Handy free software for new business owners

When you launch a business, the range of software choices to help you do different tasks can be really overwhelming. We thought we’d put together an unbiased, unaffiliated list of our top ten pieces of software (that we actually use ourselves) to get you going without spending a single penny.

1. Asana

Asana helps you manage projects online. You can assign tasks dates, assign them to others, drag and drop to reprioritise and generally help you to be more efficient – even if it’s just you in the business.

2. Canva

Canva is brilliant for a quick design and is only growing in features and functionality. It won’t ever measure up to the big boys like PhotoShop for true design or logo creation, but for new business owners who want to create their own social media posts, email or blog headers or leaflets, it more than does the job.

3. WordPress

We love WordPress – all  of our websites are built in this open source software. Remember to use wordpress.org, NOT wordpress.com so you are able to add plug-ins from the huge range of free ones available that improve your website functionality.

4. Google Analytics

Of course we’re going to recommend this super powerful free reporting software from Google. Analytics allows you to track your website visitors – where they come from, what they do when they’re on your website – where they click, where they go next, where and how they convert – all for free.

5. Google Search Console

In hand with Analytics, Google Search Console tells you more about how your website performs on Google’s organic search listings. As well as telling you where you place on its results pages for different keywords, it alerts you if there are any indexing issues, keeps you informed of the search terms users type in that lead them to your website. We love it.

6. Google Business

One of the first things you should sign up to with a new business is Google Business. This will allow you to provide more information at a glance when your business comes up in local search results – giving you more of a footprint on the all-important results page. As well as providing up-to-date business information like addresses and opening times and literally putting you on the map, you can post updates.

7. Buffer

Speaking of updates, Buffer‘s free account allows you to manage up to three social media profiles from one portal. These can be company pages or personal profiles.

8. HubSpot

Really powerful CRM and marketing automation software HubSpot is a great, intuitive place to start for business owners who want somewhere to store and nurture their contacts. They also have a massive number of blogs to help you manage whatever you need. The only issue with HubSpot is you’ll actually WANT to scale up to the paid version as it’s fabulous.

9. Quickfile

Not to be confused with Quickbooks, Quickfile is accountancy software which works perfectly for a small business – for free. You can raise professional invoices, set it up to auto-chase outstanding payments, quickly see your financial situation for any period, run reports on your profit and loss… and loads more, from anywhere, as it’s cloud-based. We pay a small annual fee to add the automatic bank feed to save time, but there’s no pressure to do this.

10. Zapier

We’ve written before about marketing and business automation and given examples of how we use that for our clients. Any action that you perform repetitively with software – emailing invoices, thank you emails, automatic ordering, moving data from A to B – all of this can be automated by Zapier so you don’t even need to be involved.