Starting your own business can be overwhelming with start up costs. But you are in luck!
There are actually 15 amazing free programs for startups.
Sometimes it can be difficult to know which free programs for startups are really good or not. So I made sure my list included all the programs that I currently use and those that have worked best for my businesses.
Word Press. Having a professional website is extremely important. Though you need to buy a domain and hosting, usually around $10 a month, Word Press is a free install for your domain. It has loads of free themes that are easy to mold into the look of your brand. It also has hundreds, if not thousands, of free plugins. These plugins make your site work for you. Some examples are: Creating landing pages, capturing emails, gaining social media followers, eCommerce, site security, and just about any thing you could possibly need to run a business. Word Press by far has the most options and capabilities than any other website building tool.
Google Analytics. Google Analytics will provide a html tracking code that you embed in your theme’s header. Don’t worry the site will provide a super simple tutorial for how to do this, if you don’t know how. Tip: Get the Word Press plugin called “Header and Footer.” This is a great plugin, where you just paste the code that Google will provide into the “header” section and click save. The plugin will automatically add the code to the theme code, so you do not need to worry about messing up your theme code. Google Analytics will keep count of the traffic to your website. You will be able to track clicks, sales, and loads more. I highly suggest taking Google Analytics’s free online training course. It has loads of tutorial videos to help get the most out of your website.
Google Suite. Google Suite has everything you need for documenting your business. Such as spreadsheets, docs, calendar, slides, etc.. It also has easy sharing buttons for sending to other people on your team or clients.
Todoist. This is a great site, which also has an app. For staying organized. You create different projects, for example a project for each client or branch of your business, as well as personal like errands. Give each project a different color. Then simply enter every thing you need to-do and schedule dates or deadlines. You can also schedule re-occurring to-dos and notifications. You can easily see what you need to do that day and week. When you complete the task, click the done box and it is removed. This is extremely helpful when managing multiple clients and projects. However, in order for it to work, you need to get in the habit of always adding tasks as they come up and reviewing at the end of the day. Otherwise, it won’t help you if you forget it.
Mail Chimp. Mail Chimp is where you will collect emails and for email marketing. It is free up to 2,000 subscribers. So it won’t always be free, but by the time you have 2,000 subscribers you will be making more in income to be able to invest. Mail Chimp is the best, especially if you use Word Press, because there are pop-up plugins that integrate with Mail Chimp to collect emails. Once collected, Mail Chimp allows you to design professional newsletters. Mail Chimp also tracks who opens the email, how many times they open it, and if they click through your links to your site or products. If you are selling products it will also track if the person bought through the links you provided in the emails. When you are ready to upgrade, I believe for $10 a month, you can get the handy automated service so that when someone subscribes to your list it will automatically start sending your emails. So you can schedule all your newsletters, promotions, etc… This feature is also handy for creating eCourses.
Hootsuite. Hootsuite is definitely a must have if you plan to have a social media presence. The free version will allow you to connect 3 social media accounts. You use this program for scheduling all your social media posts. It is an amazing time savor to sit for an hour and create all your social media posts for the week and schedule when you want them to post. It will auto-post to your social media so you can devote the time you would have spent daily on a different element of your business. You can add all your social media streams, so that you don’t have to jump from Twitter to Facebook. You can see all the activity in one place and be able to comment, share, interact without having to go to each individual site. Hootsuite will also provide important analytics about your social media, so that you can determine your social media strategy for your business. You can also add team members. So if you have the budget for a social media manager, they will be able to login and schedule for you and you will be able to monitor.
Slack. Slack is a great program for keeping in contact with team members or clients. You can set up different channels and organize which people go where. Basically an online conference room where people can post where they are on projects or questions for everyone on the team to see. There is also private messaging.
Trello. Trello is a program for staying on top of projects. You can create new projects, with the steps and due dates. You can assign people steps in the project. When people submit their steps it will keep track of that. So as the project lead you can get a snap shot of where you are on all your projects. It can also be integrate with Slack for easy communication between team members. Even if you don’t have team members, it is a great visual and organizational tool for your projects.
Mint. Mint is an excellent money manager. It has a site and app. This will help you set up your budgets and keep track of your business and personal spending. It can also be integrated with Turbo Tax and Quick Books to make tax season a breeze.
Canva. Canva is an awesome site for creating all your graphics. They have all the set dimensions for the different social media platforms, emails, ebook covers, and more! They have paid options, but loads and loads of free templates. Plus you can upload your own photos and design your own for free. You can get super creative here. Every image you see on my site was created free using Canva, so take a look around my site for inspiration.
Pixabay. This site has thousands of free professional stock photos. I find the perfect images here and upload to Canva.
Amazon Kindle. Did you know it is free to submit ebooks for publishing on Amazon! Ebooks are a great way to monetize your business and Amazon Kindle makes it super easy to get your book out there. You can also set up an author profile which can be linked to your site. If you have a blog, it will automatically load your new posts! Tip: Create your Kindle Ebook cover in Canva for free!
iTunes. It is also free to submit to iTunes. If you are thinking of podcasting for creating brand awareness. iTunes is a great place to submit.
BookBub. Not that you don’t have enough on your plate as a business owner, but it is important to stay educated. BookBub sends you free ebooks based on your preferences. There are great business books to help with ideas and ways to build your business. Tip: Everything in your life doesn’t have to revolve around your business. Select some fun reads and unwind at the end of the day. Otherwise, you are going to get burnt-out real fast!
There ya have it folks, the top 15 must have free programs for your start up. Did I forget any? Be sure to add your ideas and suggestions in the comments! Also, be sure to subscribe to my newsletters in the right sidebar. I send help tips for getting your startups going. (Using Mail Chimp of course! Great way to find out all that Mail Chimp can do by experiencing first hand!)