The Best Free & Low Cost Business Technology & Resources

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The Best Free & Low Cost Business Technology & Resources

Technology can support all parts of your company and help you plan, grow, market, organize, and operate more efficiently. Being in a business that revolves around technology, we’re a little obsessed with it. We’ve explored just about every tool out there. For organizations just starting out and wondering what to use, or established and looking for better solutions, here’s our list of the best business technology and resources available for any need.

 

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Advertising & Marketing

Website

HTML5 UP (Free): Access to tons of HTML5 website templates that are responsive and customizable

Bootswatch (Free): Website themes for Bootstrap, just download and install

Templated (Free): Currently has 865 CSS, HTML5, and responsive website templates for download

Strikingly (Free, paid options up to $16/month): Drag-and-drop website design and hosting with mobile-optimized templates and no coding skills needed

WordPress (Free): Popular, open-source software that supports thousands of website themes and plugins

Bootstrap Zero (Free): Open-source Bootstrap template resource that currently has 184 free themes

Wix (Free with paid options up to $25/month): Simple, drag-and-drop webpage creator with tons of free features

Writing/Blogging

Grammarly (Free): A browser extension that gives you spellcheck features anywhere you’re writing – emails, social media, and more

Hemingway (Free): Input your text and it will help you find mistakes and areas to improve grammar and flow

CoSchedule Headline Analyzer (Free): Input the blog or news headline you want to use and this tool will analyze its structure and give improvement recommendations to attract readers

Free Summarizer (Free): Summarize any text into a length of your choosing

Hubspot Blog Idea Generator (Free): Input a few subjects you’d like to write about and this tool will output blog ideas

Buzzsumo (Free with paid options up to $239/month): Analyze what content is performing best around a topic or competitor

Portent Content Idea Generator (Free): Enter a subject and get blog title ideas for it to spark your writing

Social Media

CoSchedule Click-to-Tweet (Free): Create click-to-tweet boxes within your content to promote social shares

Later (Free with paid options up to $49/month): Visually plan and schedule your Instagram posts

Crowdfire (Free): Connect your social media accounts to get pre-made posts with curated content relevant to your business goals and industry; manage social accounts and get customized recommendations to grow

Buffer (Free with paid options up to $399/month): Curate, schedule, manage, and get analytics for your social media posts across multiple accounts

ShareThis (Free): Various tools to grow your business and following including embeddable website sharing and reaction buttons, social post a/b testing, viral notifications, and an email list builder

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Business Planning & Development

U.S. Small Business Association (Free): Straightforward business advice and tools from a reliable source

Bplans (Free): Guides on everything you could imagine about planning and running a business; ideas, plans, templates, courses, pitching, funding, starting, managing, and various tools

enloop (Free with paid options up to $39.95/month): Quickly create bank- and investor-ready business plans and financial forecasts

Microsoft BizSpark (Free): Helps technology startups succeed by giving them free access to Microsoft Azure cloud services, software, and support including five Visual Studio Enterprise with MSDN subscriptions; connect tech startups to investors and associations

IBM Global Entrepreneur (Free): Designed to provide technology startups with access to technology usage credits, industry experts, and enterprise-grade cloud, data, IoT, Blockchain, and AI technologies to develop with

The Name App (Free): Find an available name for your new business or idea

Naminum (Free): Find the perfect company name based around a word of your choosing

Wordoid (Free): Generates made-up, but nice sounding words to help you find a unique name for your company, product, or domain

Lean Domain Search (Free): Enter a word to quickly find available domain names containing it

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Communication

Skype (Free with paid options up to around $8/user/month): The first internet calling service, Skype allows for text, voice, and video chats, along with document sharing

Slack (Free with paid options up to $12.50/user/month): Helps you manage internal conversations across multiple platforms and channels

MailChimp (Free with paid options up to around $200/month): Create great looking emails and newsletters quickly using drag-and-drop features and templates; get analytics and extra features to help drive your email campaigns

Campaign Monitor ($9 – $149/month): Another great, affordable email and newsletter creator with templates, analytics, and drag-and-drop functionality

Mailtrack (Free with paid options up to $6/month): Track your sent email opens and get real-time notifications, link tracking, reminders, and other features

