In a small business, every penny counts. If you’re an entrepreneur, you undoubtedly have had to make financial sacrifices in order to fund your business and pay all the bills that go with it.
When you decide to start your own business, there’s a lot of cost that comes with it. You need and want to save money, but you also want the best technology to make your business successful and that leaves many small businesses caught in the middle.
Thankfully, there are several resources out there available to you! The internet has provided several free tools for small business online success. When money is tight, we often look for the cheapest price, but many times that means also compromising on quality. Not so anymore!
Many bigger companies have recognized the need for cost effective marketing and sales tools and now offer products at no cost to you. The following tools are great starting points for any business and we use many of them here at Cazbah as well.
The following is a list of the 15 essential FREE tools all small businesses should have:
Pixlr is a photo editor. They have two options available to you: “Editor” and “Express”. Editor has similar features to Photoshop where you have access to tools like blur, spot heal, layers etc. Express offers you the option to add stickers, create a collage, aad effects and so on. If you just need to do some quick editing on an image before you use it in an article or on your website, Pixlr is a great, easy to use option for you.
2. Awesome Screenshot
It’s just what it sounds like! Awesome Screenshot lets you take a screenshot or screen recording of the whole page or just a specific section. From there you can add arrows, boxes, circles, etc and either download the image or post it automatically. I personally love this tool when I’m including images in “How to” articles where I need to list certain steps or specific features.
Canva has so many options available to you. You can design infographics, layouts, labels, and basically anything that has to do with design. Canva has beautiful images and graphics available for you to use or you can import your own as well.
Colorcinch is an intuitive, one-click image editor that’s very easy for beginners to find their feet with. It’s not just for beginners, though – more advanced photo editors will find all the tools they need for creating professional-looking images. It’s also a clever platform for cartoonizing your photos as well as adding unique filters, effects and overlays.
Visme is a visual content creation tool that lets you create infographics, presentations, animations and other forms of visual content. Visme is easy to use, yet can be used to create professional looking assets with little to no design skills. Visme combines simplitcity with flexibility. A large collection of templates and visual elements that can be included, allows you to create engaging visual content.
1. Google Analytics
There’s not a day that goes by at Cazbah that we aren’t using Google Analytics. Analytics is a one stop shop for anything having to do with your website traffic and is one of the best free tools for small business success. From learning what devices people are using to search you to tracking your goal completions, analytics is an indispensable tool to help you manage and effectively track your web site performance.
2. Search Console
Search Console is another Google tool I highly recommend. Search Console lets you see how your post or particular page is ranking and what search terms are showing it. It also shows the CTR, impressions, and clicks complete with a line graph of changes over time as well.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
1.MOZ Open Site Explorer
MOZ’s Open Site Explorer is all about links. You can check inbound and outbound links, page authority, domain authority, and pages that are prime for link building.
2. MOZ Keyword Explorer
MOZ’s Keyword Explorer is a great, cost effective option to keyword research. Similarly to SEMRush, Keyword Explorer lists your searched keyword’s potential ranking difficulty, monthly search volume, organic CTR, keyword suggestions, and more!
1. MOZ Whiteboard Friday
We have “Whiteboard Fridays” as a group every Friday in our Cazbah office. Rand Fishkin takes you through seemingly complicated topics step by step and works them all out on…you guessed it, a whiteboard. The transcripts are also available for you to read and follow along as well.
2. Internet Marketing podcasts
As an entrepreneur, there’s just not enough hours in the day to get it all done. Podcasts are a great way to soak up some knowledge and allow your mind to think creatively while your driving or doing desk work. There’s a podcasts for everything and every type of listener, so have at it!
1. Buffer’s Social Media Management Platform
Buffer’s Social Media Management Platform puts all your social media tools in one place. You can schedule posts, track your their success, and manage your profiles.
1. Portent’s Content Idea Generator
I’m the content marketing manager at Cazbah and Portent’s Content Idea Generator makes it easy for me to never run out of content topics. While it’s technically a “title creator”, sometimes just seeing the results it pulls together gives me several ideas on what to write about and what I actually want it to be about.
2. Hubspot’s Blog Ideas Generator
Hubspot’s Blog Ideas Generator gives great topic ideas when you’ve hit writer’s block. Unlike, Potent’s tool, Hubspot’s generator allows you to be a little more specific by adding three keywords you want to address in your article. The generator combines your keyword to give you specific, strong topics.
3. Google Trends
Google Trends lets you know what’s popular and what popular topics are in the news. Using this tools will keep you aware of trending topics so your content is up to date and current.
Marketing and Sales
1. Hubspot’s Lead Generation Software
Hubspot’s Lead Generation Software capitalizes on inbound marketing techniques to maximize leads and conversions. This software lets you create forms, pulls together all the data on a lead after a form is filled out, let’s you track the path of a lead through your site etc. This software gives a comprehensive view of your lead’s interactions with your website, illuminating successful areas as well as areas to improve.
You still have access to quality marketing and sales tools even if you’re a little more on the frugal side. The above tools may be free, but that doesn’t mean they are any less than. As a small business owner, you need to be a little scrappy and savvy, cutting down costs by using these tools will not only help your business, but your wallet too.