SAVING MONEY

The Ultimate Guide to Free and Cheap Tools for Your New Business

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They say when it comes to a business, that you need to spend money to earn money. While sure, there is a lot of truth to it, sometimes, you just can’t afford to spend a lot. Needless to say, starting up a business costs a lot of money, and it might already be hard enough to get the capital. Even if you want to start a cake business,  that will cost you a lot of money. It’s not just the physical tools you’ll need; there will be other things to consider, like the cost of the website, editing tools, and so on.

But thankfully, you don’t have to be in their bottomless pit of spending. In fact, there are plenty of free and extremely cheap tools and products that will help your business thrive without breaking the bank (or your wallet). So, with all of that said, here are some helpful tools that you just might want to look into! 

Free Tools You Can Use for Your Business

Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been at it for a while, these free resources can help you get organised, stay creative, and connect with your audience without costing you a dime. But here are some of the best that even the biggest of businesses take advantage of!

Canva

If you’re not a design expert but you still want your graphics to look professional, Canva is your go-to tool. It’s super easy to use and has tons of templates and design elements to help you create eye-catching graphics for your website, social media, presentations, and more. So, there are some limitations when using the free version; for example, you don’t have access to all the fonts and images that Canva provides. On top of that, you’re really limited in terms of storage, too. But if you’re willing to deal with the limitations, it can be absolutely fantastic! 

Creative Market Free Drops

Not many businesses know about Creative Market, but if you’re looking for digital assets like WordPress themes, Canva templates, stickers, and so on, then this is the perfect website for getting those (Etsy sells these, too). Every week, Creative Market offers a bunch of free design goodies that you can use to spruce up your branding and marketing materials. From fonts and graphics to templates and mockups, there’s always something new to discover and incorporate into your creative projects.

Trello

Managing projects and staying organised can be a real challenge (when you’re doing it alone), especially when you’re juggling multiple tasks and deadlines. Trello makes it a breeze with its visual boards, customisable lists, and easy collaboration features. It’s like having your own personal assistant to keep you on track. So, there is a paid version, but the free one is just as good, and it’s perfect for a super small team. 

Google Tools

Google’s suite of productivity tools is a lifesaver for businesses of all sizes. There is a paid version, but if you’re just one person in this business, then this is more than enough already. There are different tools that Google offers under their suite, so whether you need to write a document, crunch some numbers, or create a presentation, Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides have got you covered.

Zoom

Well, Zoom is just an example, but there are plenty of free video calling platforms. Most folks are accustomed to Zoom, and the controls are easy, which is why it’s on this list. Whether you want a call with a team member, a client, or something that’s more B2B (like talking to suppliers), then this can be the perfect option.

Social Media Profiles for Marketing

So they’re all free, not just for personal use, but for businesses too! In general, you have to keep in mind that social media is a powerful tool for businesses everywhere since it helps them to connect with their audience and build their brand. On top of that, a lot of these platforms offer a range of free tools and features to help you reach your audience, engage with your followers, and grow your business. Meta has its own scheduling, and LinkedIn has free courses for business owners to take there, too. 

MailChimp Free Plan

So, everyone is going to tell you to start a marketing newsletter. It’s still pretty effective nowadays when it comes to marketing (granted, the constant emails can get annoying). Regardless, you should still have one because this can still be pretty effective! With that said, Mailchimp offers a free plan that allows businesses to create and send email campaigns to up to 2,000 subscribers. 

While that doesn’t sound like a lot, you have to keep in mind that 2000 people, so that’s 2000 email addresses that have to manually sign up and confirm they want to be subscribed! So unless you go viral, you might be able to take advantage of this for a few months in your business. The free version offers features like customizable templates, audience segmentation, and basic reporting. Plus, this plan is a great option for businesses looking to get started with email marketing without any upfront costs (because it can be tricky to navigate at first, too). 

WordPress

WP itself is free and perfect for online shops, blogs, and business websites. However, you need to pay for hosting, which can be cheap, depending on the company you choose. However, WP itself is free, and there are plenty of gorgeous website templates for WP that are free, too. Also, there are many great plugins that usually tend to be free. 

Cheap Business Tools You Might Want to Consider

While yes, there are plenty of free amazing tools your new business can easily take advantage of, you just need to keep in mind that you shouldn’t only stick to free tools. In fact, don’t always have the expectation that free tools will get you to where you want your business to be. You will sometimes need to spend money here and there for your business. 

Sometimes, you might need to spend a lot; other times, you might not have to spend too much. So, with that said, here are some that you may want to consider that are pretty affordable, even for businesses on a tight budget!

InstantPrint

Your business can avoid the expenses associated with owning and maintaining a commercial printer, such as ink, paper, and maintenance costs. Seriously, these are so expensive, especially the ink! But if you use an online printer, then you don’t have to deal with any of these issues at all; basically, this is print-on-demand, which means you’ll be reducing waste and saving money in the long run. A printer can cause a lot of headaches, and this basically solves it. 

Zoho Workplace

This offers a suite of productivity and collaboration tools, including email, document management, and project management, at a pretty affordable monthly cost per user. It is worth it if you have a team; don’t waste your money if your business is just you. 

Hootsuite Professional

If you’re not interested in using all those social media profile scheduling tools and want to do everything all at once on one platform—which is a major time saver—then use this! There is a free version, but the paid version allows you to schedule with more platforms for a longer period of time. 

DropBox Business Standard

So DropBox does have a free service, but you’re limited in the size of the file you can send. With Dropbox Business Standard, you’ll have access to advanced security features, unlimited file recovery, and collaborative document editing options, making it an ideal solution if you’re looking to centralise your file management and collaboration efforts (and send larger files).