5 Must-Have Tools and Services Every Small Business Owner Should Know About

The key to success for any small business is to use resources judicially. To help businesses achieve this goal there are a host of free software and services that they should take advantage of to improve key areas of the organization, such as marketing, project marketing, accounting, and more. Additionally, most free services include the option to opt-in for paid plans to access additional services as and when required by your business. In this article by MindChip, we’ll explore a handful of such services and the benefits they’ll provide your small business. 

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1. Online Graphic Design Tools

While Photoshop is still a viable tool for creating marketing materials, it does have a learning curve, and it requires you to hire someone with expertise in using the application. However, in 2023 there are a host of online graphic design tools small businesses can use to create marketing graphics such as social media posts, emails, website images, and more in an instant. Most of these tools provide an array of customizable tables which can be adapted to your brand guidelines and directly uploaded to social handles.

2. Cloud-Based Storage Services

Cloud-based storage services such as DropBox and Google Drive are safe and convenient tools to securely store your business files and documents. The main benefit of these services is the easy-of-access they provide for sharing and editing files on the go, as reported by CDW. Additionally, cloud-based services promote real-time collaboration among teams that can reduce inefficiencies in business processes and help increase productivity.

By default, the services mentioned above provide up to 15GB of free storage per user, beyond which businesses can purchase plans depending on their storage needs.

3. Unified E-commerce Platform

According to research by WP Forms, up to 93.5% of global internet users have purchased products online, pointing to the growing popularity of e-commerce and the importance of its adoption by businesses. If you are new to e-commerce it can feel a bit challenging to understand. However, this problem can be easily overcome by using a unified e-commerce platform, and here is one of the best ecommerce options to choose from!

A unified e-commerce platform helps to seamlessly integrate your back and frontend activities to provide customers with the best online shopping experience. Additionally, the platform helps businesses provide customers with omnichannel experiences, allowing them to connect with you via their preferred mode of contact, such as emails, social media, messaging services, and more. What’s more? This tool will provide you with a host of customizable templates to choose from to create an online store, landing pages, and a smooth user experience, including secure payment gateways and data analytics.

4. Instant Messaging Tools

Messaging tools such as Slack and Webex allow teams to achieve the highest level of collaboration on all projects. Additionally, your cloud-based storage platforms can be integrated with these tools to further simplify the process of sharing documents in real-time and making informed decisions. 

Moreover, apps such as Slack allow businesses to create dedicated ‘channels’ based on projects and teams. Creating channels will allow you to share messages and documents with the required stakeholders without spamming the whole organization each time a message needs to be sent.

5. Formation Service

Formation services are organizations with expertise in helping business owners find the best business structure and undertake all tasks relating to registering and meeting local, state, and federal level government requirements.

Establishing a Limited Liability Company is one of the best choices for small business owners, as it provides the benefit of personal asset protection — i.e., your personal finances and assets are shielded from business-related liabilities. Additionally, it allows owners to use business expenses as tax write-offs.

Rather than trying to manage the hassle of paperwork and registration singlehandedly, it’s better to hire a formation service to do these tasks for you.

Whether your business needs help in improving its marketing, finance, or project management projects, there are a host of amazing free tools to choose from. Out of all the options, setting up a unified e-commerce platform should be a priority as it will prove to be the most beneficial.