There are a lot of moving parts to run a business: you need a way to keep in touch with your customers, send invoices, balance the books, market your services, manage projects, stay productive, and handle the myriad of little things that pop up on a whim.
The right tools can help you simplify the way you work, and even make them less “hands-on” so you can focus more on growing your revenue. Here are our top picks for the best small business tools, some of which are completely free!
For invoicing, AND.CO offers a free solution designed with small businesses and solopreneurs in mind. It is a very basic software that’s straightforward and intuitive that helps you create invoices based on your projects and contacts.
One of its coolest features is the digital “shoebox” that acts as a repository for receipts, notes, documents, and any other paper trail items that need to stay with a client. These items can be auto-transferred into the invoice to ensure you’re charging your clients appropriately.
If you’re looking for project management made easy, Asana is a powerful free tool that might make you wonder why it’s free. Using a checklist format, users can add specific tasks to different projects, assign them to others, categorize them, and check them off once completed. You can also build your own manual workflows using Asana by moving tasks from one stage to the next until they’re complete.
Asana also offers a paid version that includes advanced features, such as project timelines, an unlimited number of teammates, forms, and project milestones.
When it comes to small business CRM, HubSpot is one of the most popular (and powerful) names. Their free-forever CRM is a perfect tool for managing your clients’ contact information, adding notes, and tracking emails. You can also use it to automate your email marketing to provide better outreach to your customers.
You can also use HubSpot to manage your sales process. When prospects enter your sales funnel, you can leverage automation features to track your conversations, send emails on your behalf, and watch your prospects move through the funnel.
If you need more advanced project management tools, Trello’s intuitive platform is one of the most visually appealing. Trello uses a Kanban board system and cards that can contain details about each task in a project. Users can drag and drop cards along a timeline as tasks are completed and move from one stage to the next in a project.
It’s almost like having your project posted on a real bulletin board. You get a full visual of every project at a glance so you always know what’s been done and what’s left to do.
Trello also offers built-in automation that lets you create custom workflows using rule-based triggers and commands. Aside from managing projects, you can also use Trello to help manage your marketing strategy or other business tasks and processes.
Like Asana, Trello offers a paid version with more features and functionality. Small businesses usually start with the free one, then upgrade as their needs grow.
5. Zoho Docs
Document management is one of the most important systems for small businesses to master. Zoho Docs simplifies the process by offering a clean, simple interface and integration capabilities.
With Zoho Docs, you can rely on a single solution for storing and creating documents and even collaborate on documents with other users in real-time. All files are managed in the cloud and accessible from anywhere, even via your mobile device.
This is an ideal solution for creatives who have tons of images, videos, documents, and customer-related files to organize and manage. You can create your own hierarchy or system of organization, including searching by file type, author, or project name. Each free account comes with 5 GB of storage, or you can upgrade to a paid plan for more storage.
Zoho Docs is actually part of the larger Zoho ecosystem, which also includes CRM, email hosting, bookkeeping, and other apps. You can opt for singular applications, or if you have a larger budget, you can upgrade to get the full Zoho suite for $75 per user per month.
If you’re in love with the idea of automation but your current tools don’t allow it, Zapier is the next best thing. Think of Zapier as the ultimate, user-friendly workaround to automation. It allows you to create basic rules between all of your business applications to help them function together in ways that otherwise wouldn’t be possible.
For example, if you have two apps that don’t integrate, you can use Zapier to bridge the gap and create your own custom workflows. When you get an email, Zapier can transfer any attachments into Dropbox with no intervention from you. When new files enter Dropbox, Zapier can ping you in Slack to let you know about it.
Their free plan lets you create “zaps” between apps, or you can upgrade to their premium plan for $20 per month and create more complex workflows, get ongoing support, and automate more of your business.
Most of the responsibilities you have as a small business owner are handled by apps or programs designed to tackle a specific task. But if you want your business to function as a whole, it’s beneficial to opt for one tool that can do the work of many.
That’s why we saved the best for last – Wesat is a comprehensive business solution that combines multiple business functions into a single, easy to use tool. Small business owners and creatives use Wesat to create and send invoices, manage projects and payments, submit quotes for service, create and store client contracts, and keep in touch with customers and prospects.
Wesat provides a full-service CRM to oversee customer relationships. Keep track of notes, contracts, invoices, and other important details from a centralized portal.
One of Wesat’s most unique features is its questionnaire feature that lets you create custom, branded questionnaires that you can send directly to your clients. These are especially helpful in planning for events so that you have all the information you need upfront to get started.
Wesat also offers automation features that can streamline common business processes. The interface is super intuitive so you can create easy workflows that work the way you do, so you can spend less time on tasks and more time adding value and growth to your bottom line.
Are you ready for a better CRM for small business? Get started with Wesat and simplify the way you work.