Use these digital platforms to save money and grow your SME or side hustle. Best of all? They're gratis – mahala!
The costs that come with running even the smallest of businesses can be jaw-dropping. But before you start to wonder how your SME is going to survive, consider ways to save. We're here to help you do just that by listing some of the best free online tools in the business of simplifying business.
That way, you can spend your money on the things that really count, like, say, investing in the best business insurance option for your growing enterprise...
Overwhelmed by the costs of hiring a fancy design studio? Saving to finally get your hands on Adobe InDesign? Sure, slick visuals will help build your brand, but what do you do when you simply don't have the funds... or the vision? Enter Canva. While you'll need to cough up for their premium option, you can totally get away with paying a grand total of zero rands. Offering over 250,000 free templates and endless images for use with everything from social media stories to presentations and website design, Canva also allows virtual teams to collaborate in real time.
Staying organised when you're working on multiple projects takes a special kind of talent. If your organisational skills are more like organisational deficiencies, it's time to fess up and get some help. For such people, managing workflow and employees in an increasingly remote-working world can be the stuff of nightmares. That's why Trello has become such an important part of the lockdown lexicon. A primarily free service, Trello empowers teams to streamline and manage tasks together using an unlimited number of boards, lists and cards.
The money flowing into your business should outweigh the money flowing out of it. Ideally. Online invoicing service Wave ensures you're not drowning in a sea of bad debts. Offering free, user-friendly and customisable invoices, Wave brings a tide of reliable cash flow. An ocean of extra features, including invoice tracking, automated payment and financial statement generation, add to the software's appeal. Okay, we're done with the wave puns. Unless we can interest you in the next free service...
Picture this: over 2.5 million free high-resolution images to select from and use whenever you need them. Not only does Unsplash, one of the world's leading photography websites, give up-and-coming photographers exposure, it also helps get businesses noticed. Providing stunning stock images for marketing, presentations, website design and much more, it's a vital business tool.
A messaging and collaboration system that's built for small businesses, Slack doesn't slack off when it comes to its freemium version. (At least that's true for smaller companies. As you get bigger, you may want to explore Slack's paid options, but if you're keeping it lean, you'll be more than satisfied.) Designed for teams and workplaces, it works across multiple devices and platforms, allowing you to chat one-on-one or in channels (a.k.a. groups) that are focused on a particular project. This creates a streamlined platform for teamwork, no matter where you are in the world. You can also make one-to-one video or voice calls, share files and add up to 10 apps to make a more integrated workplace.
When virtually all our vital personal and business information is shared online, it pays to be protected. Password manager LastPass stores your passwords in a digital vault. Keeping your information private, secure and hidden, LastPass creates a safe space for all of your accounts, passwords, notes, files, payment cards and more. While businesses may enjoy paid plans that offer extra features like multiple users and overseeing employee access to information, the free version meets the security needs of small businesses.
When you're running a small business, you can't afford to throw money away. That means using the best free apps, and it also means getting the best deals on fibre connections and business insurance. Use Hippo's business fibre comparison tool to get the best deals in your area, and compare business insurance quotes – again, for free!
This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal or medical advice.