Small and medium business owners are under constant pressure to keep costs down. You have to watch the bottom line if you want to ensure that you get paid or earn a profit this month. Yet business software costs can quickly add up, and you often need software to get the job done. Fortunately, there are decent, free tools available for business use, so you don’t have to choose between saving money and a quality product. Here are 7 free software tools every business should use.
If you’re about to start your business, you need to verify that the business name is available. You could pay for services or tools to verify it is available for you to use, or you can utilize a free business name search tool like Incfile. You can verify if the name is available in a given state or available nationwide, and you can do these nationwide searches from a single portal.
Every small business needs a website. However, few of them can afford to have a professional one designed for them and then maintain it. And in many cases, small businesses only need a small, reliable website.
If all you need is a basic website for your product or service, the solution is to use a free website builder like Wix. They offer a free account and tools for creating a mobile-friendly website. If you decide that it is time to upgrade to the features and service a full web hosting provider can give you, that can make it is easy for you to move to a paid web hosting site.
If you feel confident in your basic web programming skills, you could also try to create your own website using WordPress. WordPress is a content management system that is often used to create blogs, but it can create full professional looking websites as well. And the best part is that it’s totally free. It’s also pretty easy to set up, and maintenance is straightforward.
You can choose to use a free template that fits well with your industry, add your photos, and pretty much fill in the blanks. But be careful to only get your templates from reputable sources, as they could compromise your website. You can also find very affordable business and corporate themes for as little as $15 from a site like Theme Forest.
Many of the best search engine optimization and online marketing analysis tools cost money. However, Moz has made their backlink history search tool free. Their Open Size Explorer gives you a basic report on your site’s inbound link profile. That’s a good first step to understanding whether your link building strategy is constructive or hurting your brand. Their local tool gives you an insight into any problems with your local online presence.
Google is the biggest search engine, and this is why your website needs to be optimized by their standards. Fortunately, they have a free, smart keyword planner tool you can use to determine the best keywords for your site. Take advantage of their free advice for search engine optimization in addition to reading their quality guidelines.
You can’t afford to have your business bank accounts hacked or your website shut down by viruses. The solution is to get endpoint protection by Avast. There is a free version with security scanning, malware blocking and the “rescue desk”. You can upgrade to the affordable premium version at a later point to gain access to data shredding, a firewall and proactive security controls.
Whether you want to chat with clients, prospects or remote workers, reliable video conferencing is a necessity, yet you can’t afford to pay a lot for it. The solution is a tool like Join.me. This video conferencing tool has a free plan that lets you invite up to ten people. The basic level allows you to share screens and run up to five simultaneous video feeds.
Zoho Recruit is an applicant tracking tool. It allows you to access a recruiter and up to five open jobs at a single time. Your business can create jobs, publish job postings and track applicants until you find the right person for the role. You can even take advantage of existing templates to send messages to candidates for interviews or inform them that they’ve been rejected. At this basic level, it is free.
Small business owners can’t take the risk of using poor quality free software. All of these tools are not only free, but they could address some pressing needs in your business. You’ll then be able to upgrade to the paid, premium version once you’ve got a little more room for spending.