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18 free small business tools to help streamline operations

Editorial Team

5 min read
Male and Female small business owners working on a laptop.

Running a small business can often feel like a non-stop marathon, with the to-do list ever-expanding. But here’s some welcome news – there’s a goldmine of free tools and resources designed to make your entrepreneurial journey smoother. Join us as we unveil a handpicked collection of essential small business aids and assets that can help you thrive.


Free digital tools for small businesses

While some of these tools have paid plans, all have free options that let small business owners get more done. Learn how these free small business tools can help your business expand its reach without losing revenue.

  1. Google Docs – Google Docs is free word processing software that lets you edit PDFs or Microsoft Word documents without having to convert them. Since it’s cloud-based, collaboration is easy. This means you can invite managers and other staff members to create, comment on, and edit business documentation.
  2. HubSpot – HubSpot is a powerful customer relationship management (CRM) tool. While you’ll need a paid plan to access its full features, free plans unlock valuable sales, marketing, operations, and CMS tools to help grow your business.
  3. Google Analytics – Discover who visits your website, the search terms they use to discover your company, and more with Google Analytics. You’ll also learn demographic information about your customer base, which can help improve your marketing efforts.
  4. Zapier – Automation tool Zapier lets you connect different apps using workflows you design. Use it for task management, communications, marketing automation, and other critical tasks.
  5. Canva – Be your own graphic designer thanks to Canva’s customizable templates. Pick a free graphic that’s ready-made for Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and more, then make it yours by changing fonts, colors, and images.
  6. MailChimp – Grow your email list using MailChimp, which is free for up to 500 subscribers. Free plans include email templates, landing pages, and a subject line helper.
  7. Hotjar – Find out exactly how users explore your company website with Hotjar, a heat mapping tool. Heat map data can help you optimize your website’s design and user experience, ultimately helping to lead to more conversions.
  8. Asana – Project management tool Asana lets you create checklists, to-do lists, and more. Use it to streamline communication with employees, keep teams on track, and simplify business communication.
  9. Slack – Essentially a message board for businesses, Slack lets employees message one another. Post information in one place and distribute it to the team using topic-specific channels.
  10. Eversign – Eversign lets you collect signatures on employee contracts, tax documentation, and more. The software is secure and checks all the legal and compliance boxes. The free plan accommodates five documents per month.
  11. PayPal – Accept payments online or in person with PayPal, which also offers a range of small business finance services. With a free PayPal account, you can also make purchases and invoice clients for goods and services.

Free resources for small businesses

Along with the small business tools listed above, the following free small business resources can help improve operations.

  1. Government of Canada – Business grants and financing – This page provides a comprehensive resource for small business owners seeking financial support and growth opportunities. It covers a wide range of topics, including grants, loans, government financing programs, financial management tools, and more.
  2. Coursera & Alison – These two e-course vendors offer free, online business classes. Build your skills and stay up to date with the latest trends with free classes in productivity, operations management, health and safety, leadership, and much more.
  3. Google Business Profile – Claim your free Google Business Profile. Then add your location, hours, and services. Drive more traffic to your business 24/7 via the power of Google.
  4. Yelp for Business – Add your business to the consumer review site Yelp to get discovered by people searching for service providers, restaurants and more. Once you’re listed on Yelp, you can update business information, respond to customer reviews, and advertise your business.
  5. Entrepreneur.com – This magazine for business owners offers advice on timely topics, from leadership and business growth to franchising and finance. Use it as a go-to resource to educate yourself, troubleshoot problems, and keep up with trends.
  6. Canadian Chamber of Commerce – You may be familiar with local Chambers of Commerce, which offer business networking and learning opportunities. At the national level, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce maintains an ongoing stream of blogs, webinars, event updates, and a wealth of resources tailored to business owners.
  7.  CRA Resources for Small and Medium Businesses –  This page serves as a central hub for small and medium-sized businesses seeking tax-related information and services from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). It covers vital areas such as business number registration, income tax, payroll, GST/HST, and excise taxes. Businesses can access guidance on tax-related matters, online services, and valuable information on taxable benefits and tax forms. The page also offers links to forms, publications, and relevant CRA regulations, making it a comprehensive resource for Canadian businesses managing tax-related concerns.

Running a business is not easy, but this list of free help for small business owners could resolve some of the problems you may be struggling with as a business owner. More importantly, it could help you plan and grow for the future you desire.

Clover can also support your growing business with our wide range of tools that help small businesses run smoothly. Schedule a free demo with a Clover Specialist today.

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