Canned Emails (Free): If you need to quickly create a commonly-used email type, this website loads up a pre-written message directly into your email program

Unroll.me (Free): Quickly bulk unsubscribe from all of those newsletters and emails you don’t care about

Uberconference (Free with paid options up to $10/month): Simplifies the conference call process with options to run from a web interface to see who’s talking and mute noisy participants, automatic dialing out to participants when the conference is about to start, share screens and documents, and choose your own hold music

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Data Management

Dropbox (Free with paid options up to $20/user/month): Free storage up to 2GB with the free plan, and paid options offer more storage with the ability to share and collaborate on files

Box (Free with paid options up to $15/user/month): Offers 10GB of free personal storage, with sharing and collaborating on files made easy

Google Drive (Free with paid options up to $99.99/month): Offers 15GB of free personal storage along with file sharing and collaborating

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Design & Branding

Canva (Free with paid options up to $12.95/month): Quickly and easily design graphics for anything you could think of; social media banners, logos, blog graphics, infographics, flyers, business cards, ads, invitations, postcards, and more

Piktochart (Free with paid options up to $29/month): Quickly create professional infographics with templates and provided graphics

Logaster (Free with paid options up to $29.99): Generate and customize a logo for your company

Signature Maker (Free): Create a professional email signature with your business details

Placeit (Free): Drag-and-drop designer to quickly create mockups for digital products, clothing, print, and other media

Free Stock Images & Graphics

Foter – Photos

Stock Up – Photos

Pexels – Photos

Pixabay – Photos, vectors, illustrations, videos

StockSnap – Photos

AllTheFreeStock – Photos, mockups, videos, sound effects, icons, website and email templates, fonts

Unsplash – Photos

Foodiesfeed – Food photos

Splitshire – Photos

New Old Stock – Vintage photos from public archives

PicJumbo – Photos

Gratisography – Modern and quirky photos

Bucketlistly – Travel photos

Free Nature Stock – Nature photos

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Education

Coursera (Free): Take a breadth of courses from well-known universities for free

Khan Academy (Free): Online courses over a variety of subjects

Codecademy (Free): Learn to code interactively

StartupClass (Free): An online course from Stanford University with information and lectures about launching a startup business

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Financing

StreetShares (Free): Connects you with peer-to-peer lenders for small business funding; share your story and demonstrate the value of your business idea to recruit lenders

Kickstarter (5% of funding total): Crowdsource your business funding or idea with micro-donors and without giving away equity

Fundera (Free): Answer some questions about your business and need and get matched with lenders

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Legal

Docracy (Free): Find open-source, customizable legal documents for any kind of business need

Legalzoom (Varies based on need): Legal advice, prep, document creation, and filing at affordable prices

Shake (Free): Create, sign, and send legally binding agreements digitally

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Money Management

Expensify (Free with paid options up to $9/user/month): Automate expense tracking and reporting with smart receipt scanning, mobile and travel expense tracking, and reimbursement features

Paypal (Free with paid options up to $30/month): Take payments and automate eCommerce needs

TSheets (Free with paid options up to $4/user/month + base fee): Tracking and management of employee time

Gusto ($6/user/month + $39/month base price): Automated payroll, benefits, and HR

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Organization & Productivity

Evernote (Free with paid options up to $12/user/month) – Create, store, and share detailed notes

Trello (Free with paid options up to around $20/user/month): Keep track of project requirements, activities, and goals with your team

Yanado – (Free with paid options up to $15/user/month): Manage projects within Gmail and create task lists directly from emails

Pocket (Free) – Save articles, videos, and webpages to view later

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Scheduling

FreeBusy (Free with paid options up to $20/user/month): Automate meeting scheduling with calendar synchronization and availability viewing for people both within and outside your company

Doodle (Free with paid option of $99/month): Easily schedule meetings, sync to your calendar, and view availability

When I Work (Free): Employee scheduling software that makes shift management easy and quick; includes features like employee notifications, managed time off requests, and mobile use


Don’t want to handle it alone? We can design, implement, and manage the business technology you need to take your company to the next level. Contact us to get started with a free consultation.


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