Every small business owner is short on time and money.
You wear a million hats, and I know for a fact that sometimes you do so much that it doesn’t feel like you’re doing anything right. Does that ring a bell? So how do you find the time to do it all? It’s simple. Automate. Everything. The key to small business success is having enough (and the right) systems in place so you can rely on them.
Make the most of your time and money with these 12 free tools.
1. Buffer for social automation. See my notes about Buffer in my last blog. I use Buffer to automate my social presence on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook and it has light analytics built in as well.
Cost: Free. Or upgrade for $10/mo.
2. Dropbox is an easy way to store your documents in the cloud. And if you invite teammates to your folders, sharing is easy too. The nice part about Dropbox over Google Drive (see below) is that you can easily keep documents in the format they’re in without having to upload and download them over and over.
3. Feedly RSS manager to funnel all of the content I want to read to one place. And there are two major bonuses: no more annoying email newsletters! (this one is huge, I despise email newsletters) and it integrates with Buffer.
4. Google Drive allows collaborators to access documents at the same time, which is its advantage over Dropbox. It makes sharing extremely easy between teams.
5. Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator does exactly what it says it does – so if you’re a blogger and you get stuck, open this tool up and put it to use.
6. Inbox by Gmail organizes your emails so you only see what’s important. After much begging on social media and via multiple emails, I finally got an invite to the limited release and it’s awesome!
7. Slack is a collaboration tool that’s out to replace email. Conversation history is searchable and it’s super easy to use. A number of my clients have implemented Slack for internal conversation and they’ve all seen improvement in their processes and communication.
8. Square Cash is a secure payment tool. I use it to pay the freelance members of my time but you can really use it for anything. With the Square Cash app, it takes just a few clicks to send money for free.
Cost: Obviously free
9. Sunrise Calendar lets you connect other apps to your Google calendar. As someone who is not impressed by the Google Calendar, I love Sunrise. The mobile app makes schedule extremely easy.
10. Todoist for task management. If it’s not on Todoist, I don’t do it. In fact, I love the tool so much that you’d think they’re paying me to promote it. Check out my blog about it.
Cost: Free. Or upgrade for $30/yr.
11. Trello for project management. All of my projects are housed in Trello so I can collaborate easily with teams and communicate requirements, due dates and more.
Cost: Free. Get Trello Gold for $5/mo. or get it free by inviting your collaborators to Trello.
12. Unfollowers.me to make sure I’m interacting with the right people on social and increase my fan base.
Cost: 6.90/mo. base level but there are free competitors like Just Unfollow.