34 Free Online Tools to Help You Run Your Business
by Allen Taylor
The Internet abounds with tools and resources for running a business. Here are 34 free online tools that can help you analyze your website, schedule appointments, invoice customers, and everything in between.
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Running a business has many challenges and the Internet is full of useful resources to help alleviate some of those, or at least help business owners be more efficient. The following online tools are free and can be used to make your business more effective, whether your business is a bricks-and-mortar business or an online business.
Accounting & Invoicing
- Wave – Accounting is one of the most important functions of any business. Wave will not only help you keep your books, but you can invoice your customers too.
- Zoho – It would be easier to say what you cannot do with Zoho. This free online business tool will help you manage your projects and your invoices.
- Brightbook – An all-in-one bookkeeping solution that will allow you to send invoices and manage your bank statements.
- Trello – Trello is great for freelancers and business professionals too. You can collaborate on projects or manage them on your own.
- Zoho – You can also manage projects with Zoho, and it integrates with Google Apps.
- Freedcamp – Manage unlimited projects.
- Google Drive – Google Drive gives you 15 GB storage space free.
- Dropbox – Dropbox is one of the most popular file storage services online. They have an upgraded service for businesses, but if your business is small enough you can use the free version and get up to 2GB storage space.
- Evernote – Evernote allows you to clip anything you want from the Web and save it for later use. You can also upload images and files and keep track of your research more easily.
- Google Docs – If you do a lot of writing or create correspondence on a regular basis, you can do it easily with Google Docs. You can also create spreadsheets and presentations.
- Zoho – Everything you can do in Google Docs or Microsoft Word can also be done with Zoho.
- ThinkFree – ThinkFree gives you 1 GB of free storage space, and you can create your word processing, spreadsheet, or presentation documents on the website.
- Google Analytics – The granddaddy of analytics programs. Some business owners won't use anything else.
- Piwik – A worthy alternative to Google Analytics.
- TrendCounter – Not as robust as Google Analytics or Piwik, but not bad.
- WordPress – What started out as a blogging tool has become one of the Web's best and most used content management systems. You can build your website on WordPress.
- Joomla – Flexible, easy to use, and used by millions of businesses around the world.
- Wix – Wix is a web-based website creation tool and content management system.
- Weebly – Just like Wix, with drag-and-drop features.
E-mail List Management
- MailChimp – Free up to 2,000 subscribers. A great way to get started with e-mail marketing.
- MailerMailer – Up to 200 free messages a month.
- WordPress – You can manage your mailing list straight from WordPress, but you'll need to use a plugin.
Social Media Management
- Hootsuite – Hootsuite allows you to post messages to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ pages, LinkedIn, and other social media accounts. It also allows lets you assign multiple managers to those accounts.
- SocialOomph – SocialOomph will allow you to preschedule your tweets and track keywords. You can also manage Facebook, LinkedIn, and Plurk through your SocialOomph account.
- Everypost – Manage your social media from your iPhone.
- Square – Take credit card payments on your smartphone with this free card reader.
- Pay N Seconds – Accept multiple forms of payment with this free solution.
- PayPal – Take global payments. Get a free account and pay a fee per transaction. It's free to transfer money to your bank.
- Doodle – Schedule group meetings with input from other group members.
- Calendly – Integrates well with Google Calendar (also free). Schedule appointments and set up automated reminders.
- YouCanBook.Me – Another free scheduling tool that integrates with Google Calendar.
- Anymeeting – Free online Web conferencing. Includes lots of cool features like screen share, YouTube integration, and meeting recording.
- Google+ Hangout – Google changed the online meeting landscape when it introduced Google+ Hangouts, which allows you to record your meetings and post them to YouTube. You need a Google+ account.
- Zoho – Remember, there isn't much you can't do with Zoho—even hold online meetings.
Thanks to the World Wide Web, you can run almost any aspect of your business online, and many of the best tools are free.
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