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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Small Business Administration (SBA) – From business planning and professional development to small business lending, the Small Business Administration supports business growth and operations. Since the agency is tailored to small businesses, their advice and services are just right for businesses such as yours.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- SCORE – Get a free business mentor with experience in something you’d like to learn. SCORE mentors can help with concepts such as business development, growth, marketing, and transition for entrepreneurs looking to wind down their business and enjoy retirement.
- 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.
- Small Business Development Centers – At the state and local level, Small Business Development Centers can be an invaluable source of free advice when you are starting a business or expanding your company. They provide training and tools in partnership with the SBA.
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce – You may be familiar with local Chambers of Commerce, which offer business networking and learning opportunities. At the national level, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce maintains a newsroom and webinar series. Watch on-demand, industry-specific videos or explore topics of global interest, such as cybersecurity.
- Bplans Templates – A business plan is one of the most important documents for starting a business. Bplans makes the process of writing a business plan easier with templates, advice, and a document library of 500+ plans.
- IRS Small Business Tax Guide – While you may be working with a CPA on business taxes, it is still a good idea to know more about the taxes and policies that affect your business and your individual liability. The IRS has a thorough tax advice website geared toward business owners with less than $10 million in assets. Whether you’re a business of one or run several units, you can dive deep into specific tax topics. By educating yourself, you can avoid the surprise of an unexpected tax bill.
- Development Agencies and Councils – Development agencies and councils provide advice, support, and networking opportunities for business owners. There are three development agencies and councils of interest for certain types of business owners:
- Minority Business Development Agency — Geared toward BIPOC business owners, this agency offers professional development resources, grants, and more.
- National Women’s Business Council — For women business owners, this council provides a place to network, learn, and find support.
- Veteran-Owned Business — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers resources for veteran-owned businesses. Veteran-owned companies can take advantage of special incentives, such as the potential for streamlined bidding on government contracts.
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. Check out our eBook library and download them for free, or access Clover Academy where you can watch useful videos and webinars on demand and at no cost to you.
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Be sure to review the Terms and Conditions for each free digital tool or resource program before signing up.
This information is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial, or tax advice. Readers should contact their attorneys, financial advisors, or tax professionals to obtain advice with respect to any particular matter.