Money can be tight when you’re first getting your business off the ground. You may need to spend most of your money on inventory or office supplies to get your business going. Even if you’re thinking about expanding your current business, coming up with the money to do so can be a challenge.
Don’t let a tight budget keep you from growing your business. There are a ton of free resources that business owners can use to turn their business dreams into a reality. Here are 8 free resources that new and current business owners can use:
Having a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system is a must for almost every business. A CRM allows you to store customer and prospect contact information, leads and sales opportunities in one central location. Unfortunately, CRM systems tend to be very expensive.
Zoho offers a free CRM system for up to 10 users that includes all the basic features needed for a CRM. Starting out with a free CRM can save you a ton of money, especially if you don’t have many employees. To learn more go here: https://www.zoho.com/crm/comparison.html
You might not have a big budget for marketing, but it is imperative that you market your business to get the word out about your product or service. Email marketing is a great way to get in front of your customers and leads.
MailChimp is an email marketing service provider that offers a free version of their web-based email marketing system to users that have 2,000 or fewer subscribers. With the free version you can send up to 12,000 emails a month to 2,000 subscribers for free. To learn more go here: http://mailchimp.com/pricing/entrepreneur/
You don’t have to be a Photoshop expert to make great graphics and to edit your photos. PicMonkey offers a free photo editor with graphic design features, and the ability to make collage photos. The photos you make will be great to use with any Instagram or Facebook marketing that you do to represent your brand. To learn more about all of PicMonkey’s features, go here: http://www.picmonkey.com/
4. Help a Reporter Out
Getting publicity for your business can be difficult and is typically not cheap. Help a Reporter Out connects reporters from major news outlets with experts in various fields. After you sign up for the free service, you’ll be sent requests each day on topics that reporters are looking for quotes or expert opinions on. If you are chosen by a reporter to contribute to a story, your name and business will be mentioned in the publication where hundreds of readers could get free exposure to your business. To sign up, go here: http://www.helpareporter.com/
Managing all your projects can get crazy, especially when starting a business. Instead of using lengthy spreadsheets or a pile of sticky notes to manage all of your tasks, download a free project management system called Trello.
Trello lets you see everything about your project in a single glance. They have a user friendly system that will allow you to work with colleagues in and outside your office. To sign up for your free Trello account, go here: https://trello.com/
If you plan on accepting credit cards, you probably already know that you’ll be paying transactions fees. However, you can still save some money by getting the Square credit card reader for your smartphone.
The Square reader for your smartphone allows you to accept credit cards when you’re out and about and best of all, it’s free. The Square reader accepts all the major credit cards and has a minimal transaction fee. To get your free Square credit card reader, go here: https://squareup.com/reader
Having a website is essential when you open a business. It’s basically your online business card that gives your business credibility. However, building an impressive and expensive website could cost thousands of dollars.
Depending on the kind of business you’re starting up, it’s entirely possible to create an online presence yourself. Wix lets you create easy to use, do it yourself free websites that can be online in minutes without any coding skills required. To get started with your free website, go here: http://www.wix.com/
New business owners often quickly create fancy business cards when first getting started with their business. While having an expensive business card is nice, it doesn’t’ guarantee that you’ll get a ton of business just because you have a fancy card.
Vistaprint offers 100 free business cards that can be designed easily. The only catch is that the card will not have anything printed on the back, and you’ll have to pay for shipping. But, 100 free business cards can be a great option when you first open your business. If you’re looking for a better business card, Vistaprint also offers 500 business card for just $10. To get started with your free business cards, go here: http://www.vistaprint.com/category/business-cards.aspx
We hope that you find this list of free business resources for business owners useful.
For more information about starting and growing your business, contact a Corporate Service Center representative at 1-866-411-2002, Monday thru Friday, 8 am – 5 pm PST.