Since I started my business on a crunchy budget, I was always on the lookout for cheap (preferably FREE), tools and services to help me run and organize my business. So here is a list of my top 5 favourite ones which are the backbone of my seven figure business and they are all FREE!!!! (Or at least – I can make do with the free versions till date)
These tools have helped me run my business smoothly from any corner of the country and have helped me achieve success time and time again, and I know they can help you too..
So let’s talk tech –
1. Zoho mail
Having an email account on your domain helps build more credibility in the eyes on the customer.
I run all my official email accounts on Zoho ever since Google Business become a paid service. It is the most user friendly alternative. Zoho allows you to set up 25 free user accounts using your own domain name and it also comes with multiple other tools that you will find useful like zoho spreadsheets (similar to google sheets) etc. The best thing is – you can also integrate zoho mail with your ms outlook or apple mail and phone and it syncs seamlessly.
Canva is designing tool that I use for all my basic needs. It is by far the most convenient tool that I have used for designing my headers and social social media posts. Of course, it is not a very advanced designing tool- so you cannot work with vectors or design logos (those are better done on photoshop or adobe illustrator), but it is a great platform to build creative graphics for marketing once you have your brand elements ready. You can import stock photos and your logo into Canva and you will not find any need to use those other biggie softwares again.
I have been using Asana since my college days to keep a track of projects with other group members. It is free and so simple to use. Till date, I find it the most convenient tool to coordinate projects and manage tasks with other team members and since I work remotely – it has been a lifesaver. I love the fact that it allows you to break projects into tasks and tasks further into sub-tasks with deadlines for each.
You have to give asana a try.
Wave accounting is the best free accounting tool – it not only keeps a track of your business expenses but also your personal expenses. It integrates with you bank account and automatically imports all your transactions – phew – that really gets rid of all the crazy manual entry data – and I am a total sucker for automation.
If you don’t have a background in accounting or knowledge of various accounting terms – they have a great resource section to teach you how to get started. It also allows you to store a soft copy of all your receipts and invoices — woohoo !! No more paper clutter!!!
Also it is cloud based, so you can access it from anywhere.
The payment gateway service, I depend upon whole and soul. I have tried multiple payment gateway providers like PayuMoney, DircePay, but I have found Instamojo to be the most user friendly and economical. They do not have any setup fee or annual maintenance and they charge a flat 2% + Rs3 per transaction – I have found that to be the cheapest in the Indian payment gateway scenario.
They have a superb support team and it is extremely easy to integrate it with WordPress.
You can start you account without any paperwork and accept payments upto 10,000/- and once you get your basic KYC requirements completed, you can accept higher amounts of monies.
Having a payment gateway makes it easier for customers to pay you as it removes the hassle of doing a NEFT transaction or cash deposit – plus it is also more professional.
So, these are my top 5 can’t -do -without business tool which have helped me keep my business streamlined.
I would love to know what you use in your business – so share them with me and other business owners in the comments below.
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