If you are an entrepreneur, you have likely seen lean times. Everything seems to cost money. Especially software. But sometimes you don’t have the money for it. So what can you do? Thankfully, we are in a time where there are free versions of almost every tool you can think of. Which means, you can watch your business grow without having to spend a lot of money to get there. And when you do have some money coming in, you will be able to upgrade to the fancy software. While there are many options available for accomplishing different tasks, the four below are a great way to get started – and can fill in a lot of gaps early on in your process.
Part of the modern day web experience is being able to talk to someone when we’re on their site. I am kind of impatient, so this means a great deal to me. Providing this to your customers shouldn’t cost you a ton of money. But its a way for instant communication and that can be the difference between securing and losing multiple sales a day. Live chat software can accomplish that. And it’s amazing that there are free options – like Pure Chat. Integration is extremely easy and will only take most people a few minutes. It works with everything from WordPress to Shopify and even Squarespace. In addition to the free live chat, Pure Chat can also be integrated with platforms like Google Analytics in order to bolster its usefulness.
When you’re starting out everything is new and figuring out how your processes will work can be very overwhelming. Task management can shape your company for years to come and if you can start on the right foot you’ll be building a better foundation for the years to come. ClickUp is one option, which, is available for free. ClickUp is an easy to use and intuitive program that keeps projects connected, with threaded comment chains while offering different views on tasks and projects depending on your role. This is even used by Google, so its got to be good. You only get 100 MB of storage with the free package, but everything else is included.
Canva makes it possible to create beautiful imagery, promotional pieces, and blog posts. What’s also great about Canva is that you don’t have to waste a lot of time trying to figure it out, like you would with Photoshop. In the long run, you will want to invest in some great photo editing software, but this is definitely a place to start. It’s about managing your budget, and Canva will help you with that. A large portion of the service is hidden behind paywalls, but they only charge $1. There are a lot of things you can accomplish if you’re unable to pay, but if you can make the investment, it’s worth it. The controls are easy to use and the layout is intuitive enough that you won’t have to waste time watching a ton of videos trying to figure out your goals within the program.
If you’re not using some kind of collaborative chat service, you’re in the minority. Being able to centralize projects, updates and conversations into one hub will help you maintain efficiency while keeping everyone in the loop. There are tons of options out there, but Slack is one of the more popular ones and for good reasons. It’s so easy to set up and use and has lots of benefits over traditional chat apps like Skype. Slack integrates with almost everything. From ClickUp to PureChat and even fun apps like Giphy – Slack will work with almost anything. When you’re starting a business, communication is key. Having something like Slack keeps all your conversations in one place while keeping you on point with any other applications you might use for your workflow.