As small business owners, we all LOVE the free online tools that make our businesses badass. Free is always in the budget and if it helps us make money well even better. Today I’m going to share 6 free tools I’m using to kick ass every day. No on paid me or gave me free shit to tell you this, my links are not affiliated. I’m just a small business owner sharing the online tools that have made a huge difference in the way I run my business.
I found Trello the other day when doing a search for something else on Pinterest. In the last week, it’s been a real game changer for me. I’ve set up a blog editorial board focused on content flow rather than dates. My primary job is not running this blog after all. If you do run a blog you can set up your editorial calendar using Trello by date. With Trello it’s all about your preferences. Even bigger than that I used Trello to help me plan and organize a year’s worth of social media content. I had previously used Evernote and Asana but the more visual feel of the Trello platform really works for me.
Providing top level customer service to my customers is one of my main priorities. I knew I needed a great CRM system. After trying out other options like Zoho and Salesforce I settled on Insightly. Not only can I track leads, opportunities, and customer contacts. It integrates with several other online applications I use like the Google Apps suite.
Rapportive is a Chrome extension that integrates with Gmail to show you a summary of someone’s LInkedIn profile right in your Gmail home screen. Information provided includes name, location, job title, and who you both know in common. One of the main benefits is this extension does not show a person you’ve viewed a summary of their most important LinkedIn information in the same way LinkedIn does when you visit someone’s profile directly.
If you haven’t started using Canva go and sign up for an account right now. Of all the tools on this list, Canva is the one that has provided me the most value for no money. I’ve used it to brand my business including creating my business card, letterhead, branded social media profile headers, blog post graphics, and social media templates. Having a consistent brand was a goal for me and Canva helped me achieve that goal free of charge.
IFTTT or If This Then That is an online tool that allows you to automate some of your very manual processes. My favorite IFTTT recipe is the one that allows me to post Instagram photos to Twitter as native photos instead of links. I don’t have a lot of the same followers on those platforms so doubling up my content isn’t annoying and it creates less work for me.
Yes, we all know about and probably use Google Drive but I’m still going to shout about it being a favorite here. Not only do I use it to create spreadsheets and back up my hard drive files. It makes all my business-related documents easily available from anywhere. Freedom and flexibility are important to me and Google helps make them possible.
I’m always on the look out for new tools to use to make my business run more efficiently. Share your favorites in the comments section below so I can check them out.