Free Stuff for SME Business Owners

There are many great programs and websites available that are completely free of charge or very low cost. To save you having to hunt them out, I’ve listed some of my favourites below for you, and hope you find some of them useful in your business.

Youtube A great resource packed with tips and tricks.   Just search for How do I do <insert problem> and you’ll almost certainly find someone’s video help.  Sometimes there are whole courses available in small, easy to digest, chunks.  Here’s one example and there are more at the end of this list.

Modern Tips For Small Business Start-Ups

Facebook Australians spend an average of 1.7 hours on Facebook every day!  Does your business have a FB page?  Could you start or join a group to get connected with your customers?

Wave. Wave is a free, easy-to-use accounting software platform made specifically for small businesses, independent contractors and sole proprietors with nine or fewer employees. It lets businesses track sales and expenses, manage invoices and customer payments, pay employees, scan receipts and generate accounting reports. And the company recently added free personal finance software to help small-business owners manage their finances in one place.

Skype. Skype is a free videoconferencing and chat tool that also enables you to transmit photos and files of any size, share your computer screens with each other, and even call a group of up to 25 people.

Evernote. This is the app for syncing notes across multiple mobile and desktop devices.

Wunderlist is a to-do list on steroids. You can create an endless number of task lists and share them with whomever you want. Lists sync automatically so that others can see which items have been completed.

Trello. Trello is an easy-to-use project management app that tracks your team’s workflow and send notifications and reminders and is compatible with multiple devices.

Dropbox. Dropbox is a popular platform on which to store and share files in the cloud either between multiple devices or multiple recipients.
Dropbox offers a free, basic plan for individuals

MailChimp. This email marketing tool helps you build and manage your mailing lists, and easily create and send newsletters and auto-responders. As it helps you to track your interactions, you can send your customers more relevant emails.

Polaris Office. Polaris Office is a FREE, reliable app that lets you edit, create and sync Microsoft Office files from anywhere on your phone or device.

Invoice2Go Makes it easy for you to create professional invoices and quotes from anywhere that you have your mobile phone.

Genius Scan Use your smartphone as a scanner in your pocket to scan receipts and documents on the go and export them to PDF files.

Pocket How many times have you run across something interesting, but you didn’t have the time to read it right away? Pocket makes it easy to save videos, articles, and whatever else you find online so that you can peruse them later.

Streak If your small business uses Gmail or Google Apps, Streak is a great little customer tracking app that integrates with both. It even lets you keep track of where you are in your business relationship.

Google Analytics tracks how well your website is performing

Pexels is a website containing thousands of photos that are free for you to download and use for your own purposes.

Examples of Youtube Help


How To Trademark a Business Name in Australia

Best Advice to Small Business Owners

Accounting for Beginners – 22 part tutorial in bite sized chunks. Here is the first episode.

The 5 Biggest Mistakes Small Business Owners Make With their Accounting Records

Recommended

Books

Books are a very cheap way to gain insights from others that have been there and done that before.  They are also something you can do in your own time, at your own speed.  When reading a book, I recommend using those mini post it notes to tag key insights and transferring these valuable insights to a book journal so that you can go back to them any time.

  • The Effective Manager – Mark Horstman
  • The New One Minute Manager – Blanchard and Johnson
  • The E-Myth Revisited – Michael Gerber
  • How To Win Friends & Influence People (still good after all these years) – Dale Carnegie
  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Steven Covey
  • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team – Patrick Lencioni
  • Eat that Frog – Brian Tracy
  • Getting Things Done – David Allen
  • Good to Great – Jim Collins
  • The Four Obsessions of a Leader – Patrick Lencioni
  • The Fred Factor – Mark Sanborn
  • Crucial Conversations – Switzler, Grenny, Patterson, and McMillan
  • Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki
  • Under New Management – David Burkus
  • Dealing with People you Can’t Stand – Brinkman and Kirschner
  • The Psychology of Selling – Brian Tracy
  • The Art of War – Sun Tzu
  • S.M.A.R.T. Goals Made Simple – S. J. Scott
  • People Smart – Tony Alessandra
  • Escape From Cubicle Nation – Pamela Slim

Podcasts

Podcasts are freely available recordings that you can download to your device (android, iphone, etc) and listen to at your leisure.   They are great for learning while commuting.   Most podcasts relevant to small businesses involve interviews with subject matter experts from whom great tips and insights can be learned. Most of these podcasts also have a related website worth exploring where there is generally lots of additional free information.

Australian

  • Social Media for Small Business
  • Her Business – Insights for Women in Business
  • Xero In
  • Flying solo – Small business Lifestyle

International

  • Manager Tools
  • Xero Gravity
  • Franchise Euphoria: Franchise Insights

Other

www.meetup.com (good place to network with like minded people)

www.linkedin.com (another good place to join networking groups, both local and international)

www.facebook.com (every small business should have a FB page to connect with their customers)