Free Online Business Tools For Entrepreneurs [Part 1]
As a company, UBS Digital is committed to doing all we can to help you achieve your business goals. Especially if you run an SME (even more so if you’re just starting out), we know it can be difficult to lay hold of all the business tools you need to run your business smoothly. That is why we’ve decided to see what we can do to help – to make it less difficult.
This article features a bunch of online business tools for entrepreneurs. These are tools that can help make your life easier as you attempt to run your business more efficiently. Most of them are FREE (at least to get you started. You may have to pay as you scale up) and easily accessible online or via mobile. We’ve grouped them into 7 categories:
- Storage & File sharing
In this first part, we’ll cover the Admin/Accounting tools, Productivity tools, Communications and Storage/File Sharing tools. Tomorrow, we shall look at Marketing, Learning and Outsourcing tools.
Let’s dive in.
Administrative & Accounting
Because money is the root… [lol, no]. Money IS very important, though. How you track and manage your spending is key to effectively running your business. Thus, we’ll kick off with a free online tool to help you manage your finances – Wave.
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Wave is a free web-based accounting application with which you can create and send invoices, track payments, track expenses and do so much more. The best part of Wave is that it is free. Absolutely Free! All you need is an email address and you’re set. You’re welcome :-D.
Bonus: If you’re interested in another free invoice software, you can also check out Intuit Quickbooks.
For most small business owners, scheduling and time management is a major issue. However, there is something that can make this a little easier for you – Google Calendar.
You probably already have this on your phone or can access it via your email (if you have a Gmail account) but you’re not using it properly. Google Calendar can do a lot more for you than remind you of birthdays and public holidays. You can schedule meetings, set up reminders, to-dos and so much more. It’s an awesome online tool you should really explore in greater depth.
Evernote claims it is the best note-taking app in the world. We don’t know about that. What we do know is that it is… well, very good. With Evernote, you can create notes on one device and access them across all your devices. You can group your notes into categories [they call them notebooks] so you don’t mix up your information, you can search through notes by keyword and much, much more. It is really worth checking out if you want to take your note-taking and management to the next level.
Goodbye, expensive office software. Hello, Google Docs. Accessible from your computer or mobile device, you can create documents and share them on the fly. You never have to worry about losing your memory stick again! If you’re not yet using Google Docs to create and share files with your colleagues, well, you have carried the proverbial last.
From time to time, we need to gather some information from our customers. Whether it’s for a survey, for event registration or to gather contact information, Google Forms gives you the tools to create beautiful forms without hassle. They even provide you with templates for the more common forms to help you get started. It’s brilliant.
In 2019, you cannot count on only your line for business calls – No! This is the 21st century. You need to be able to communicate with people from all over the globe (sometimes via video) and Skype is the easiest way to do it. You can even buy a business phone number and credit to call phone lines from your Skype account. It really is worth checking out.
Yes, it’s WhatsApp. But it’s been optimised for business. Unlike your regular WhatsApp account, you can include your business information and set up automated messaging. That way, when someone gets in touch with you, even if you’re not available to chat immediately, they get a quick response from your business that lets them know they’re in touch with the right person.
Quick Tip: Did you know you can have both your regular WhatsApp account and your WhatsApp Business account on one phone? If they don’t share the same number, you can use both apps. Try it out ;-).
Are you looking for a great communication and collaboration tool for your team? Get Slack!
Slack is like your office – only, it’s online. You can split up the app into rooms based on teams, projects or clients. You can share files, add tools (like your team Dropbox, Google Drive, SalesForce, etc.) and do so much more. If you thought it was only for messaging, you couldn’t be more wrong. It’s way more than just messaging. It’s a great online tool for entrepreneurs to manage their teams more effectively.
Storage & File sharing
When you sign up for Dropbox, you get 2GB free to start. This is plenty of storage space for most of your work-related documents. Think about it – you can do away with your memory stick. Also, Dropbox is available on desktop and mobile, so you have access to your files anywhere, any time.
Unlike Dropbox, Google Drive gives you 15GB, to begin with. Plus, with Google Drive, you have access to your Google Photos, Google Docs, Google Slides (for your presentations) and more. Available via mobile and desktop, this is arguable the best way to move your files around.
The best part is that you probably already have a Gmail account, so your free 15GB is just there, waiting for you to claim it.
Well, that’s our lot for today! Tomorrow, we shall continue with the Marketing, Learning and Outsourcing tools. We know this is by no means an exhaustive list, but we hope you’ve found [some of] these useful. Are there online tools you’re using that are making a difference in the day-to-day running of your business and you feel ought to be on this list? Please share with us in the comment section.
Until tomorrow… Daalu!