SHEvooking Secrets: Free Tools For Business Owners
You have a great service/business/app/idea and you’re putting everything you’ve got (read: blood, swear and tears) into building your business, but sometimes that’s not enough; sometimes you need a little tool to help you succeed.
Whether its traffic you need to analyze, emails you need to send, landing pages you need to create or tweets you need to sent, there is always so much to do and so little time (and so little funds). Lucky for you a lot of great companies give away a bunch of tools that can really help you when you’re bootstrapped.
Just like the nice folk below, we’re all about freebies. That’s why we’ve come up with a list of our favorite must-have free tools for business owners.
We love slack. There. We said it.
Since the moment we heard about slack, it has become a SHEvooking fixture and we tell all our clients about it. So of course we’re putting it at the top of our freebie list (although at some point it’s not a freebie, but as long as you’re a small business, you probably wont need the paid version).
Slack is an incredible internal communication tool for small and large teams. You can have channels and teams as well as personal conversations with any number of people. We love the ability to tag, upload images and send reminders instantly. It also doesn’t hurt that slack has an incredible desktop app and even more fun mobile app.
Our favorite Slack-Secret? Create a lunch channel! Makes ordering lunch for everyone much easier.
Google is the master of freebie. Period. The most powerful search engine in the world (and basically the modern day equivalent of big-brother) is Google. Our favorite freebie tool is no doubt the Google Drive.
A competitor to the super-famous Dropbox, Google Drive offers lots more space for much less moolah. Plus anything that integrates with Google is good in our book. If you use Google for business (which most of us do, lets be honest) then integrating Google Drive is truly the easiest thing ever. You can easily integrate links into emails, access your files from anywhere, and collaborate on shared files right in the drive.
Full disclosure: after being paying Dropbox members for the past three years, we recently made the switch to Google Drive. Clearly we’re obsessed.
For those of you obsessed with inbox zero (it’s amazing!) Boomerang is an amazing free tool for business owners who rely on email to communicate with clients. Boomerang is a nifty little plugin with two really stand out features:
The first is the ability to’boomerang’ an email back to your inbox in a preset time; say you received an email and want to follow up in exactly 1 week. You don’t want that email to sit in your inbox and clutter it, but without boomerang, you don’t really have a choice. With Boomerang you can actually set when you want the email to bounce back into your inbox without having to stress seeing it every day.
Another great tool is the ability to send something at a later time. If, for example, you’re a workaholic who answers emails at 4 am on Friday night (working is the new partying) but you don’t want your clients to know or you want them to see the email first thing Monday morning, Boomerang has you covered. You can write your email and tell Boomerang to send it when you want it.
We couldn’t go another freebie without pointing out Google Analytics. This sweet tool is easily integrated with your website and lets you analyze (for hours if you want) the traffic you’re getting. The great part about Google Analytics is (like everything else with google) the ease with which it can be integrated with the rest of your Google apps.
Google Analytics isn’t just a ‘come ang get it’ type service. Being the awesome people at Google that they are, Google has a whole bunch of tools and lessons that help you maximize Google Analytics and really use it’s full potential.
Never in the history of newsletters, has there been a cuter mascot! Mailchimp is a really user friendly newsletter service that lets you create stunning templates and send them out to your entire mailing list completely free (well until you have over 2,000 members. Then you have to pay).
The super cute chimp is there with you every step of the way, helping you pick tempaltes, edit texts, work on subject lines and even test your newsletter before sending.
We’re huge fans and you should be too.
You’re working on a newsletter and you want a photo that stands out. Unfortunately, you don’t want to pay an arm and a let to stock photo bullies like ShutterStock or GettyImages (we do it and we’re still not happy about it). If you don’t need particular photos that the stock photo giants monopolized, Pixabay will become your new BFF.
Pixabay offers almost 500,000 copyright free images you can download and use without having to sell a kidney,
Free photos plus you get to keep your internal organs. It’s a great deal for all!
Almost every business needs a CRM. Not every business needs to pay buttloads of money for an insanely complex CRM system. That’s why the kind folks at Zoho decided to hand out access to their CRM (as long as only 3 people need to access it). Even if you have a larger team, their pricing is actually pretty friendly (think the price of a sandwich not a private jet).
So it’s all the benefits of SalesForce with none of the multiple comma invoices.
Once upon a time a certain someone (read: Shlomit, the CEO of SHEvooking) lost her credit card while traveling abroad and needed to get a new one asap. When she called the bank they asked her if she was near a fax. Her response was “no because I live in 2014” which she did at the time.
Regardless of what era you’re in or how revolutionary and cutting edge your business is, sometimes you have to deal with people stuck in 1986 and can only process your request via Fax.
Yes yes, those things still exist.
Luckily, small businesses can use FaxZero to send three free pages of fax. The not fun part is that unless you pay, there is an advertisement on your cover page. The ok part is that it doesn’t matter because it’s a friggin fax