21 Free Tools to Help Your Small Business Succeed : Under30CEO 21 Free Tools to Help Your Small Business Succeed : Under30CEO
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21 Free Tools to Help Your Small Business Succeed

| May 22, 2012 | 53 Comments

As small business owners we are always looking for tools to help get the job done at a low cost. Well nothing beats free! It’s truly amazing how powerful some of the free online small business tools are out there. If you’re not taking advantage of at least a few of these resources then you are missing out. These tools cover a variety of topics but almost every business probably uses their services in some way. Enjoy and let us know what tools you use in the comments.

1. Dropbox

This powerful product ends the challenge of storing and syncing files and documents on different devices and computers. The free offering comes with 2GB of space, with paid plans for a fee.

2. Google Docs & Apps

Allows you to create and collaborate on documents that you can access anywhere. If you have a business, your e-mail address needs to end with @YOURDOMAIN.com which you can do for free through Google Apps.

3. Evernote

Great for taking notes and drafting blog posts. Keep everything you need in one place and access it from anywhere. The platform also comes with powerful apps so you can take it on the go.

4. HARO

Find reporters who are looking for certain information & quotes for stories in your field that you can help them with. If the reporter likes your information there is a good chance you will get featured in their story. There are hundreds of opportunities each day!

5. Quora

A well done and extremely comprehensive Q&A site where you will find answers from high-level entrepreneurs, ceo’s and executives. Of course you can ask your own questions and provide answers too!

6. Google Alerts

Set up alerts to monitor your business, your industry, your name or anything else. Great way to find out if anyone is talking about you or your business. This is a must so you can respond to any criticisms, customer complaints or thank someone for a great write-up of your business.

7. Free Conference Call

Use this free tool to attend and hold conference calls, webinars and more for free. You can easily collaborate with clients, employees or business partners. One of the best features is the free built in recording capabilities which allows you to save and reproduce the material for whatever you need.

8. Square

An easy way to accept credit cards right on your iPhone, iPad or iTouch. The app is free and you pay per transaction just like you would through paypal. There is no easier way to accept credit card payments on the go for your business.

9. Twitter Chats

If you are an entrepreneur one of the premier tools for personal branding and networking we have available to us is Twitter. One of the best ways to utilize this tool is through organized online discussions with other people on Twitter surrounding certain topics or hashtags called twitter chats.

10. Hootsuite

A must for small business owners who are active on social media. Manage accounts like Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Facebook and more all in one place. If you’re logging into each of your accounts individually then you are wasting valuable time each day!

11. Skype

Call or video chat with anyone else in the world who also has Skype for free. A must for doing international business in this growing global economy.

12. Mailchimp

A great way to build and manage your email list which is crucial for small businesses online. Your email list is usually your most valuable and important customers or readers. . You can use it for free for your first 2,000 subscribers to your email list.

13. Tumblr or WordPress

Two of the most powerful blogging platforms out there. With most small businesses running blogs today you will find they probably use one of these platforms for it. Tumblr is as simple as it gets while wordpress is more powerful but also requires more customization.

14. SCORE templates

Find business plan forms, financial templates, contract samples/templates and more. You can even ask a question to a local, volunteer mentor right through the website. SCORE has locations around the country and is a non-profit helping small business get the answers and resources they need.

15, Google Analytics

Analyze and monitor how visitors use and engage your website. Everything is customizable and it’s all free!

16. Doodle

Doodle eliminates the chaos of scheduling and saves you a lot of time and energy when you’re trying to find a time to bring a number of people together.  Instead of using just one option, Doodle enables you to propose several dates and times and the participants can indicate their availability online.

17. Wave Accounting

Wave is a 100% free (not just a free trial version) accounting app made for small business owners and freelancers. This free alternative to applications like Quickbooks, allows you to create and send professional invoices, track expenses, create reports, and eliminate accounting headaches.

18. Freshbooks

You can keep your time and expenses organized, send professional branded invoices, and even collect online payments by credit card, PayPal, or eCheck. It offers a free version with limited features that you can use forever.

19. Appointy

Schedule appointments, accept pre-payments, send reminder alerts, update personal calendars, offer discount coupons and more. There’s a free version with limited allowable appointments.

20. Remember the Milk

With this free tool, you can manage tasks from anywhere – via your desktop, your phone, etc. And it integrates with your Google Calendar so you’ll never forget the milk or anything else on your To Do list.

