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10 free tools to help you run your business more efficiently

In a hectic world, it’s vital we find ways to save time wherever we can, and this is especially true for small businesses.

Here are some of the best free tools around to help you be more time-efficient while keeping business costs down.

1: For chasing payments: Satago

10 free tools to help you run your business more efficiently

Satago automates the chasing of your customers for payments they owe. It claims to get paid between 10 and 14 days faster and saves you time chasing invoices.

It sends automated emails and demand letters, and has credit managers on call to press for payment. It can integrate with existing systems, and is accredited by the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers.

Free basic plan.

2: For to-do lists: Trello

10 free tools to help run your business more efficiently

Trello is the ultimate to-do list that’s synced with all your media. It’s perfect for group tasks, and acts as a pin-board with social-media inspired notifications, and a dated record of all actions.

3: For sales: Pipedrive

Pipedrive describes itself as “sales customer relationship management for small teams with big ambitions” and self-employed marketing consultant Paul Rogers relies on it.

10 free tools to run your business more efficiently

“I use it religiously for managing communication with clients, keeping track of leads and generally managing the sales process,” he says. “It’s saved me a huge amount of time.”

It’s free for the first 30 days.

4: For project planning: Harvest

It’s never been so easy to track time, Harvest claims. It allows you to track a number of projects in terms of time, progress and money, all in one place. Again, free trials are available.

10 free tools to run your business more efficiently

5: For expert advice and support: Business is Great

Business is Great is a government-backed scheme to help small businesses grow. Join networks to meet others in your industry, find a wealth of information, and get individual support with their helpline and web-chat.

10 free tools to run your business more efficiently

6: For your website: Google analytics

“Probably one of the most utilised tools in any businesses arsenal, it’s the most valuable free tool a marketer could wish for,” says Col Skinner, part of digital marketing business Profoundry.

10 free tools to help run your business more efficiently

It lets you scrutinise every aspect of your website performance from demographics, to engagement. It helps you realise where you’re going wrong, and why bits of the site are getting hits.

7: For communication: Slack

Despite being used by some of the big dogs like BuzzFeed and Medium, this is a communication application personally tailored for small teams.

10 free tools to help run your business more efficiently

“Without a doubt the best free tool out there for communication in small businesses,” says Laura Hine, co-founder of Zealify.

8: For content marketing and research: BuzzSumo

Content marketing will be high on the agenda for small businesses in 2015. “Being able to analyse successful content in your niche is a great way to succeed with your own content marketing”, Skinner says.

10 free tools to help run your business more efficiently

Buzzsumo lets you do just that. It’s essentially a search engine for content across a variety of platforms, letting you find what content got the most reach and shares and who shared it – so you can apply it to your own posts.

Free basic package.

9: For social media and marketing: Hootsuite

For businesses just beginning in social, this is perfect to schedule your posts and manage multiple platforms.

Hootsuite 10 free tools to run your business

Simple to use and no marketing knowledge needed, this will help start up your business’s social streams and analyse social with a basic plan.

10: Up and coming – For tax: ZapTax

A brand new app to keep an eye on, this HMRC-recognised application helps the user self-assess and declare their tax and easily find out their entitlements to calculate the correct amount in their tax return. A 77-year old man got his done in 15 minutes.

Zaptax 10 free tools to run your business

Nathan Evans, Founder of Zaptax says: “No one needs to be sitting up all night tearing their hair out over tax! Zaptax is designed to be accessible.”

Free, but £20 to submit returns through the application.


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