A number of small businesses, especially from the traditional sectors, whom we interacted were concerned about the cost of bringing “digital” into their business. They understand the importance of it, yet are worried about the “investment” required. We often advise them, that you can start your path of digital transformation with almost no investment. There are plenty of tools available free of cost (absolutely free), which can aid a small-growing business in its digital journey.

Here is a list of 6 tools which are ABSOLUTELY FREE to use for your small business. By virtue of using these tools for our own business, and implementing them for our clients – both free as well as paid versions, we have seen how they can immensely help a growing business.

1. Hubspot CRM

This is a no brainer. Every business, irrespective of its size, must have a Customer Relationship Management tool. If you are still maintaining an excel sheet, it is time to move to a cloud-based CRM tool. Hubspot CRM is 100% FREE for life. You can manage all your contacts (your leads/ customers etc) in this, with a host of facilities. It supports up to 1 Million contacts (I am sure you can manage with that much!) with no expiration date. Some of the key features are Pipelines for lead nurturing, enriched contacts, email tracking & notifications, prospectus tracking, meetings, live chat etc. It is a full-fledged CRM, that can be used by a B2B or a B2C company.

You can get it at www.hubspot.com

2. Tidio Live Chat

Increase your website engagement with a live-chat boosted with bots! Tidio gives a Free for Life plan, that supports 3 users. It has email and messenger integration, and a limited number of chatbot triggers. The dashboard is simple and easy-to-use.

You can get it at www.tidio.com

3. Hootsuite

When you are running a small business, resources would be always stretched, to manage different social media pages. That is where Hootsuite comes in. You can manage your social media pages through this & schedule the posts so that you don’t miss your social media engagement. The Free version lets you manage 3 social media profiles (sufficient for a small business), with one user.

You can get it at www.hootsuite.com

4. Flock

Move your team from email and Whatsapp to Flock. This messenger and online collaboration platform make internal communication faster for your team. You can create separate channels for different tasks/ departments or projects (for eg, Sales Team, Marketing Team, etc) and add team members to them. You can also share files, links etc between team members by dragging and dropping. These are just a few of the many facilities available in Flock. The FREE version of Flock supports unlimited 1-1 messages, up to 5 GB space for the team, and 10 channels.

You can get it at www.flock.com

5. Mailchimp

Promoting your products or service, and reaching out to existing clients through email would be an integral part of every business. You can use the Free account of Mailchimp for this. It supports a list of upto 2000 email ids, to which you can send unlimited emails a month! There are ready templates available, which you can easily customize with your images and text messages. Reports of all email campaigns, like open/ view/ click rate etc, are available in the dashboard, which will help you in improving your email communication.

You can get it at www.mailchimp.com

6. Accounting

To manage your accounts, generate invoices and track payments from anywhere, you can go with one of the cloud-based accounting tools. We suggest choosing between

  • Zoho invoice

    The only challenge is the Free version is limited to just 5 clients. So if you have more customers, then this option cannot work.

  • Zipbooks

    https://zipbooks.com/

    Easy to use, intuitive interface and a free version that supports most of the requirements of a small business.

  • Akaunting

    www.akaunting.com

    Akaunting is open-source. So you can download it, set it up on your own hosting server and your financial data will be completely in your hand. They also have a free cloud version, where you can easily sign-up, and start using.

These 6 absolutely-FREE tools can help a small & growing business to start it’s digital transformation journey. On-cloud, feature-rich, advanced and FREE, these tools can improve your communication, customer experience & relationship, marketing & promotion and finance management, without any investment. Try them out today, and start utilizing their power to grow.

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Published by Rajesh Joseph

Rajesh Joseph is an entrepreneur, digital & creative media consultant with 2 decades of experience. As the co-founder of MediaJenie, he is involved in strategy, media-solutions, and digital transformation of various clients we work with.

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