Free Online Tools For Startups And Small Businesses

50+ Free Online Tools For Startups

  • 19th May 2016
  • Guidance
  • 10 mins

Starting up a business on a low budget is hard, especially if you have a lot of overheads. Paying for tools is often the last thing you want to do. Below we have rounded up ours and our coworkers favourite free tools to use for your startup!

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Design Tools

Canva

A design tool that is both fantastic and free.  You can create pretty graphics, presentations, infographics and more with very basic skills required. Also, Canva for Work has just been released and you get to try it free for 60 days (card details required). Canva has only been around for 25 months or so but has already grown to over  3 million users. If that’s not proof enough, then I don’t know what is.

No design skills? Not to worry, Canva has you covered. They have released their Design School to help make a designer out of anyone!

Logaster

Need a logo? No problem! Logaster makes it easy to creative awesome logos completely free of charge. Once completed, you can either download in low resolution for free or get the high resolution file for just $9.99. It works out much cheaper than hiring a designer.

Pixabay

Pixabay is great to find free royalty-free stock images for your blogs or social media. There are a wide variety of images you can use that require no attribution or licensing. Pixabay currently has over 440,000 images, vectors and art illustrations for you to use for free. I highly recommend buying them a coffee (donate) because there is some fantastic art on there.

Graphic Burger

Need free designs? You can use all designs from Graphic Burger for free, whether it’s for personal or commercial.

Freebbble

All of the freebies on Dribbble in one place

Blogging Tools

First Site Guide

Learn how to go from 0 to blogging hero with this short course.

Portent’s Content Idea Generator

Often, I find it hard to think of a blog topic and so Portent’s own generator is awesome. All you do is put in some nouns that are relevant to your industry and it creates lots of topics for you to write about. And it also has speech bubbles around it explaining why to choose this particular titles, or with just funny remarks.

Grammarly

Grammarly is a real time spell check available as an online word processor or as a browser extension. If you write a lot, Grammarly is perfect as it highlights your mistakes in spelling and grammar.

Hemingway App

Want to become a better writer? Try Hemingway App. It highlights any corrections you need to make and helps you simplify your writing. Hemingway App also grades your readability as well as letting you know  how long the article will take to read.

Yoast SEO

It has everything from a snippet editor to real-time page analysis that can help you optimize your pages, image titles, meta descriptions and more. Plus you can see how well you have written, keyword density and how many outbound links you have. Pretty awesome right? Collaboration

Feedly

Feedly allows you to put all of your RSS feeds in one place.

Teamwork Tools

Dropbox

Cloud storage is something many are reluctant to start using, but when collaborating with a team it is a must have. Putting files in Dropbox not only allows for easier collaboration, it is also a much quicker way of sending multiple and large files compared to email. The free version gives you 2GB of data, however, to upgrade it is only £7.99 for 1TB of data, or £11 per user for business with unlimited storage.

Slack

Slack is the coolest team chat. With it’s unique styling and ability to send GIFs in messages, it makes talking to your coworkers much more fun and less like work. You can create specific channels and have them all in one app. We have a Fruitworks Slack channel to keep people up to date on events and also just to have a chat.

Trello

Trello is an amazing project management tool that arranges projects into boards, lists and cards. Each board has specific members and you can see who is doing what. This can be used for anything from personal organization or marketing campaigns. We like to use Trello to organise office events and to keep track of what we have in the fridge (And some more, boring, businessy stuff ;))

Hipchat

A great app for team chat, file sharing and more.

Wunderlist

Synchronise your to-do list with your team members.

Marketing Tools

Ad Spend Calculator

Work out how much you can spend on marketing including CPC, per 1k impressions and more!

Shopify Slogan Maker

If you’re struggling to come up with a catchy slogan for your business, use Shopify’s own slogan maker. Put in a couple of words that are associated with your business and Shopify will spew out 1,000 different slogans. Some don’t make sense, but with a little adaption you could be on to a winner.

 Mailchimp

Sending out email campaigns has never been easier than it is with MailChimp. With preset templates that are easy to customize, it’s a great way to create and send an awesome email campaign to your audience. Although it has their monkey stamp at the bottom on the free version, it doesn’t look unprofessional like most. It’s a great tool to use when getting started with your marketing campaign. You can also create sign up forms to grow your mailing list and with the handy app, you can sign people up on-the-go!

 Buffer

Scheduling your posts is essential to create an effective Social Media campaign. Buffer is not only very simple to use but it’s also free for you to schedule 10 posts for four accounts. All you need to do is write your post, add a picture, schedule it, and boom you’re done.  Once you have put all of your content into Buffer, you can click the analytics tab and reschedule your old posts in the click of a button (okay, two, but it’s still quick). As buffer shortens links that you post, you can see on your analytics how people find your website or blog posts.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a post scheduler with a difference, you can monitor all of your Social feeds in one place!

