8 Tools to Help a Small Business Get Started on a Budget

You want to build your dream company and have all the plans and ideas already in place. However, you are short on cash. So, what can you do to get out of this predicament?

Thanks to the Internet, there are numerous affordable or even free resources and tools that you can use for setting up your business. The following are 8 such tools that can help get your small business up and running even on a shoestring budget:

1- Join.me

Today’s startups do a lot of communication over the Internet. So, you would be doing a lot of video conferences with your clients and freelance workers that are located overseas. Thus, you need a reliable yet affordable video conferencing tool. This is where join.me comes in.

Join.me is a simple yet powerful video conferencing solution that doesn’t hurt your pocket as it’s free for limited usage. You can work with 5 video feeds, and 10 video participants at a time, for free!

2- Hootsuite

Here is the thing about social media marketing- it’s super effective and yet completely free. Nothing is stopping you from creating your company’s account on all the major social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. to promote your brand. However, if you want the best results and learn how to increase your social media followers strategically, then you definitely need a dedicated social media management tool.

Hootsuite is a top-of-the-line social media manager that offers an excellent analytics service and a slew of in-depth monitoring and reporting tools that can offer you a bird’s eye view of your online marketing campaigns. You can use its limited features in the free version, and as your business grows, you can invest in the premium subscription for additional services.

3- Tailor Brands

The startup Tailor Brands has taken the branding industry by the storm by developing an online branding suite that’s easily accessible, affordable, and most importantly, delivers results that are at par with the brick and mortar graphics design studios.

At a price of just two pizzas, tailorbrands.com offers you a professional and unique company logo within minutes which is just great. What’s more, it is an extremely user-friendly platform that doesn’t take a lot of time for you to get the hang of. There are many complementary branding tools that you can use too including social media analytics, business deck development, customized presentation slides, etc.

4- MailChimp

Wondering how to go about email marketing without spending a large chunk of your budget? MailChimp.com can help.

MailChimp is a popular email marketing platform that offers email marketing services under different subscription plans for different levels of usage. So, the more are the number of your email subscribers, the higher is the price of the plan. However, that’s not all MailChimp offers. You can also create professional email templates for your customers and use its built-in sign-up forms to collect emails addresses of new subscribers that visit your website, and more!

5- TunnelBear

IT security may just seem like a luxury when you are just starting your business, especially when the budget is tight. However, you can’t afford to ignore business security because it can take just one instance of data theft to make all your customers lose faith in your company and switch to your rivals.

One of the most important things that you can do for online security, which won’t even you cost you a penny is to install a VPN service like TunnelBear. It’s easy to use, offers faster Internet connection, and protects your business from all kinds of cyber-attacks and data thefts. Plus, you can use its starter plan i.e. “Little” for free is your monthly bandwidth usage is below 500 MB.

If you are satisfied with the service, you can also upgrade to the Grizzly plan that costs just $4.16 a month, certainly a bargain if compared to other VPN service providers in the market.

6- G Suite

Cloud services can significantly boost business productivity at a very low price. And what better product to use than the tech giant Google’s own office suite?

G suite offers numerous features that can accelerate your company growth including platform independence, easy collaboration, dedicated online storage, multiple email aliases, 2-step verification features for enhanced security, and more. You can get started with the basic plan that costs just $5 per month and then upgrade over time as your needs grow.

7- X-Cart

Want to sell your products online but don’t have the budget to build an e-commerce platform? Fret not, X-cart.com can help!

X-Cart is a self-housed licensed software, an e-commerce shopping cart really that allows you to add your products to an online catalog, create and edit orders, and accept payments via PayPal.  You can even create loyalty programs, use the REST API to customize your online service, etc.

The basic version of X-Cart is completely free to use, so it’s a good option to start with if you don’t have a budget to build a dedicated e-commerce platform of your own.

8- TurboCASH

TurboCASH is a free-to-use accounting software that you can use for all your bookkeeping needs. Unlike other free accounting tools available on the Internet that are often limited in functionality, this one offers the “real deal” with quality features that are particular to enterprise-level or premium software. With tools like VAT accounting, stock control, creditor tracking, etc. you can simplify the majority of your accounting tasks with it easily!

So, there were some of the nifty online tools that you can use to give your business a quick boost. These are already used by hundreds of thousands, or even millions of businesses across the globe. They are quite pleased with the results and there is no reason why you won’t be too. Good luck!

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