Free is always good. When you’re starting a new business budgets can be very tight. In fact, most new small business start out as a result of a job loss. Most of us don’t have 3 months of savings laying around in our bank accounts, so money can be tight while we build the next global mega-empire.
We’ve included sites that are either free or “freemium” which is free to join and there are paid extras. One or two sites are chargeable but when you can pay $0.50 for a domain name registration, who can turn that down!?
MANAGE TIME, MONEY AND CLIENTS
Paymo is a flexable and easy to use time management solution for freelancers. It’s free for one user and one invoice per month which is perfect when you have the occasional client or project.
Zoho is free for a single user with up to 5 clients. Easily customizable with lots of reasonably priced add-ons as your business grows.
Gmail probably doesn’t require an explanation however just in case; Google offers 15GB of storage between Gmail, Google Drive and Google + photos. Gmail also supports POP3 meaning you can also receive your ISP email in your Gmail inbox. You can make free calls through Gmail as well.
Free to chat and video conference with other Skype users. For a very small fee per month you can add a subscription to call landline and cell phones. Collaborate with clients or staff to message and send files. Skype is available for Android and iPhone as well so you can use it over WiFi and save yourself long distance charges.
Start your marketing campaign here. If you have less than 2,000 subscribers Mailchimp is free for you to use to send up to 12,000 messages per month. Reach out to prospective clients or keep you current ones up to dates with newsletters or special offers.
PRODUCTIVITY AND DOCUMENTS
Gone is the time of waiting for emails for project updates. Asana is a collaborative task management application. Each team gets a workspace which contains their projects and the projects contain tasks. There are lots of features such as Projects, Personal Projects, Tasks, and Tags etc. all of which are updated in real time.
OpenOffice is an open source productivity suite designed to give Microsoft Office a run for its money. Files can be saved in an MS Office format and MS Office documents can be opened by OpenOffice. If you don’t have the budget available for Microsoft Office, OpenOffice is the best free alternative.
Need to make a quick note, take a picture of directions on a box or need a place to organize your digital notes? Create lists, save screenshots or webpages, use tags to stay organized. Evernote is like your little note file box for what you see and need to know.
Dropbox is your online file cabinet. Save space on your hard drive and upload your files to your Dropbox. You start with 2GB of storage but can earn an additional 16GB if you invite others. Dropbox can sync’d between all of your devices which saves you running around with a thumb drive or emailing back and forth. You can have clients upload or download files to your Dropbox for collaboration.
SOCIAL MEDIA & NETWORKING
Tweetdeck lets you monitor your Twitter presence for several profiles. You can view tweets from those you follow, filter out what you don’t want, schedule messages to be sent out at various times and monitor the performances of your different profiles. Tweetdeck is now owned by Twitter.
Create your own newspaper content and share it with your social media contacts.
Articles and contented created by individual contributors. Create a free account and submit your own articles which are then exposed to over 300,000 readers. This is an excellent way to write about your niche and get free exposure.
DOMAIN REGISTRATION AND WEB HOSTING
Get a registered domain name for a year for as low as $0.50
The name says it all, freehosting for your website with lots of free tools to help you build you site in no time.
Angela McGeachie-Hendry is the owner of start-up company VA Anywhere and is an Administrative Support Specialist with over 15 years of experience in both the public and private sectors. She offers Virtual Administrative assistance to small businesses who are starting out or looking to expand. She is a very proud military wife, Montreal Canadians’ fan, NatGeo Channel addict, loves to travel, a foodie and an admitted geek gurl.