5 Free and Low Cost Online Tools for Your Small Business

From securing your passwords to building your web presence, the following five tools will help your business. And best of all, most of these tools are free or low cost to small businesses.

 

Password Keeper 
Favorite low cost tool: Roboform

Don’t get stuck in password hell. For security you need complex passwords and you need to change those passwords on a regular basis. But how do you remember all those passwords and where is it “safe” to store them? An unencrypted file on your computer is not a good solution, nor is a notebook at your desk. Roboform stores all your passwords in one place with easy access from any digital devices (computer, phone, etc.). With one click Roboform opens the website and grants access. No typing and no wondering, “What was that password again?”

 

Meeting Wizard softwareMeeting/Scheduling Solutions
Free tools: Meeting Wizard and Doodle

Phone tag. Email tag. As business owners we don’t have time to go back and forth with half a dozen people from different companies to figure out the best time to hold a meeting. Enter Meeting Wizard and Doodle. These tools make it fast and easy to offer a list of dates and times to your meeting attendees and let them identify which dates and times work with their schedule. When you have a “winning” date and time, you can set up your meeting.

 

Screenshot Capture
Free tool: Jing ; Favorite low cost tool: Snagit.

Snagit screen capture softwareTake a “picture” of what you see on your screen to save for later or record a short demo. Both tools claim to have this functionality, and surprisingly, both tools are from the same company – TechSmith. So you may be saying to yourself, “Why would I pay for something that I can get for free?” I asked myself the same question. So I did what any smart shopper would do, I tested the two tools.

 

I don’t know if it is because I’ve been using Snagit for years and love it, but I just couldn’t get into Jing. I hated the top and center tool bar and found it clunky and difficult to use compare to Snagit. At the end of the day I just wanted my Snagit back and was completely willing to pay the $49 to get it. Check it out for yourself to see what works best for you.

 

Website & Blog Creation
Tools to consider: WordPress (free if not customized); Weebly (free and paid versions available); Google sites (free site and more)

To me the bottom line is that every business needs on online presence. Whether that is a website, a blog or a well crafted third-party business page, I don’t care. The point is I want to be able to find you online and hopefully you want me to find you. At one point in history, a business was nearly invisible if they didn’t have some sort of Yellow Page listing, today the same is true for online. If you don’t show up online you are invisible to new customers. These tools help you get the basics done at a low cost. Just don’t forget, these are only basic tools and shouldn’t be used as a replacement or an excuse to develop a more robust or professional presence online.

 

Pixlr free photo editingPhoto Editing
Free tool: Pixlr

Where was this tool five years ago when I was trying to help clients who wanted to edit their own photos without the pain or cost of Photoshop? This is your solution for easily editing of your website photos. Edit online, save to your computer and then upload to your website. Easy, fast, free. What more could you want?

 

Watch for more posts on great tools for your small business. If you have a favorite tool, add a comment or email me info@strategyessentials.com. I may include it in the next post!

 

 

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About Karin Khuhro

Karin Khuhro is a Digital Marketing Strategist, Speaker and Copywriter. As the owner of Strategy E-ssentials she works with other savvy marketers, digital specialists and business leaders to bring knowledge, know-how and solutions to small and medium sized businesses. Connect with Karin on Google+ or Linkedin.