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5 Free Tools Your Small Business Should Be Using Today

It can be an expensive endeavor to run a small company. You may be one of those fortunate entrepreneurs who can afford to take chances, but it’s important to ensure that all the important decisions that your team needs to make are carefully checked. Choosing the right software for your business and using it is no different.

For small to medium-sized companies (SMBs), the software doesn’t have to be complex and expensive. Here are 5 free tools to get your small business off the ground.

Business Planning: EquityNet

If your firm is still trying to attract investors, EquityNet provides a free platform for crowdfunding that will help you schedule, evaluate, and exchange your marketing plan with investors. Using the strategy and analytical tools from EquityNet, you can build your proposal and release it on your website as well as share it with anyone interested in reading your proposal. Even though this is more of a financing instrument than a planning tool, the software is extremely helpful to get you through the early stages of ideation.

Data Visualization: Tableau Public

You can try Tableau Public if you need a data visualization tool, but you don’t have the money to spend on Tableau Desktop. Tableau Public is the same as the complete Tableau Desktop product, except that you will not be able to retrieve information from as many sources of data as the premium version, and everything you generate will be stored in the public version of the cloud of Tableau. This software provides you with access to live dashboards, document managers from Google and Microsoft, and responsive visuals that can be seen and created on mobile devices. You can also use this platform to share your visuals on social media.

E-Commerce Software: X-Cart

X-Cart is an excellent choice for businesses that have goods to sell but don’t have many resources to design a complicated online shopping cart. X-Cart 5, its free version, provides advanced features such as social-commerce sharing, newsletters, and a site builder to tweak themes. X-Cart provides free core upgrades and free extensions like Magic Slideshow to create a slideshow on the website, ShipStation to create shipping labels, and Diib Analytics. X-Cart 5 is not a plug-and-play e-commerce tool, so you’ll need IT support to get started. 

Customer Relationship Management: Apptivo CRM

CRM tools are often complicated, costly, and overloaded with features that you would never use. For up to three users, Apptivo CRM provides a free Starter Plan aimed at easing you into the complex environment of customer data. You can get access to comprehensive reporting, 500 MB of data, and project management features including progress tracking and project templates with the Starter package. Also, if you are a startup that is newly discovering cloud services then this tool is extremely helpful as you will be able to link your free CRM to the helpdesk, financial management, and procurement software.

Contract Management: Agiloft

Businesses with basic contract management needs should give Agiloft a try. 10 registered users are covered by the free plan and you can access 30 days of customer service. While the free version of the tool is mostly used as a method of assessment for larger companies, small businesses that can cope with a few limitations can also use it. Access to automatic data backup, Rest API, and your employee portal is restricted in the free plan.