Pocket

Seen an article or video which you don’t have time to look at now, or just want to save it until later? Pocket lets you do just that. Without requiring an internet connection (apart from to Pocket it) you can see your saved articles across all of your devices.

Submit.co

Do you want press coverage for your startup? Have a look at submit.co, not the prettiest of websites but is a useful list for entrepreneurs. It has put lots of websites with opportunities for press coverage all on one page, with some websites having a button straight to the submit page.

Hello Bar

Convert more of your audience and improve the effectiveness of your website with Hello Bar. You can put messages on a small in-window pop up with email sign up, a prompt to go to the next page or social share buttons.

Click To Tweet

This tool allows you to highlight a phrase or sentence and add a click to tweet button to it. You have probably seen these on many blogs, however people don’t realise their effectiveness. If you have a quote in your blog that is relevant out even out of context, then use Click To Tweet as it prompts people to share your content.

Hubspot Marketing Grader

Wondering how you’re doing with marketing? Put your URL into Hubspot’s Marketing Grader and they will analyze your website, blogs and social accounts and give you pointers on where to improve.

Shared Count

Wondering how many times your website has been shared? There’s an app for that! Simply put in your URL and Shared Count does the rest for you.

If This Then That

IFTTT creates a connection between apps (like Instagram and Buffer) and allows you to create “recipes”. An action on one app will trigger an action on another.

BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo allows you to see what content is shared the most in your industry. Pop in a keyword (or 5) and see what comes up!

TagBoard

Tagboard allows you to monitor industry hashtags

PRlog

A free online press release distribution service.

PR Fire

Another online press release distribution service

Manta

Manta allows you to search for companies by industry, size etc and is a great way to find prospects for your business.

Education Tools

Codecademy

Want to learn to code? Codecademy is perfect for it. I have personally been using it for a few weeks and I’ve already learnt so much about code that I didn’t know before. You can use Codecademy even if you have no previous experience with coding as it’s all simple easy-to-absorb information.  With the world becoming more and more digital, coding is a skill that can put entrepreneurs ahead of their game.

Alison or Udemy

Don’t want to learn to code but want to learn something else? Hop over to Alison or Udemy, both are online learning resource centres with specific courses on a range of subjects. Udemy has a lot of online courses from the world’s top entrepreneurs, marketers, you name it however the cost can sometimes be a little high. Wait until the offers come out, or even just enrol on the free courses. Alison is 100% free and has a variety of courses on their from accounting to design, the world is your oyster.

Start Up Sales Course

Learn the psychological hacks used by top entrepreneurs and sales people.

Apadmi – Successful Apps Guide

With over 200 tips for marketing, development and PR, for app developers this is a no brainer.

First Site Guide

Advice and resources on how to start, run and grow your online presence.

Administration Tools

Qwilr Templates

A collation of templates for business proposals like marketing, SEO, real estate and Social Media

Invoice To Me 

Need to create invoices but don’t know where to start? Here is a free invoice builder with the option to convert to PDF.

Docracy

Need legal documents but don’t have the funds for a lawyer? Docracy has a wide range of documents that you can both find and sign online. The founders aim to have documents that are easily customizable to your business and have transparent sources with social proof, so you know that you’re in safe hands.

ColdTurkey / Self Control 

These are fantastic apps to help stop procrastination. You can block certain websites (or even games on pro) to help you knuckle down on the tasks at hand. Cold Turkey is for Windows, Self Control is for Mac.

Helprace

A customer service solution package, free for up to 3 team members.

Mint

This app allows you to keep track of expenses and also to set budgets.

SignEasy

Sign documents anywhere, from your desktop or your phone. No need to print, sign, scan and send!

Kona

A powerful project management and social collaboration tool

Knock Knock

Swap contact details easily by knocking your phones together!

Humin

This awesome app sorts your contacts according to a range of factors, and it handles details like how you met etc. For instance, you can search “Met last night?” or “Emailed last week?” and Humin figures out the rest.

CamCard Lite

This allows you to get rid of the pesky paper business cards and store the details in your contacts. Simply take a picture of the card, the app does the rest.

ManicTime

Do you find yourself losing the time in the day, wondering what you did? ManicTime will track what your doing and displays results in easy to read graphs. This app is also great for tracking time working for a client.

Podio

A great CRM tool that is free for up to five employees, forever. Great for startups who have little or no budget for CRM tools, it’s also extremely easy to use.

Travel Tools

Skyscanner

Find cheap flights, hotels and car hire all in one app!

TripIt

A travel itinerary app that puts all of your hotel reservations and flights into one place. All you do is forward your receipt to the email address they give you and they do the rest.

Have you got an awesome tool that we haven’t mentioned? Let us know on Twitter!