Choosing the path of entrepreneurship is one that comes with both risk and reward. On the one hand, you become your own boss with the potential to improve your quality of life better than a typical job. On the other hand, it is a huge investment with all the costs that come with running it. Especially if you are the sole proprietor in which you have to do everything (ex. finances, marketing, legal, HR, etc.)
However, to help people like you, there are resources that you can use to take the pressure off running your business. Not only with they help you grow your business, but they are also FREE to use right away!
Free Learning Tools
HubSpot Academy is a 100% free resource to learn about different aspects of running a business. They provide top-notch courses taught by successful executives and business owners wanting to pass on what they learned so you can be successful as well! These course subjects range from digital marketing, web development, and even graphic design!
Moreover, these courses have no deadline or time limit so you can learn at your own pace and set your own schedule!
Even better, some courses provide certifications upon completion by scoring high enough on the exams. A HubSpot certification is also a great resume builder for those still in college or just looking to get a job in a specific field.
The last feature to mention about HubSpot is that with each lesson there is a bevy of resources that you can look into in the video description to learn even more about the subject!
Recently we discussed how amazing SCORE is for those wanting to pursue entrepreneurship. On the topic of learning, we mentioned that SCORE provides the means that you can learn how to start a business from the ground up using the free webinars that they provide. These webinars are live so you can be updated on the latest things happening in the business world.
Miss a webinar? Don’t worry about it! All webinar recordings are stored in the Webinar Library readily available for your viewing pleasure.
Alongside webinars, they have an online resource library. This library is full of business templates, e-guides, checklists, blogs, infographics, videos, tools, and other helpful resources to help you start and grow your small business.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what SCORE provides so we highly recommend you check them out!
Free Financial Tools
When sorting out the finances of your business, it can be overwhelming with factoring receipts, taxes, budgeting, etc. Intuit provides software to help with those aforementioned factors.
However, while each application is great in its own right, not all applications are free so I will highlight the free applications, so you don’t have to worry about paying a subscription fee to use them.
When it comes to tax season you know a TurboTax ad is not long to follow! Also with each ad, they always mention one word repeatedly until it is stuck in your head: FREE! Fortunately, that’s not just a cheap buzzword to get attention; it’s free to file your taxes with TurboTax. This software is very simple to use when filing. You can use the app (which is also free) to upload all your tax documents onto the system so you won’t have to type out everything from the document. From there you just answer some simple
For managing your money, Mint has got you covered! Mint brings together everything from spending, balances, and budgets to your credit score and more. You can easily connect all your accounts. From cash and credit to loans and investments, you can see your complete financial picture with Mint. Though its greatest feature lies in its budgeting capabilities. Mint allows you to create custom budgets, so you know where every dollar goes, instead of wondering where it went.
Another great financial software for businesses is Zoho Books. Zoho Books is online accounting software that manages your finances, automates business workflows, and helps you work collectively across departments. This website allows you to create custom invoices, track your bills and expenses, manage your banking, and a whole lot more at no cost to you!
If you want to go for a more hands-on approach, Zoho Books offers a demo account that you can use to interact with the features to see how they work before you use it for your business.
Although, it must be said that as wide as the options that Zoho Books provides it is limited in what it can do and there are affordable subscription options as you start to grow in your business.
Often cited as the world’s most used financial software, PayPal is not just good for personal finance, you can also use it to manage your business finance as well. By getting a merchant account, you can set up your shop and get started with these amazing features:
Flexible Checkout – PayPal gives customers a smoother way to conduct transactions by letting them pay however they want. Alongside accepting credit and debit cards, customers can buy now and pay later with pay rates they can work with.
Managing Risks – PayPal also gives you peace of mind by helping you reduce the risk of fraudulent transactions with our fraud, Chargeback, and Seller Protection capabilities
Integrations – You can also include integrations that help your business thrive, from accounting software to social media tools. This way you don’t have to uproot the tools that you already use, because PayPal works with you!
Free Collaboration Tools
Just as money management is vital to a business, time management is just as crucial to being successful. This is especially important when you are working with a team to get the job done. Clockify is a perfect tool to manage the time of you and your team.
As work begins, your team can time their progress in real-time with the Time Tracker feature, or they can set their hours by entering the start and end times. It must be noted that this feature works great with compensation because you can see the hours worked and compensate based on what system you use.
The Projects feature allows you to establish the projects that you and your team will be working on. Also, when they start, your team members can tag the specific project, so you know how much time is being spent on what project. With Calendar, Clockify lets you plan and schedule your projects with clear deadlines for your team to follow.
Finally, the Reports tabs summarize your team's progress through many different metrics so you can get the full scope of how everyone is doing.
Trello is another tool mentioned in a recent article, but it’s so good it bears talking about again! Trello is a project management tool using the Kanban system to manage the workflow of you and your team.
To briefly explain Kanban, it’s essentially dividing workflow into three stages: “To-Do”, “Doing”, and “Done.”
Going back to Trello, this software functions on a card-and-column-based layout with the default columns being three Kanban stages. You can add and customize these items to be better tailored to what needs to be done. From there, you can bring on your team to delegate tasks, and move them from one column to the next to indicate your and your team’s progression. Additionally, you can use add-ons called “power-ups” to further customize your Trello board with near-limitless possibilities!
You can use many of these features for free, but there is a paid version with even more features should you find yourself in a fortunate position to afford it.
For an in-depth look at all that Trello has to offer, check out our review of content planning tools to learn more about Trello.
Just like Trello, Slack is also a great tool for collaboration! If you are familiar with the popular social media platform Discord, then this site is very similar with some differing features geared towards a business focus.
With the “Channels” feature, you can manage your conversations in separate sections, so you aren’t cluttered with different messages all at once. you can create them for every project, topic, or team. When there’s a channel for everything, you can focus on the conversations and work that matters most to you. Slack also has a feature called “Slack Huddles” in case you need to make a vocal conversation. When you are working with more than one organization, “Slack Connect” keep the different groups coordinated for smoother communication.
Slack also allows integration akin to Trello. Slack has over 2,000 integrations that you can equip to it including services like Google Drive, Office 365, Zoom, and many more to make Slack suit your needs.
In addition to efficiency, Slack is also top-notch in security. Slack has an excellent IT team to make sure your data is protected and is only seen by those you wish to see. To add an extra layer of protection, Slack allows you to create your own encryption keys to be extra sure your important data is kept safe.
The last feature we will mention is how Slack is compatible with both desktop and mobile devices, meaning that everyone can be up to date on what’s going on wherever they go.
Free Legal Tool
When you need to cover the legal end of your business, Docracy is one resource you don’t want to miss! Docracy is a home for contracts and other legal documents, socially curated by the communities that use them. Its mission is to make these documents freely available while making them easy to customize.
While the idea of community-based document sharing could turn some people off because they’re not sure if their documents will be legitimate. In the FAQ, the Docracy teams addressed this by saying that each document goes through a screening process to make sure that the contents of each document can be legally used.
Although, It must be noted that Docracy only provides legal documents as they do not provide legal advice. In the FAQ they suggest getting legal advice from a firm if that is what you are looking for.
Overall, this is an amazing source to find legal documents at no cost and is customizable so you can use it for your needs.
As a small business ourselves, we at BRIM DESIGN know that getting everything you need can be intimidating to those just starting. We hope these tools can give you a helping hand to help you grow in your endeavors. If there are other free tools out there that we did not mention, please tell us in the comments to help us all grow together in business!