21. Mint

Don’t forget to get your own personal finances in order! Mint brings all your financial accounts together online or on your mobile device, automatically categorizes your transactions, lets you set budgets and helps you achieve your savings goals.

What free tools do you use in your small 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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  • http://topaz.net/blog Alberto Molina

    Great List! Have you tried LastPass? It’s a great free tool, except on an Enterprise level (monthly cost).
    Wunderlist and ZigZag Board come to mind as well. No doubt we will start to see more as small businesses take to the cloud.

  • http://topaz.net/blog Alberto Molina

    Great List! Have you tried LastPass? It’s a great free tool, except on an Enterprise level (monthly cost).
    Wunderlist and ZigZag Board come to mind as well. No doubt we will start to see more as small businesses take to the cloud.

  • http://gentdeals.com/ GentDeals

    Thanks for this list, Jared.  I especially like HARO and wordpress.  Have yet to really get into tumblr but I think it’s the next tool from this list I’ll dive into.  

  • http://profiles.google.com/nataliesisson Natalie Sisson

    Love ALL these tools and have mentioned them in my Toolkit Time blog posts before and my Toolkit eBook – Mailchimp, Dropbox and Skype I can run my business off. I’d like to suggest Last Pass like Alberto has it’s a huge time saver and Rapportive!

  • http://profiles.google.com/nataliesisson Natalie Sisson

    Love ALL these tools and have mentioned them in my Toolkit Time blog posts before and my Toolkit eBook – Mailchimp, Dropbox and Skype I can run my business off. I’d like to suggest Last Pass like Alberto has it’s a huge time saver and Rapportive!

  • http://profiles.google.com/nataliesisson Natalie Sisson

    Love ALL these tools and have mentioned them in my Toolkit Time blog posts before and my Toolkit eBook – Mailchimp, Dropbox and Skype I can run my business off. I’d like to suggest Last Pass like Alberto has it’s a huge time saver and Rapportive!

  • http://profiles.google.com/nataliesisson Natalie Sisson

    Love ALL these tools and have mentioned them in my Toolkit Time blog posts before and my Toolkit eBook – Mailchimp, Dropbox and Skype I can run my business off. I’d like to suggest Last Pass like Alberto has it’s a huge time saver and Rapportive!

  • http://profiles.google.com/nataliesisson Natalie Sisson

    Love ALL these tools and have mentioned them in my Toolkit Time blog posts before and my Toolkit eBook – Mailchimp, Dropbox and Skype I can run my business off. I’d like to suggest Last Pass like Alberto has it’s a huge time saver and Rapportive!

  • http://profiles.google.com/nataliesisson Natalie Sisson

    Love ALL these tools and have mentioned them in my Toolkit Time blog posts before and my Toolkit eBook – Mailchimp, Dropbox and Skype I can run my business off. I’d like to suggest Last Pass like Alberto has it’s a huge time saver and Rapportive!

  • http://profiles.google.com/nataliesisson Natalie Sisson

    Love ALL these tools and have mentioned them in my Toolkit Time blog posts before and my Toolkit eBook – Mailchimp, Dropbox and Skype I can run my business off. I’d like to suggest Last Pass like Alberto has it’s a huge time saver and Rapportive!

  • smallbizatlanta

    Great list! I just received a press release about LeadLife’s funnel fixer which makes claims of turning anonymous website visitors into revenue…

  • http://panganmarketing.com/ Josh Pangan

    Very useful list! I use a majority of these applications. Evernote and DropBox are a must for all small business owners.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Madimetja-Shogole/626868769 Madimetja Shogole

    Thank you guys! Excellent tips you gave there. I just got
    started and sure I’ll be using many of these tools – to add on Skype and Twitter
    which I’ve been using for a while. My immediate learning will be on Dropbox and
    MailChimp.

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

     Glad you liked it. We use Dropbox and Mailchimp all the time. Great companies!

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

     Great Natalie…I’ve never used either of those services so I will look into them. Thanks!

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

     No problem. We don’t use Tumblr because we already use wordpress but I know a lot of businesses who are really happy with it.

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

     I’ve never used LastPass but I will be looking into it. Thanks for the suggestions.

  • http://www.therealonlinedatinggame.com/how-to-attract-women-online/ Aklein1223

    This is a great list.  Drop box is extremely efficient for sending files and quora is a great spot for quality business advice.

    Haros is good but you must be persistent, as 99% of the time you will not receive a response.

