4 August 2020

by Spark Eighteen

14 Effective and free tools for small businesses


Your small business can be the big business of the future, all you need is some passionate employees and the right set of tools to work with. Here, we will talk about 14 effective and free tools for small businesses which you can use to accelerating business growth.

So entrust your great recruiters to recognize those employees, while we will help you pick the right tools for your business!

Fortunately, all of the tools mentioned below are free with premium features that you can upgrade to if you want.

Let’s get started by first looking at tools for communication & collaboration:

1. Slack

Want an instant chat app where you can send out direct messages to your teammates?

Slack it is!

With Slack, you can create multiple channels (public or private), create groups, and even send private messages. You can also do video-calling but remember that the free plan only allows 1-to-1 video calls.


What does the premium feature include?

  • Archive unlimited messages.
  • Install unlimited third-party apps.
  • Group video calls with screen-sharing.

2. Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts is a cloud-based collaboration and communication tool that is a part of Google’s business productivity bundle, GSuite.

Google Hangouts has two major components which include:

  • Google Meet:

google meet

This online video-conferencing software can accommodate multiple users in one video call (up to 25 people at once to be precise).

  • Hangouts Chat:

hangouts chat

This allows users to chat and collaborate with each other, create chat rooms, and share documents or files within secure channels.

You can download both of these apps on your iOS or Android devices. You can also easily use them from your native computer browsers.

What does the premium feature include?

  • Ability to hold large meetings of up to 250 participants.
  • To record meetings which are then saved to Google Drive.

3. Zoom

Zoom is a cloud-based communication tool that allows fast, easy, and convenient video communication making it one of the most effective tools for small businesses when talking about communication & collaboration.

This tool can be used for voice and video conferencing, real-time chat, document collaboration, file sharing, and webinars. It’s also easily accessible on any device whether mobile, desktop, or tablet. 

The best part is that you can host an unlimited number of video meetings without even spending a single penny but keep in mind that the free version allows a session of up to 40 minutes at a time.


What does the premium feature include?

  • Include more than 100 participants.
  • Meeting duration up to 24 hours.
  • Unlimited cloud storage.

Now, Let’s have a look at some tools for small businesses to increase productivity:

4. ToDoist

Do you know the feeling when you just get done with your work for the day and suddenly remember that you forgot that one important thing?

Frustrating right?

You obviously cannot carry around a notebook everywhere to scribble down important things every minute. 

The growth of digital mediums and the accessibility of applications on mobile devices have made it easier to consider an online option for listing down important things.

Todoist provides to-do list solutions for both desktop and mobile devices. You can write something on your desktop and later access that from your smartphone – yes, it’s that easy!

With ToDoist you can: 

  • Invite others to join or edit your list,
  • Schedule and reorganize any task at your hand,
  • And, get notifications on time to complete important tasks.


What does the premium feature include? 

  • Add labels to find tasks quickly.
  • Set reminders for important deadlines. 
  • Personalize your lists with various themes.
  • Sync your tasks projects with your calendar.

5. Evernote

Whether you’re planning to brainstorm ideas with co-workers, take quick notes for creative ideas, or just simply collect feedback on particular things – Evernote is the perfect tool to get all this work done.  

This app is used by journalists, entrepreneurs, bloggers and everyday ordinary people to better understand their projects.


What does the premium feature include?

  • Offline notes that you can edit and create without an internet connection.
  • 200MB maximum note size where you can include high-resolution images and presentations.
  • 10GB monthly note uploads.

6. Trello

Trello’s approach hits a little different from the two mentioned above. 

This tool helps you manage and collaborate on projects more effectively. The design is based on boards that you can categorize, tag, and even customize by adding different colours to easily differentiate between the boards. 

If anything, this productivity management tool will leave you in awe of its visual entity that will inspire you to keep adding more to it. 

Some of the companies that use Trello to improve productivity include – Google and Adobe. Aren’t these names alone to tell how popular this tool is?


What does the premium feature include?

  • Create an unlimited number of team boards.
  • Integrate unlimited apps and features on your boards.
  • Provides admin control where the team admin can public and private boards in their teams and control them.

Let’s continue further and have a look at tools for marketing:

7. MailChimp

MailChimp is one of the most popular and widely used email marketing tools for small businesses and startups. Its industry-leading email marketing is part of an all-in-one platform designed to help grow your business faster and increase revenue. 

