Updated: Dec 20, 2019
This may be a bold statement, but there’s no better time to be a business owner. As a small business sometimes it’s tough to find a budget for things like graphic designers, intricate inter-office communication systems, sales organizational tools, and even hardware and software. Luckily for us, there are hundreds – if not thousands – of free tools and resources for people and business owners looking to take their game to the next level.
These 8 tools help us work effectively and efficiently, and to be honest, we can’t imagine life without them.
What it is: Graphic design for dummies
Why we love it: Gorgeous graphic design made easy. What’s not to love? With thousands of templates, fonts, photos, and designs, Canva’s drag and drop method makes designing a breeze.
What it is: Professional AIM
Why we love it: Interoffice communication can be tough. While calling, leaving voicemails, sending emails, and shouting across the room can work sometimes, a lot of the time they can’t. Slack let’s you send one-on-one messages or group chats to the people on your team in designated channels, and as an added bonus it’s integrated with Google Drive AND they have emojis.
What it is: Virtual reminder-er, email tracker, sales lead machine
Why we love it: It’s virtually impossible to remember everything you have to do all the time. Hubspot is a way to send yourself automatic reminders for when you have phone conferences, follow up emails, and everything in between. You can also connect your email account to Hubspot to see when exactly people are opening and clicking your emails, and if you’re in the advertising biz there’s lots of ways to track how email opens leads to $$$.
What it is: Free Photoshop
Why we love it: Gimp is more or less identical to Photoshop in terms of its offerings, so if $700+ for Photoshop isn’t in your budget, Gimp will get the job done just as well at $0.
What it is: Legit e-signatures made easy
Why we love it: Need to send a contract but don’t feel like dealing with paper, faxes, and postage stamps? HelloSign has got you. Easily upload PDF documents, then drag and drop sign fields where they need to be filled in. Enter the recipients info, and voila! They can sign electronically on their computer using their mouse or even on their phone using their finger. It literally couldn’t be any easier.
Google Drive screengrab x Airtable
6. Google Drive
What it is: Free Microsoft Office meets a cloud drive
Why we love it: Google Drive does it all. Word docs, Excel sheets, Powerpoints, Forms. Create them on your phone, tablet, or computer, share them with co-collaborators so they can view them or make changes, download files in every compatible format possible, and access your stuff from anywhere in the world.
What it is: Website building for dummies
Why we love it: Want to make a nice, sexy website but have no budget and zero know-how? Have no fear, Wix is here. Wix, like Canva, uses templates and drag-and-drop design methods to help even the dummiest of dummies create super sexy websites. They also have blog and email compatibilities which makes things super easy peasy. Psst, it’s what this very website was built on
What it is: Website building for dummies with a little more oomph
Why we love it: Did you know that StepOutBuffalo.com is a WordPress website? Millions of websites are, and that’s because WordPress has been around forEVER. They have lots of intergration on the backend in terms of statistics, SEO tools, and social media, and they have both custom coding options available and templated design. Just like Hannah Montana, it’s the best of both worlds.
Want to know more about promoting your business on StepOutBuffalo.com? Contact us!
At Step Out Buffalo, we help businesses promote themselves and their events on our website, email, and social media channels. Our team is comprised of experts who know exactly how to make your business or event stand out, and we’ll put you in all the right places so you get noticed by all the right people. Hit us up if you’d like to learn more about our business and/or events-based promotions – there’s a reason 94% of our readers go places they’ve seen on StepOutBuffalo.com