Whether you’re a new business on a limited budget or just trying to economize, the upfront expense of advancing your business is a prime concern. Increased need for software assistance in marketing, CRM, customer service, customer retention, and time management escalate the monetary investment for growing and maintaining a business. Digital innovations incrementally change the software scenario forcing business owners to chase and expense new research and development, expanded scales and continuous upgrades.
It’s difficult to prevent business expense from too-far eating into business revenue. It seems the apps become more complex and costly with every innovative update. As a small business owner, my understanding of the challenges involved in perusing the affordable software landscape comes from struggling to keep up with the dynamic software market. To that purpose, my search and appreciation of free introductions to software applications never ends.
After performing an intense hunt for introductory freebies and affordable apps, here are 10 options I feel deserve honorable mention.
Offering certain free apps to their subscribers, HubSpot focuses on customer relationship management (CRM), that combine strategies, application, and technologies designed to boost your customer relationships, customer service, and customer retention. The goal is to considerably reduce your CRM and marketing costs by combining a full platform of marketing, customer service, and CRM practices using resources, methodology and support geared towards helping you build better leads and customer relationships.
Slack uses open space messaging to organize conversations that keep your team current with the latest takeoffs. You can share files, organize conversations and get faster response with Slack’s method of stacked channel communication. Slack allows you to sync contact across all devices. Get started for free with broad access to your most recent messages, integration capabilities with other apps, and 1-on-1 internal voice and video calls.
The need for quick recording and keen accuracy can make time tracking a struggle. Harvest is an easy to use time-tracking app that offers a free subscription. Use simple time scheduling to discover crucial answers concerning team time/performance ratios that effect the fitness of your protects. In addition to time tracking, report, and invoicing, Harvest integrates with your own apps and scales at each stage of your business.
Wrike is an easy to use project management work platform for small teams. A simple shared task list, Wrike provides a powerful app for tracking, reporting and collaboration. You can use agile request forms, adaptable dashboards and collaborative Gantt charts to facilitate time-sensitive projects with efficient, competitive proficiency. The platform customizes fields, workflows and folder structures, allowing for integrated flexibility that includes messaging, accounting and CRM. Wrike for Marketers is a distinct tool for marketing and creative teams. Wrike offers a free plan and several premium plans on a per month basis.
For an online software development and project management app you may want to take note of Backlog. Offering a free subscription option, Backlog visually enables software development teams to convert critical deployment into manageable distribution. App features facilitate version control, bug tracking, and Gantt charts. Teams can use the collaboration framework for centralized file management, real-time comments, mobile app communication, plus Subversion and Git repositories. Backlog has a free subscription that includes 1 project and 100 MB of storage for up to 10 users.
Easy to use, Stencil’s online image editor and graphic design app is built for social media marketers, bloggers and business owners. A free subscription that includes photos, images, uploads, icons, Instagram SMS and collections helps you quickly create awesome images that dynamically augment your messaging. In addition, Stencil offers image templates, image quotes, royalty free stock photos and stores your logos.
Dashlane is a composite password management app with a free subscription offer that equips you with free passwords, account sharing, a user device, two-step authentication, personalized security alerts and a 30-day free trial for the Premium option. Dashlane claims to defy the Internet “hoop and hurdles to reclaim … digital independence without sacrificing convenience”. The app framework puts all your passwords, personal information and payments in one place under your exclusive personal control.
For a management list that offers a free basic subscription, check out Any.Do. The application seamlessly integrates all your device processes to make your lists, tasks and reminders visible everywhere you look. You can color tag categories and priorities, post reminder notes and remember meetings and appointments. Shared lists and assigned tasks assist in organizing teams. Any.Do is designed to help you get more done in a busy, multitasked universe.
GetGuru integrates software knowledge management to capture and organize your most valuable information into a single source. No need to search information. AI technology ensures the information you need finds your teams while they’re developing the related work. GetGuru works in the same multiple apps your teams work in with a continuous process/information integration that frees up team focus for project development. From startups to large enterprises, GetGuru’s expansion of integration processes ties your intellectual property and information together in a single source while ensuring every operation exists in all your applications. The free starter plan includes unified search, verification, Slack integration and browser extension.
Crowdbotics works with your development teams to help you create business-ready apps, integrations, and more. Offering a sizeable free community plan, Crowdbotics researches a given feature-set to identify the best software package for deployment, based on similar historically successful applications. Their interconnection of development and production experts then merge with your project team in a step-by-step operation to get your project into production. The process uses your own tools and properties while connecting you to Slack, Trello, JIRA when required. Crowdbotics allows you to compare costs before the build as it helps you develop and release your projects in real time.
If any of these options speak to you, you may want to investigate further. Take an initial journey into affordable apps. As your business grows, you may require expansion into larger software services. Until then, I think you’ll be pleased with how well affordable freebies can work for your business. For a list of free mobile-based apps, check out GIZMODO. For a bonus on boosting business motivation, hit my blog, Tips On Staying Business Motivated.