5 Free Applications Your Small Business Should Be Using

29 Mar
Online Business Apps

Even if your business is on a tight budget, there are numerous free, web-based resources available to help you stay organized, streamline communications, and optimize your online presence.  To help you navigate the seemingly endless sea of online business resources, we’ve compiled a list of five applications that can help your company achieve its goals without breaking the bank.

1. Project & Task Management

Trello:

Trello is an easy-to-use project and task management application that’s the “digital equivalent of Post-It Notes and bulletin boards.”  With Trello, you create “boards,” “lists” and “cards” that allow you to visualize and organize your to-do lists and divide larger projects into sub-projects and tasks.

You can add due dates, checklists, attachments, labels, notes and assignments to each task to help you better manage you and your team’s workflow.  When it comes to project management, Trello is particularly helpful for teams that are working on separate, smaller tasks of a larger project.

The free version of Trello lets you create unlimited boards, lists, cards and checklists, and add unlimited members. Business owners who want to increase their storage capacity and add more customized features and privacy options can opt for Trello Business Class for $8.33 per user per month.

2. Graphic Design

Canva:

Creating professional-grade graphics and marketing materials for your business doesn’t have to be expensive. Canva is a web-based graphic design platform that can help you stand out even on a budget.

With Canva, you can use preformatted templates or blank canvas to create marketing flyers, social media posts, infographics, and much more. Canva is free and easy to use, and provides thousands of no-cost and customizable templates, images, graphics and fonts that will make your marketing materials look like they were designed by a pro.

For $12.95 per team member per month, you can upgrade to Canva for Work which allows you and your team to resize images, animate your designs, centralize your brand colors, logos and fonts, and much more.

3. Internal Communication

Slack:

Slack is a multipurpose messaging platform that allows you to create communication channels for different teams, topics and projects. Slack makes it easy for team members to instant message, share and store files and even make video calls. This user-friendly program automatically archives any messages, files or images you or your team members share. It also integrates with a number of different web applications, including Trello.

The free version of Slack lets you add an unlimited number of users to your workspace, and allows users to search up to 10,000 messages and integrate with 10 applications. More advanced features, such as unlimited searches and app integrations, start at $6.67 per month.

4. Conference Calls

Uber Conference:

UberConference is a cloud-based conferencing system that makes voice calling simple and easy. In addition to conference calling, UberConference offers screen-sharing, a free recording system and file sharing with support directly from Google Drive, Dropbox, Box and Evernote.

Customers can choose from either the free version or the business plan version of UberConference. Unlike other conferencing systems, UberConference’s free plan includes all of its main features and supports up to 10 participants per call. For $15 per month, the business plan version accommodates up to 100 participants at a time.

5. Social Media

Hootsuite:

Social media marketing is a must for companies of all sizes and stages. With so many platforms to maintain, it can be difficult and time-consuming to keep track of all your accounts and posts. Hootsuite makes social media and digital marketing easy by giving you a central dashboard from which you can schedule posts and manage all your profiles.

While there are some features that required paid access, Hootsuite’s free plan provides the basic capabilities most small businesses need, like scheduling and publishing posts, monitoring your feeds, liking, commenting and sharing posts and basic analytics. 

Take Advantage of Available Resources

In today’s tech-driven world, online applications can help simplify and improve the day-to-day running of your business. These five apps are just some of the many helpful tools that are available to business owners looking to expand their digital presence, streamline communications, boost productivity and better organize and manage workflow. Check out these apps today to start growing your business without stretching your budget.