14 “free” Apps for Business & Digital Tools every Solo-preneur needs to Succeed
These Apps & Digital Tools help reduce the time a Solo-preneur has to spend on boring – but necessary – tasks.
Apps for: your Ideas. Virtual Asst, Social Media, Graphics, Email Marketing, pre-Website, Biz forms, porta-Payments, Content kickers & more . . .
Why? Solo-preneurs are in a class by themselves. Given all the typical pressure of an Entrepreneur that they’re under, and the fact that they have little-to-no outside assistance, Solo-preneurs need Apps for Business & Digital Tools to help them reduce the time they spend on boring – but necessary – tasks. Free time, after all, is a blessing: It allows Solo-preneurs to maximize their time and creative potential for tasks that actually help their businesses grow. So, if you’re one of those besieged Solo-preneurs, here are some suggested tools:
1. EverNote (store all your ideas, pictures, mind maps & other info) that you want to remember. It can be accessed from a smart device or computer. When you input something in one location, it will be available from all of your devices instantly. This is a great tool for any planning you do on the go, and it comes with a ton of free storage. If you find yourself relying on it as an extension of your own memory, you can upgrade to a plan with more storage.
2. Assistant.to [Virtual] Just because you are a Solo-preneur, doesn’t mean you want to do every single task for yourself. Most businesses owners would agree that having a secretary to take care of details is essential. Unfortunately, it isn’t affordable for everyone just starting out. Assistant.to sets up your appointments by working with your Email recipient, automatically adjusting time zones – and even re-scheduling meetings – if something comes up.
3. Zapier (apps working together) lets you automate tasks easily by teaching more than 750 apps to work together. The “free” plan allows you to build individual connections & create basic automation, while the “premium” plan allows greater customization of the automation processes.
4. HootSuite (managing all of your Social Media accounts) as easy as delegating the process to a Virtual Assistant. The “free” version lets you connect 3 Social Media accounts, schedule Messaging & see Basic Analytics information. Plans are available for people who need to organize more accounts and for those who already have a team.
5. Adobe Spark (graphics for Social Media) If you’ve read anything about using Social Media to grow your business, you already know how important it is to have high-quality graphics that are designed for the platform you are using. Adobe Spark lets you do this for free. The pre-made Templates are sized appropriately for whichever platform you are designing for, and the site also gives you the ability to create stunning video – with virtually no prior experience.
6. Workflow Max (single integrated platform) offers everything you need. This tool can be used on your computer or on whatever smart device you prefer. It can handle everything from Lead & Client (simple CRM) management, to Invoicing & Time sheets, job Costing, POs & more. There are more than 30 add-ons you can use to adjust the work-flow as needed.
7. WiseStamp (eMall signatures) makes it remarkably easy to create a professional Email signature that will show your picture & automatically give recipients all your Contact information – including links to your Website & Social Media pages. There are several ways to customize the process that are all entirely free. For additional options, the site offers a yearly subscription.
8. GetResponse [Email marketing] and connecting to prospective clients through those efforts is incredibly important to effectively grow your business. It helps businesses do this for as little as $15/ mo & includes 1,000 subscribers. As the business grows, higher-tier levels are available within the service. Every company, no matter how small, can benefit from gorgeously-designed, functional Email marketing + you get Landing pages & Marketing automation, too. Higher-tier plans include additional features, like Webinars, Salesforce integration & Campaign consulting.
9. Grammarly (for writing great content) Solo-preneurs often begin by doing everything themselves, including writing their own copy for Email, Social, Website pages & Advertising materials. This is an effective way to keep initial costs low, but not all Solo-preneurs have the skillf to write irresostable copy. It evens the playing field by catching “grammatical & punctuation” mistakes – often overlooked by word processor applications. The free version also allows you to check for Plagiarism, to make sure nothing you’ve read for research accidentally makes its way into your finished product. The upgrade option catches more details.
10. WiseIntro (low-profile Online presence = pre-Website) without any startup costs. As you gain traction and need more options, it is easy to upgrade to one of the tool’s monthly plans to unlock additional features. This is an especially good choice for Solo-preneurs. This is because of the strong visual component they have to their work & their need to show prospective clients exactly what they can do – while still avoiding — at this early stage — having to pay a Graphic Designer to create a custom Website.
11. Shake (legal biz forms) by Legal Shield, provides free Templates that can be filled in with your specific information and sent to clients or collaborators to sign electronically & return. There is absolutely no cost when you use one of Shake’s free templates, or you can upgrade to the monthly plan to make extensive customizations. For most people just starting out, the free plan will be more than sufficient.
12. Sighted (online Invoicing tool) The free plan is perfect for a small business, offering 20 invoices per month in multiple currencies, for up to 10 Customers. As the business scales, paid plans (starting at $4.99/mo) allow for unlimited invoices, expenses + 100 or more clients. All plans feature the ability to accept online Payments and include a P&L report to make tax time a little easier.
13. Square (porta Potty, no, Payments) gives you the ability to take secure payments anywhere you are and has zero fees to get set up. The company will send interested individuals, the hardware that attaches to a smart device for free & then keeps only 2.75 % of any transaction that is completed. This gives Solo-preneurs the ability to accept Debit & Credit cards from wherever they have the opportunity to make a sale.
14. Portent Title Maker (to get attention) Everyone gets stuck with creating a catchy title for a Blog post or article at some point. Portent’s PTM takes your keyword and turns it into an interesting heading to give you a jumping-off point for your next piece of content. This tool can even help generate ideas for newsletters, brochures & emails.
Conclusion: Companies have found that – by offering a limited version of their services to small businesses & Solo-preneurs – they are able to develop lasting business relationships that will grow over time as the customer grows.
Comments: Do you know any other “free” Apps for Business & Digital Tools for Solo-preneurs?
from Entrepreneur.com 27 Jan 17 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
For more Info, click on Apps for Business, Founders.