Some of MailChimp’s benefits include:

  • Easy to use
  • Has all the necessary features
  • Collects and show statistics

The free plan includes up to 2,000 contacts and 10,000 sends per month, with a daily send limit of 2,000.


What does the premium feature include? 

  • Use all MailChimp templates.
  • Conduct A/B testing.
  • Schedule your email campaigns.
  • Unlimited audience.

8. Buffer

Buffer is a social media marketing tool that lets you build your brand by planning, scheduling, and publishing social media content across all popular channels – including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Some of the main features of Buffer includes: 

  • Integration of many social media platforms at once,
  • Plan schedules,
  • And providing insights into the effectiveness of your social media activity.


What does the premium feature include?

  • Can handle up to 8 different accounts together.
  • Schedule up to 2,000 posts per month.

9. Zoho CRM

A CRM tool helps in managing a company’s relationship with its current or potential customers. 

Zoho CRM is a popular customer-relationship management solution for small businesses. It brings companies and customers together via one integrated platform that gives marketing, sales, commerce, customer service and an intuitive lens into every customer. 

Zoho CRM has everything that makes it a great CRM platform: 

  • The CRM module feels modern, clean, and immediately intuitive.
  • Is highly flexible and can be customized to match any business needs.
  • It stores all the contact and other information in one place so that sales orders and invoices can be easily, quickly and professionally produced.

zoho crn

What does the premium feature include?

  • Sales automation
  • Visitor tracking
  • Project collaborations
  • HelpDesks
  • Customer survey

Next comes the Accounting tools for small businesses, Let’s have a look:

10. ZipBooks

ZipBooks is an easy to use accounting software designed for small businesses. The free package includes – unlimited invoicing, unlimited vendors and customers, unlimited bookkeeping, the ability to connect and manage one bank account, and a business health and invoice quality score.


What does the premium feature include?

  • Accept online payments.
  • Save customer invoice and payment notes.
  • Export reports to PDF and CSF.

11. Wave

Wave provides a completely free accounting that allows small businesses to track expenses, send invoices, get paid and balance their books. 

Most of its services are free.

Just note that, when you want your invoiced customers to be able to pay online directly through an invoice, you’ll need to pay for that.


Now that we are almost at the end of our list of free tools for small businesses, let’s have a look at some tools for project management:

12. Asana

Asana is an online project management software that supports a variety of business needs including – arrange team’s daily work, oversee deadline-driven projects, outline ongoing projects, and much more. 

According to Business Wire, more than 75,000 paying organizations and millions of free organizations across 195 countries rely on Asana to manage everything from company objectives to digital transformation to product launches and marketing campaigns. 

Asana gives clarity of work to each team member so that they are empowered to do their part.


What does the premium feature include?

  • Create custom project templates that anyone can use.
  • Show you start dates when you should begin your work to meet the deadlines. 
  • Sort and filter information by adding a number of rows and columns to track status or create uniformity. 

13. Teamwork

Teamwork brings together remote workers to create member status updates so the remote members know their schedules for the day. It easily helps in assigning tasks, chatting with teammates, and uploading or sharing files.


What does the premium feature include?

  • Manage up to 600 projects per month.
  • Up to 50 project templates to choose from.
  • Includes workload planner.

14. Google Calendar

Google calendar is popularly used for time-management and scheduling. 

Over the years, it has been continuously polished. Project managers use the calendar mainly to create and edit events to keep projects on track. 

You can share the calendar with your teammates who are involved in the project or the clients if they want to monitor the stream of activities. Google calendar can be accessed from a range of devices.

All of its features are completely free.


google calendar

So here it is. The list of effective and free tools for small businesses. Which of these tools are you planning to use? Let us know in the comments below!

Spark Eighteen

Spark Eighteen is a brainchild of innovative young minds and a group of alarmingly out-of-the-box thinkers who happen to see the world of marketing from a new age perspective. With a proven expertise in the field of Brand consulting, Digital Marketing and Website Design and Development, our team of designers, developers, and creative heads work towards delivering maximum results, tailor-made to all your business needs.
Spark Eighteen

2 thoughts on “14 Effective and free tools for small businesses”

  1. Hi John, Glad to help! We have numerous other blogs for SMBs, we’re sure they’ll be helpful too 🙂

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