“My business is fine – I don’t need technology – I’ve been working the same way for 20 years and doing it successfully.” Absolutely everyone – small business owner or not – can do with a little help now and then, and with digital free business tools you can find yourself with a lot more free time, a lot more energy, and even more money! How, you ask? With automation (doing tasks you don’t have to do yourself) and other features, these free business tools can help your business run much better than you ever imagined.
Versatile business and employee management apps
According to the business field researcher from the paper writing service Writingapaper.net, business owners are juggling multiple roles at any given time, but there’s no need to do it all yourself anymore! Thanks to advances in automation with business tools, you can keep your finger on the pulse with minimal in-house involvement, allowing you to focus on the big picture of what really matters. Few free business tools offer a complete all-in-one package. But here’s one that does!
Without a doubt, Connecteam is the best free tool for small businesses. Designed specifically for unemployed and remote teams, Connecteam is the leading business tool that makes managing your business and employees completely hassle-free. With a free plan for 50 users, you get everything listed below (and hours of your time back!).
You can easily:
- Create and share an efficient work schedule when you easily assign a schedule (use drag-and-drop, templates, etc.) based on different requirements. For each shift, offer additional key information so your team has everything they need at a touch, such as an address, tasks to complete, time, and more. Employees can accept or reject shifts, check in when they show up on-site, and more – right on the go!
- Track your employees’ work hours with a self-service GPS-tagged time clock that automatically syncs with Quickbooks Online, so when employees come in and out of their phones, a real-time timestamp, and GPS coordinates are automatically noted. This makes timesheets more efficient and easy to manage, not to mention 100% accurate payroll.
- Create interactive communication via group or individual chat, and share GIFs, videos, and pictures. Allow your team to participate in the update with likes and comments or if it’s a one-way announcement so everyone is on the same page.
- Manage on-the-go and real-time reports such as incident reports, reimbursements, operational checklists, and more to ensure compliance from top to bottom.
- Offer a better training and induction experience so your team has direct access to training resources such as the employee handbook, safety protocols, benefits, etc.
- Increase engagement with announcements, newsletters, and updates that can be segmented by group and channel to avoid information overload. Talk about goals achieved, new sales, key protocols, and more.
- Use a searchable employee directory to keep all work contacts in the app instead of your personal phone, easily find the contacts you need with a quick search (name, title, location, etc.) and quickly interact with the contact with action buttons such as phone call, email or chat.
Business tools for communication and collaboration
As your business grows, so does the amount of people you have to communicate with. Managing communication, collaboration, and interaction between everyone can be a time-consuming task for you as a manager. These tools can help you streamline these processes and save the time you might spend on being a conduit of information to your subordinates and partners.
Google Docs (and friends)
According to the best writing services, when it comes to free tools for small business owners, you can’t help but mention Google, so we’ll start with the internet giant that everyone knows. It’s a great tool for file sharing. When it comes to filing sharing and document collaboration, Google Docs, Sheets and Slides are the way to go. The files are stored in Google Drive and are a great way to avoid endless emails when working on different documents together.
Join.me by LogMeIn
Gone are the days of conference meetings. Well, maybe not gone, but changed. Solutions like LogMeIn’s join.me conference call tool allow you to give presentations to multiple employees or clients without getting out of your chair at home or in the office, saving you from long trips and even confusing team chats.
CRM and ERP business tools
Tracking sales and inventory processes is becoming increasingly difficult as lead acquisition channels change and your business expands. By digitizing your inventory and sales process tracking, you can save a lot of time and complete sales faster and more efficiently.
One of the best small business tools of all time, Hubspot is a free CRM solution that promises to stay free forever and offers automation features to help keep track of customer interactions. You can also create and execute sales-related tasks and get a good overview of your sales to funnel at any given time. It’s a nice little productivity business tool.
This easy-to-use project management and team collaboration software is a great tool option for small businesses. Replacing the many tools needed for task management, collaboration, timekeeping, communication, file sharing, and reporting with one all-in-one software, gives teams a central source for finding everything they need.
One of the challenges in sales process management can be combining sales process data from different channels (online, PoS, and inside sales). Sellsy is a free tool for small businesses that combines customer relations and contact marketing, as well as inventory management and even timekeeping.
The journey from producing a product to getting it into the hands of your customers can be complex. xTuple is a free tool for small businesses, which is an open-source ERP solution with an integrated CRM system, designed primarily for companies that produce products rather than services.
Tools for Business Automation
You may not even notice, but some of your precious time is spent on two of the most frustrating activities: waiting and catching up. You’re waiting for replies to messages or responses from customers. And you try to respond as quickly as possible if you miss a communication or customer action. By automating as many business processes and tasks as possible, you can save precious time that you now spend doing what a simple algorithm can do.
“If this, then that” is a beloved small business’ free tool: it’s a simple but flexible automation system that combines hundreds of apps and services to create automated processes, making them “talk” to each other. For example, you can create an IFTTT to turn leads from your site into contacts in HubSpot, or even improve internal communication with automated channels.
Like IFTTT, Zapier is a more business-oriented automation tool that integrates with many more applications and services than IFTTT. So before you choose a particular tool, make sure it interacts seamlessly with the small business tools and services you’re currently using.
Task Management Business Tools
The larger your team, the harder it is to keep track of all the various tasks of all employees, contractors, and partners. Without a management solution, these tasks can get lost and unfulfilled, falling between the proverbial chairs of everyday work. In addition, you’ll spend too much time micromanaging your employees’ tasks. And no one needs that.
This simple and free task management solution (up to 15 users) is easy to use and quite flexible. Just like the asanas in yoga. This free tool for small businesses allows you to create recurring tasks, assign them to team members, and track the progress of tasks from a single customizable dashboard.
Real-time Wrike is the best free small business tool for analyzing performance metrics with cumbersome spreadsheets. Customize everything from dashboards to automation, add comments, edit in real-time, share information with stakeholders, view individual team tasks or projects, and more. Wrike can also integrate with various tools such as GitHub, Slack, Box, SalesForce, and more.
The bottom line on tools for small business owners
You don’t need to become a cell phone expert or software developer to use technology to grow your business with free business tools. Whether you’re a local grocery store, plumbing service, or toy manufacturer, you can quickly and easily set up any of these tools to start managing your business operations. However, simply implementing multiple tools doesn’t guarantee success. You have to think strategically about running your business. But have no fear, you’ll find more tips, strategies, tactics, and more in the detailed blog articles.