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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.
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.
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.
Pipedrive describes itself as “sales customer relationship management for small teams with big ambitions” and self-employed marketing consultant Paul Rogers relies on it.
“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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
Despite being used by some of the big dogs like BuzzFeed and Medium, this is a communication application personally tailored for small teams.
“Without a doubt the best free tool out there for communication in small businesses,” says Laura Hine, co-founder of Zealify.
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.
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.
For businesses just beginning in social, this is perfect to schedule your posts and manage multiple platforms.
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.
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.
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.
Competent and courteous service.
"Marie was knowledgeable and helpful. I feel able to recommend the service given without reservation. David Slesenger"This review was posted by David Slesenger on the 16th of August 2016
"Nadia was very helpful"This review was posted by Robin on the 16th of August 2016
Excellent Customer Service *****
"Jonathan Burgess is an asset to Switch My Business. He made me feel at ease and was more than helpful at all times. He made regular contact and guided me through the whole process which made switching a breeze. I just wish there were more customer service advisers like Jonathon whose friendly and happy demeanour make your day a much nicer one. Well done Switch my business and more importantly thank you Jonathon for all your hard work! Maria Owen Lodgecrest"This review was posted by Maria Owen on the 17th of August 2016
EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE
"I totally agree with a customer maria owen,Jonathan Burgess was such a pleasure dealing with and is truly a asset to the company, he made it very easy to switch my electricity companies, Jonathan Burgess was very helpful, easy to talk to it was like talking to a friend not just a customer adviser. I would definitely recommend switchmybusiness and try get hold off Jonathan Burgess if possible and have the same excellent service as I did. Rajan Shanan"This review was posted by Rajan Shanan on the 19th of August 2016
Excellent and very helpful
"Arron who dealt with my switch of energy and gas has been a huge help and extremely efficienct and easy to deal with. Despite British Gas throwing obstacles in the way at every turn he has doggedly stuck to his task and saved the day. Thanks Arron."This review was posted by Rod Pryce-Jones on the 19th of August 2016