According to the old adage, you have to spend money to make money. However, that phrase was coined long before it was possible to run a business online. Today, you can get your business up and running with helpful tools available for free. OK, the whole process won’t be completely free, but starting an online business doesn’t require office space or a large team, two huge expenses brick and mortar operations can’t avoid. If you think you have a good idea and a target audience that’ll buy it, roll up your sleeves—it’s time to get to work!
Here are some of the top free tools to help you make progress on your online business:
Building and running a business can often feel overwhelming. If you’re using sticky notes on your desk or scattered documents across your computer and the web, you’re going to have a difficult time.
Evernote is a great tool to stay organized and record anything you can think of. It claims to be “the workspace for your life’s work” but some users lovingly refer to it as their second brain.
Evernote stores notes, links, lists, images, and voice recordings. Business owners use it to organize ideas, to-do lists, business plans, clipped articles, and more. Plus, it syncs everywhere, so you can have what you need at your desk or on the go.
Shopify’s Website Builder
Shopify is one of the leading platforms for ecommerce websites, and it’s free! With its website builder tools, you can create a clean, functional, ecommerce store in minutes instead of days. Shopify offers a host of themes, resources, and features to help you create your own ecommerce website.
From front-end to back-end, Shopify empowers even technically challenged entrepreneurs to build and run successful ecommerce businesses. You can spend 14 days setting up and testing out your ecommerce website for free on Shopify to get your business up and running without spending a dime.
Plus, Shopify integrates with so many free apps and plugins, you can easily add more functionality to your ecommerce website like live chat, email marketing, enhanced SEO, affiliate programs, and more.
Canva is the ultimate free design tool. If you don’t have the time, budget, or skills for Adobe Photoshop or InDesign, Canva is the perfect alternative. It’s so easy to use to create social media images, presentations, graphics, headers, and more.
As an online business owner you should know that social media posts with images get significantly more engagement than posts without images. Canva makes it easy to create perfectly sized images for each social media platform to increase likes, sharing, and traffic.
Google Analytics may be the most valuable free tool for online businesses. With powerful data tracking features, Google Analytics helps you gain real customer insights that you can use to gain real business results.
Not only can you track your traffic, you can also go much deeper to view and analyze data on all kinds of user behaviors. With Google Analytics, you can better understand your audience, conversions, content performance, and more. By using analytics you can evaluate your website performance in order to test, optimize, and iterate your success.
Whether you’re working with a team or flying solo, all businesses need an effective project management tool. Trello has recently become a popular option for businesses of many different sizes.
It provides an interactive workspace that is collaborative and well designed. In one glance you can clearly see the status of any given project and what needs to happen next. You can communicate with teammates within the app, add notes, and create cards and boards for various tasks and projects.
Building an online business doesn’t have to cost you and arm and a leg. With so many free tools to help you with all aspects of your business, there’s no reason not to get started. It turns out you don’t have to spend (much) money to make money!