Getting a firm grip on your business, no matter how big or small, will pay out big time in the long run. And, thanks to modern technology, it’s easier than ever to manage your business just like the big-dogs do. Here are 5 free tools (and 1 cheap one) that are sure to give you the edge when it comes to managing your business.
Chances are you already know about Skype, the ultra-popular messaging app. It’s used by hundreds of millions of people around the world to stay in touch with friends and family with text, voice, and video chat. But there’s more to Skype than chatting with relatives, small businesses use Skype to do things like:
- Offer free or paid consultations
- Present an estimate or plan
- Offer paid or unpaid instruction or training
- Offer customer support and answer questions
- Videoconference with up to 25 participants (for free)
And the great news is, Skype does all of that for free. With apps available for your laptop, tablet, and smartphone, Skype is a slam-dunk way to stay in touch.
If you can’t keep track of where you spend your time, then you can’t manage your business. Toggllets you keep tabs on how you spend your day, in an interface that’s way better than a spreadsheet. Track your tasks, schedule reminders, enter time spent on tasks offline, and more. All this comes for free, but if you want more functionality like reports, you can go for a paid subscription. Once you know where you’re spending time, you can adjust your processes, prices, or even outsource tasks and save your money (and sanity).
MyMinutes is a time-tracking app for the iPhone that takes a different approach than Toggl. Instead of tracking how much time you spend on a task, MyMinutes lets you control how much time you spend on a task. Let’s say you want to spend 1 hour on email a day. Just set up a timer, put it on a schedule, and whenever you use your email start the timer. Whether you want to stay on-task, or you simply want to see how much you can accomplish in a 30 minute session, MyMinutes may be just what you need.
Emailing files back and forth, or setting up complicated shared folders, can be a huge time-waster for business. The answer is Dropbox, one of the easiest ways to share files inside and outside of your business. It’s not free, but prices start at just $10.75 a month for 1000GB of space. It’s a great deal for a tool that will go a long way in helping you share files easier than ever.
Email is still one of the best ways to stay in touch with your customers. If you need an easy way to set up automated emails to a subscriber list, send out regular news blasts to existing customers, or bring new buyers into a specific sales funnel, MailChimp can help. This email marketing tool makes it easy to generate beautiful newsletter and emails to your list, and lets you track how well each email performs. Plus, you can get started for absolutely free!
Tracking expenses can be a boring, time-consuming part of your business. But not tracking your expenses can cost you money. Enter Expensify, a free app that makes it easy to track all of your business expenses on the go. It also integrates with many popular bookkeeping and accounting software, so you can import your expenses straight into your favourite program. Want more functionality? Expensify offers paid plans with extra features.