9 Free Tools to Help You Manage Your Startup Effortlessly
7 minute read
Managing a startup can feel like a daunting task, one that requires your direct supervision to ensure everything is done correctly at all times. Being an entrepreneur demands the ability to combine different skills, from management to marketing, and business accounting to recruitment, all of which are crucial to your business growth and success.
Now, no one expects you to do all this alone, and this is precisely the reason you need the best tools to keep your workflow easy, organized, and efficient. However, choosing the right tool is tricky; you have to get the best tools to keep your business productive and support business growth but also keep your costs low.
In this article, we’ll be sharing nine free tools that will make running your business easier. Fortunately, these software tools offer free plans you can enjoy until your startup grows and needs more advanced features available in their premium packages. Take a look at some of these tools and how you can use them to bring success to your business.
Namecheap is a domain seller and website host. With 8% of all domain names registered with Namecheap, they are one of the biggest registrars worldwide. However, they offer much more than domains. In a simple click , you get 30 days of free hosting to get your WordPress website up and running. There’s also little to do in terms of figuring out user interface and appropriate services as it’s all neatly set up with little effort. So you can easily buy a domain name for your business (at incredibly cheap rates), and have your website go live without hiccups, all entirely free for a month.
Although there are a lot of website building tools out there today, WordPress still has the reputation for hosting 43% of all websites on the internet. This popular website building platform is a content management system that is incredibly easy to use. You can set up your own business website using the wide variation of highly adaptable plugins available on the platform (although you have to pay for some other premium features). If you’re making use of Namecheap as your domain host, WordPress installation will come free with it for the first month. The simple user interface means with little guidance you can have your staff working on your fully functional business website in no time.
One of the most flexible and straightforward video conferencing platforms available, Zoom became popular during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the global lockdown prevented us from meeting in person. This helps you to stay in touch with contractors and freelancers, home working staff, and even your customers, wherever they are in the world. Zoom is free for video meetings below forty minutes and you have access to free storage on your device; however, you have to pay to hold meetings for longer periods. The premium license starts at HKD 117/month/license, and with this you are able to hold meetings without restrictions, save meetings to the cloud, and even live stream webinars to Facebook and Youtube. All this will come especially handy if your business is placed to become a thought leader with a regular stream of new video content.
As a startup, you have contracts with vendors, agencies, landlords, customers, staff and a host of other people. Digital document signing is a surefire way of saving time and cost that comes with signing, mailing, and storing important business documents. With the free SleekSign eSignature tool, you can eSign documents from your preferred device, thereby cutting the hassle of paperwork. SleekSign is the only free, unlimited use, legally binding e-signature platform around. You can also track the status of documents for each signatory, and send them reminders if they haven’t gotten around to signing yet.
Wise, formerly known as Transferwise, is a multi currency e-wallet that allows you to move your money between countries at extremely low charges. With their ewallet, you can store different currencies and transfer quickly and cheaply between them. You can also receive, move and even spend your money anywhere in the world by simply converting your currency online and making use of their debit card. In addition to these accounts being free, as a Sleek Customer, access to the Wise Platinum Debit Mastercard is one of the numerous perks you enjoy. A business model that could really benefit from this tool is eCommerce, as you’re able to move your money anywhere you are.
Hubspot is a cloud-based CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool designed to help you market and sell your company more effectively. This free tool can help in getting more traffic to your website, track leads and convert customers. You can also organize your company contacts and keep track of conversations with potential clients, content you produce for them, emails you send them, etc. It seamlessly connects with other (paid) modules for email marketing and tracking, lead generation and more. Use the 100% free version to nurture contacts, leads and develop an email marketing strategy to move customers through your value chain.In addition to the abundant free features, Sleek offers their clients as much as 90% off Hubspot subscriptions in the first year. Your business could benefit from education resources and tailored training, professional software and integrated platforms. To gain access to the benefits of this exclusive program, you have to meet certain funding criteria and of course, be a Sleek client.
Hootsuite is a social media management tool that takes away the stress of managing your social media, especially if you manage multiple social media profiles. With Hootsuite, you can schedule social media posts, create content, track engagements, and also use the analytics to grow your business, all from one dashboard. The free version is available for the first 30 days, after which you have to pay to use it. This social media management tool will also notify you of your brand and product “mentions” so you can see what people are saying about your business. And like all good entrepreneurial tools, there’s room for team collaboration. This management software will effectively help you get your social messages out there without having to waste time managing different platforms individually.
8. Google Workspace
Google Workspace pulls together all of Google’s productivity tools in one central spot. Google calendar, drive, docs, slides, keep, forms, sites, currents, gmail, meet, and sheets, are all put under one umbrella for your business. Google Workspace enables effective and efficient collaboration by enhancing team management, even if your colleagues are in different locations. Team communication is easy and work can be shared with everyone. One real perk is that Google automatically saves your work, and multiple team members can make changes simultaneously. With Google managing business email, you ultimately have a high level of data security and total control over who can access what. You can easily keep everything within your company’s ecosystem. There is a free 14 day trial, after which there’s a minimum cost of HKD 47/user/month. You even get a 10% discount on your Google Workspace Licenses once you’re a client of Sleek.
The last tool we recommend is a project management tool called Asana. As a startup, it’s not always easy to manage projects with a team that’s still trying to gel and grow. With Asana, you can easily coordinate all activities. All you have to do is create a project, specify individual tasks, then assign responsibilities and deadlines. Although a very simple tool to start using, depending on how it is utilized, it can quickly become a very integral and powerful tool for your business. As the leader of your business, you get to supervise team communication using the shared chat function. You also have access to calendar views of your project progress, and you can monitor budget among other things. Asana is available with a free plan, but the premium plan offers amazing features and starts at a minimum of HKD 85/user/month.
Running a business can be expensive, and as a startup, you need to critically examine each software tool you deem relevant for your business. Are you ready to lift some weight off your shoulders? Then implement these tools that allocate resources, and, more importantly, boost productivity – all at a minimal cost. Take advantage of these productivity tools, integrate them into your business processes, and watch your startup grow. If you need help managing the more technical aspects of your business, feel free to reach out to Sleek. We’ve got expertise in company governance, accounting, auditing, and more to help you build a successful business in Hong Kong.