Up until a few years ago, business software and other tools were relatively expensive and mostly aimed at large companies with matching budgets. However, with the new innovations in digital marketing and online tools in general, smaller businesses (and even startups) are able to access high-quality software that allows them to build their business and provide a better customer experience.
If you are building your small business you should consider using free tools to help you on your way. There are some that are easy-to-use and that allow you to easily collaborate with your team as well as with your clients. For those who would like to make use of these tools, keep reading below for a list of free tools that every SME should use.
Not all of us are talented at writing, or enjoy spending time correcting simple mistakes. This is true even if the documents we are writing are essential for the success of our small business, or if you are putting together a digital marketing strategy for social media. Writing also takes a fair amount of concentration and consideration, which can make it easy for small mistakes to creep in.
A tool such as Grammarly can help immensely if you are prone to spelling mistakes or would like to improve your sentence structure, grammar, and language skills. It is a free online artificial intelligence tool that can detect spelling mistakes, grammar issues, as well as clarification of sentence structure. By using this tool, there will be no embarrassing mistakes in your business writing and communications with your clients.
There will come a time in any sized business when you will need to send large files to people. And you will find that your email service might not be able to handle these large files. Using file sharing services, such as Firefox Send can help you to large files without the need to register for files that are smaller than 1GB.
With this tool, you are also able to set passwords for the files you send, can encrypt certain files, and can choose to have the file destroyed after a certain number of downloads. The tool is completely free, as part of Firefox’s privacy protection plan and it can be used on any browser. It is easy-to-use, so you can allow any of your staff to use it whether it is for internal files or for sharing files with clients and customers.
Answer The Public
If you are working on a content marketing strategy but are battling to create topics for the keywords you have selected, a free online tool such as Answer The Public can come in incredibly handy. This tool will show you questions and phrases that are commonly searched for using this keyword, helping you to put together a content strategy for both your digital marketing and social media marketing campaigns.
Answer The Public is fun and simple to use, providing graphical as well as visual results. You can compare data over time and compare suggestions, store information in your account for future and past references, as well as download all the suggestions to keep in a sheet for easy reference. As a small business, creating your own content is an affordable alternative to using a digital marketing agency.
If you need to use images for your website, marketing material, or social media platforms, but do not have the budget to purchase these images, the best remedy for this is to use stock photography or royalty free images. You can use sites such as Pexels to find stunning, high-resolution images relating to almost any topic under the sun.
One of the major benefits of Pexels is that it is completely free to use and you can download as many images as you need without any limits. It is one of the most popular tools on the market for free images today, and it is updated regularly by passionate contributors. You may not be able to be overly specific with your image searches but you will be able to find stunning images for blog posts, website pages, and more.
Staying in contact with your team and with clients can be difficult for small businesses. However, you can improve your communications and your customer experience by investing in an online communications platform like Zoom. Video conferencing is a massive part of doing business in today’s digital age, making Zoom a necessary investment for any SME.
Zoom’s free option has a wide array of features that you would otherwise need to pay for which include hosting multiple participants, screen sharing, recording meetings and calls, as well as support for dialling-in with a normal phone call. Using a free online communication tool can help to keep you updated with your clients as well as make it easier to reach them when there are urgent issues to address.
Owning and running an SME can be difficult, but if you use the right tools for the job you will find yourself reaching the success you always dreamed of. If you would like to find more free tools or are in need of other services for your business, take a look at our various categories to find one to suit your needs.