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Free tools to help boost your small business

Running a small business may feel like a daunting task for some entrepreneurs and you may need to be a jack of all trades at the beginning, but there are some tools to help you. Below you will find some of them to assist you in succeeding in four key areas of your business.

Finance

Cash flow is the lifeblood of any business. It is important it is managed well from the start. You can use Wave for your accounting needs at the start of your business. This free accounting software will help you to create professional invoices and keep track of payments. You can also link it to your business bank account and get financial statements about your business. Furthermore, you can download the Wave app on to your phone to scan receipts in on the go.

Operations

Depending on your business you will need different tools to help your operations move smoothly.

To help improve communication between teams in your business you could use Slack. This tool helps you to have searchable conversations with every member of your team. You can have different channels for different departments in your business.

For project management, you can use Trello or Asana to collaborate with different team members on projects. In Trello, you can also create boards which outline the process for different areas in your business.

If you have staff who work shifts, you may want to look at When I Work. This app can be used on your employee’s smartphone or at dedicated check-in points in your office using an iPad or a computer. It will help you to schedule your employees more efficiently. It can be used for up to 75 employees for free before you need to move on to the paid version.

Customer service

The next area in your business which you will need to focus on is your customers. If you don’t have customers, you will struggle to make sales. You will also want to keep those customers happy by keeping accurate records about them.

Hubspot is one of the leading customer relationship management tools available. You use this free CRM to organize, track, and build better relationships with leads and customers. It also has an academy which has courses on inbound marketing.

Do you often get queries on your website by customers and they get frustrated because you take too long to answer or they are not speaking to the right person in your business? Then you may need a chatbot. Flow XO for chat assists in creating a chatbot for your social media page or website. The free option is limited.

Do you make regular appointments with your customers? Then you can use Setmore. This tool will help you book appointments with your customers and you will be able to see statistics on who your best clients are. You will also be able to embed the booking page on to your website.

Knowledge

To continue to be a thought leader in your business you need to keep up with the trends in your industry. You can do this by using an app called Feedly. In this tool, you will find the latest information from industry publications, you can follow keywords in your industry, and see what is being said on influencer blogs. By staying on top of the trends you will be able to be agile in your small business.

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