7 free web tools to help manage and grow your business
Updated: Nov 18, 2020
When running a small business, your website is your most important asset to help get the word out about your products and services. And while the experts at Moby can help you get a professional, customized website created without spending a heap of cash, there are other areas your business will want to address with technology to set a solid foundation for long-term growth. Your business has a lot of moving parts and there are some really great free resources in the market that exist solely to help you focus on each one of those areas.
In this article, we want to give you 7 free tools that you can use to help execute additional business growth strategies and create more opportunity for revenue. Consider trying these tools out now to evaluate if you want them to be a part of your business plans in 2021.
Hubspot is a company that has grown through a vision of becoming one of the best small business technology platforms on Earth. Hubspot helps small businesses unify their marketing, sales, and service operations into a simple, intuitive platform. Hubspot’s free plan gives small businesses a way to set up CRM, Marketing, Sales, and Service processes so you can have a much better view of holistic business operations and keep your customer relationships top of mind. And as an added bonus, you can integrate your existing email service (Gmail, Outlook etc.) with their Free plan so you don’t have to change email platforms! As your business grows, Hubspot also has customizable plans so that you can adopt more complex features and products as the need arises.
Some businesses aren’t ready to take the leap into a CRM and sales-focused tool (though, we would argue the best time to do that is always right now) and are looking to start with a simple email tool to dabble in email marketing strategies. MailChimp started as an email marketing platform that has since grown to include other core functionality like CRM, insights & analytics, surveys, and more. However, their core competency and biggest strength still lies in email marketing and with their free plan, you can have up to 2,000 contacts and send basic email marketing campaigns. While there is no automation or advanced segmentation in the free plan, it’s a great place to start if you want to test some email marketing for your business.
Many business owners have too many tasks and deadlines to juggle to rely on ad-hoc notes or calendar reminders alone. As your business grows, you’re going to need a project management tool to grow with it. Trello is a fantastic project management software that allows you to have “boards” or digital project structures that you can build out with unlimited tasks, checklists, deadlines, etc. You can also invite additional members of your team if you want to have multiple employees or partners collaborating without having to upgrade to a paid plan. There are additional automation and integration features you can get by upgrading, but the free plan is sufficient for anyone that wants a simple, intuitive tool to help keep their tasks and deadlines front and center.
Though your website is your most important property to market your business, social media channels and other marketing channels are also incredible opportunities to round out your marketing strategies. We’ve found that some business owners don’t take advantage of these other channels because they don’t have any experience designing graphics to use that properly reflect their brand. Canva was created to give non-designers the power to create professional designs for social media, presentations, flyers, postcards, and more. They have incredibly simple tools and over 250,000 templates to use to create new marketing assets and collateral - no design skills required! And with their free plan, you can invite team members to collaborate on designs and projects in real-time.
We don’t know if anyone has said this to you before, but if they haven’t, we're telling you now...Use. Google. Analytics. Google Analytics is a 100% free tool that allows your business to see the activity your website is generating and how many people are discovering your business through your most important property. Google Analytics is one of the most critical foundational tools to understand how well your website is performing and can even give insights to how to improve your website performance. And not only is their product free, but they have free training courses so anyone can go from never having heard of Google Analytics before, to being proficient within days, with zero spend.
SEO is a topic that many business owners think is far too technical for them to understand, let alone to start putting time towards. And while SEO is a complicated topic, there are very basic things that your business can do to start implementing a sound SEO strategy. When you’re looking to start your SEO improvements, or even looking to potentially invest in some paid advertising, the Keyword Surfer extension for Chrome is a fantastic free tool. This extension will allow you to see search volumes, keyword suggestions, related terms, on-page data, cost per click, and more...all from the same search screen you normally see when you use Google search. Keyword Surfer is one of the best free SEO tools on the market, takes seconds to install, and creates instant value.
A seldom used but very valuable resource for businesses to understand their prospects, customers, and markets better is surveys. Surveys have a place in every business so that you can connect directly with the people you’re trying to serve and get quantifiable, actionable data to make better business decisions. SurveyMonkey is a stalwart in the survey software space and their free plan offers a ton of value. You can create unlimited surveys with up to 10 questions and 40 responses per survey (which is normally plenty for small scale research). They even have great mobile apps for iOS and Android included in that free plan. When was the last time you surveyed your customers to see how happy they were with your products and services? With SurveyMonkey’s free plan, you can do that anytime!
So there you have it! Your business will require more than just an amazing website (like the one Moby can give you) to become a long-term success but the free technologies above can allow you to set up sound processes and address key needs with very little spend. Have any more technologies that you think should be on this list? Reach out to our team on Twitter or Facebook and let us know!