social accounts like twitter, facebook and linkedin. Only pay for more in depth analytics.

16. Toggl: Time tracking tool to help you manage every minute of the day and holds you accountable for everything you do. It’s free for limited features.

17. Evernote: An easy way to upload every idea, note, picture or experience so you don’t forget it later.

18. Craigslist: A great way to find interns, employees, office space or even supplies like used furniture and equipment. You may have to pay to list things in some locations but never to search listings.

19. Paypal: Collect credit card payments online easily and efficiently. Only pay when you make a transaction.

20. DocStoc: Search their massive database for document templates like legal forms, taxes and contracts for your business.

What free tools do you use for your business?

About the Author: Jared O'Toole

Co-founder and editor of Under30Media. You can send an email to Jared(at)Under30CEO.com. Follow him on Google+ or @JaredOToole

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Category: Startup Advice

  • http://benjaminlang.com Ben Lang

    Great list!

  • http://www.online-business-virtual-assistant.com/ Virtual Business Assistant

    I am going to bookmark this post so that I can see it whenever I want to know about a new tool….

  • Rick H

    Square is another great one for credit card payments.

  • http://Under30CEO.com Jared O’Toole

    Thanks everyone. We’ll keep putting out new ones as we come across more tools

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  • http://www.i95dev.com Henry Louis

    Good tools are mentioned. These are helpful in getting good results in our business.

  • E Reymundo

    Great Blog!
    A useful tool to customize FREE innovative Facebook Fan Pages is http://www.fbconexion.com 
    Good Luck!

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  • http://www.replicon.com/time-bill Project Tracking Software

    Does Toggl provide time spent on a project or a tool precisely and automatically? or should the user enter the data?

  • http://twitter.com/TammieChilds Tammie Childs

    Love this article, the list is rich with some hidden gems. The one aspect the article doesn’t address is how some of the free tools can hijack your brand. One of my biggest pet peeves are those free conference calling services that we’ve all been tempted by in the past. My business was taken much more seriously when we spent the few bucks to get a service that allowed us to put our own brand on our conference bridge messaging. So “buyer” beware of the free tools and choose wisely. (btw, we use http://www.brandedbridgeline.com for our teleconferencing). Good Luck!

  • Stephie Daniel

    Great tools for entrepreneurs to help increase the business revenue and manage the same as well. Well I would like to suggest time tracking software from Replicon ( http://www.replicon.com/time-tracking-softwares.aspx ) to be included in this wonderful list above. Would it be?

  • http://www.timesheetreporter.com/ TimeSheet Reporter

    Awesome list. You should also take a look at TimeSheet Reporter (http://www.timesheetreporter.com), which makes it possible to track time via Outlook.

    BR,
    Thomas
    http://www.timesheetreporter.com/blog/does-the-shoe-fit-questions-to-ask-when-selecting-a-time-tracking-tool-for-your-company

  • Stella Smith

    This a great list, but you miss out on the notable project management tools (ex. Bitrix24) that not only manages my team and their tasks but also handles the sales and lead generation. It comes with time tracker, calendar, IP telephony, social media integration, document manager, and so much more. Best of all, it’s free. Most of these tools in your list can be found in one program. Why make your system bulky?