20 Free Tools for Entrepreneurs to Improve Their Business

by / ⠀Startup Advice / October 19, 2011

Who doesn’t like free? There are a ton of great free resources available for entrepreneurs online. It can be tough to sort out which ones are worth the time and which ones will do more harm than good. Here is a list of 20 free resources that have been recommended by small business owners.

100% free:

1. Google Docs: Create documents, presentations, spreadsheets, forms and more with this powerful tool. It’s all free!

2. Unpaid interns: Find a way to compensate them with college credits or connections to your network for that paid job they may be looking for later.

3. HARO: If you’re an expert on something get connected to reporters who are looking for sources for stories.

4. Facebook, twitter, linkedin: All of social media is a huge free resource for every business owner. Every business has a chance to use some of the platforms out there to benefit their business.

5. SEO: Nothing is ever guaranteed when trying to rank in search results but it is free and if you can pull it off for the right keywords your business will see the benefits.

6. Google Alerts: Set alerts for your name or your businesses name to see when it’s mentioned somewhere online. Or use them to track the industry and the competition.

7. Quora: Have a question? Ask it on quora and get answers from the community. Or search their growing database of Q&As from all industries.

8. Tumblr: The easiest way to create a blog for your business.

9. Open source software: Whatever you are looking to do there is a good chance there is an open source software substitute for it. While some of these programs may not be as robust or fine tuned many of them are extremely powerful and useful.

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Premium options available:

10. Jotform Sign: Collect legally binding documents and automate your document process.

11. Adobe Sign: Digital document signing software.

12. Mailchimp: Email marketing at its best. It’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers.

13. Dropbox: Service that allows you to bring all of your photos, documents and videos anywhere. Upload them to dropbox to access them on any of your computers or through the website. It’s free for up to 2GB.

14. Skype: Free calls to to anyone in the world with Skype. Only pay for premium features and to make calls to phones.

15. Hootsuite: Manage all of your social accounts like twitter, facebook and linkedin. Only pay for more in depth analytics.

16. Toggl: Time tracking tool to help you manage every minute of the day and holds you accountable for everything you do. It’s free for limited features.

17. Evernote: An easy way to upload every idea, note, picture or experience so you don’t forget it later.

18. Craigslist: A great way to find interns, employees, office space or even supplies like used furniture and equipment. You may have to pay to list things in some locations but never to search listings.

19. Paypal: Collect credit card payments online easily and efficiently. Only pay when you make a transaction.

20. FreshBooks: Online billing and invoicing software to help you invoice like a pro. Accounts are free up until 3 clients.

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