  • SBMarketingTool

    Great List! 

    The good news is that most online tools will also offer you a Free Trial to test drive them for 30 days… so even if they are not completely free you can try them for free before you make an investment.

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  • http://twitter.com/GBKS Christoph Ono

    I just started my own business 6 months ago, and it’s pretty amazing how much easier some of these tools make your life. To throw another one in the mix, I’d recommend http://floatschedule.com for scheduling your team’s time. Way better than my previous method – a Google Doc spreadsheet.

  • http://www.onbetterterms.com/ Kevin @ SpringCoin

    Also want to throw in Expensify in here as well, great way to keep your business expenses organized! 

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  • http://www.LandmarkTaxGroup.com/ Landmark Tax Group

    Very helpful article. We use most of these and they have served our business well. Best of luck to all the readers out there!

  • http://www.LandmarkTaxGroup.com/ Landmark Tax Group

    Very helpful article. We use most of these and they have served our business well. Best of luck to all the readers out there!

  • http://www.LandmarkTaxGroup.com/ Landmark Tax Group

    Very helpful article. We use most of these and they have served our business well. Best of luck to all the readers out there!

  • http://www.LandmarkTaxGroup.com/ Landmark Tax Group

    Very helpful article. We use most of these and they have served our business well. Best of luck to all the readers out there!

  • http://www.LandmarkTaxGroup.com/ Landmark Tax Group

    Very helpful article. We use most of these and they have served our business well. Best of luck to all the readers out there!

  • http://twitter.com/socialgimme Richard Amsterdam

    I would like to throw in http://www.lastpass.com, and http://www.socialgimme.com. Both were of awesome benefit for my business.

  • http://twitter.com/socialgimme Richard Amsterdam

    I would like to throw in http://www.lastpass.com, and http://www.socialgimme.com. Both were of awesome benefit for my business.

  • http://twitter.com/socialgimme Richard Amsterdam

    I would like to throw in http://www.lastpass.com, and http://www.socialgimme.com. Both were of awesome benefit for my business.

  • http://twitter.com/socialgimme Richard Amsterdam

    I would like to throw in http://www.lastpass.com, and http://www.socialgimme.com. Both were of awesome benefit for my business.

  • Diadem00023

    I agree with everyone. I use many of these already but this list has definitely exposed me to a few others. I will definitely look into them ASAP.

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  • OBVAVirtualAssistant

    I personally use dropbox,hootsuite,skype,google docs & apps,twitter chats and google analytics. Thanks updating me with the others free tools.

  • WilliamTray

    I am using dropbox,skype, googledocs(life saver), google analytics. In terms of Appointment scheduling, I chose to go for http://www.bookappo.com as it seems to be one of those few companies that really appreciates its clients. 

  • WilliamTray

    I am using dropbox,skype, googledocs(life saver), google analytics. In terms of Appointment scheduling, I chose to go for http://www.bookappo.com as it seems to be one of those few companies that really appreciates its clients. 

  • Ben

    New one…. http://www.callgrader.com for any marketing/phone tracking analytics.

  • AZIAGBEDO KOKOU SODJINE

    Very cool

  • http://twitter.com/barrywiley Barry Wiley II

    add appstack.com to this list

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  • http://twitter.com/RabidOfficeMonk RabidOfficeMonkey

    I love trello for small business planning — especially managing content creation for marketing

  • Laura P

    Great list! Also check out http://www.SocialHubSite.com…lots of free tools (with upgrade options) that range from e-commerce and video blog platforms to private networks!

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  • Rene

    Something for task and project management – try Breeze (http://breeze.pm), it’s Trello and Basecamp mashup.

  • chrissunner

    been happy with Mail Chimp especially that I’m still growing my list. Some more free tools for the budding entrepreneurs here http://financesonline.com/online-freebies-for-first-time-entrepreneurs/

  • kiind

    We’d love to add our gift campaign tool to the list!

    Kiind – Zero-waste gift campaigns – http://www.kiind.me

    Send gifts to your customers free of charge to get foot traffic, send thank you gifts to your clients and only pay for gifts that are claimed. It’s post-paid!

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  • John Hufner

    Well researched list. Just few observations. I think instead of freshbooks you should have put Invoiceberry (www.invoiceberr.com). I have used freshbooks and quickbooks before but it didn’T fit my needs because it was too complicated. Invoiceberry i sperfect for freelancers, small businesses, photographers, plumbers, literally anyone.

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