There are a wide variety of useful tools available to small businesses that are helpful in starting and maintaining your business model.  We’ve put together a list of the ones we cannot seem to live without – most of which are… get this… FREE!

  • Bitly – This is a great resource if your business requires you to post links to an audience.  Most of the time, the link is dreadful looking and long.  Think of Bitly as your cleaning lady.  It tidies up the link and keeps it clean.  The system is very user-friendly and it’s FREE.
  • Google Alerts – Google Alerts can be forgotten, but it is powerful.  It’s nice for businesses that deal with clients because it allows you to set up alerts that come into your inbox when something you want to know about is in the news.  For example: If you have a client who is a weight loss coach, you could set up a Google Alert with the phrase “weight loss techniques or healthy weight loss tools” and whenever something is published on the Internet for that topic, you are alerted. You can then forward the hot new information to your client.  It’s an easy way to show you are on top of your game and care about their business model. The alerts can be set up to come daily, weekly or monthly. This is also completely FREE.
  • Dropbox – This is a service that lets you bring photos, documents, and videos anywhere, and share them easily.  Never email yourself a file again!  Dropbox can be useful if you and your team are in different areas of the country.  It is FREE up to a certain amount of storage.
  • Constant Contact – For just $15 a month, you can easily design a great email marketing campaign. The system also offers a number of other services to help you grow your business.  They also have great coaches to guide you along the way if you get stuck.  Outside of the software, Constant Contact has local FREE seminars you can attend, varying in topics to walk you through how to use their services and provide tips and tricks to growing a business.  It is a great full-service option to growing your business at minimal cost.
  • Google Analytics – Knowing how consumers are finding your business online is imperative to your business’s success.  Google Analytics is an easy method to tracking your website traffic, and getting information on how many visits your site has, how people are finding your website, etc.  Google Analytics is easy to install and it is completely FREE.
  • SurveyMonkey – With SurveyMonkey, you can create and publish online surveys in minutes, and view results graphically and in real time.  It provides free online questionnaires and surveys.  SurveyMonkey is user-friendly and truly is a great way for you to track results.  It is FREE for the basic account.

There are a number of tools out there, but these are the ones that are essential in helping our business thrive each and every day.  Each item on this list is capable of helping grow and maintain a clean business model, which is imperative to business success.  Implementing these great, easy-to-use business tools can help your business flourish into the great company it’s meant to be.