A HUGE List of Free Resources

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djbaxter

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A HUGE List of Free Resources to Help Run Your Home-Based Business
By Holly Reisem Hanna, TheWorkAtHomeWoman.com
February 27, 2018

1. Free Website.
Since you won't have a brick-and-mortar location, the heart of your home-based business is your website. Having a site allows people to window shop your services and products, it helps them find you via the web, and it conveys valuable information. Personally, I think it's in your best interest to own your website (purchase your domain name and hosting), but if you can't afford a website right off the bat, I suggest using a free option until you can afford to switch to a more robust platform.

A few things to note about free platforms. Usually, you're limited to a small number of web pages, you'll have limited bandwidth and storage, and often you'll have a sub-domain. If you can spare $2.95 a month, I highly recommend setting up your own website with WordPress. Not only is it affordable, but it's also extremely simple to set up and use, and it will give you a professional looking website.
2. Free Online Productivity Tools.
You'd think as much as I'm online, that I'd rely heavily on online productivity tools, but I don't. As you'll see below, I like to use real-world tools to help me stay organized. But if you prefer online time management tools – here's a great list to keep you on track.
  • Cozi – Simple family organizer
  • ClickBook offers free online appointment scheduling
  • Doodle – Scheduling application that will sync all of your calendars together
  • Evernote – Virtual to-do list
  • Google Calendar – Online calendar
  • RescueTime – Time tracker
  • Todoist – Task manager
  • Toggl – Time tracking app, free for up to 5 users
3. Free Printables.
I'm old school when it comes to planning and organizing. For all of my personal and business activities, I use a physical planner, calendar, notebook, and tons of printables. From grocery lists and daily to-dos to packing lists, chore charts, and business goals. If you're looking for free printables to organize your business and life this list has you covered.
4. Free Finance Tools.
When I first started my business, I used a spreadsheet for all of my income and expenses. Not only has the process manually intensive, by it made tax-time a nightmare. Save yourself the frustration and use a professional platform. The resources listed below offer invoicing, budgeting, planning, bookkeeping, and accounting solutions.
5. Free Business Templates.
When you're running a business, you'll find yourself searching for all types of forms and templates that you don't even know you need until a particular situation arises. When the time comes, here are some great resources to have bookmarked.
  • Frugal Entrepreneur – Business documents, templates, and forms
  • SCORE – Business planning, financial, marketing, and management templates
6. Free Content and Project Management Systems.
When you're a service provider (virtual assistant, freelance writer, graphic designer, etc.), you're going to have multiple projects and clients to manage. The best way to stay on top of everything is by using a content or project management system to keep you organized.
  • Airtable – Free spreadsheet and data table management tool
  • FreedCamp – Free project management tool
  • Trello – Online collaboration and management tool
  • Wrike – Task and project management tool
7. Free Marketing Tools and Platforms.
It's been said that you should spend at least 20% of your time marketing your business. With hundreds of ways to market your business, you should be able to find a formula that works for you. Here are a few free platforms and resources worth checking out.
  • BoardBooster – Pinterest scheduler (500 pins a month for free)
  • Clearstream – Free SMS marketing (25 messages per month)
  • Craigslist – Free online advertising
  • Facebook – Free social media marketing platform
  • Free Press Release – Submit your press release for free
  • EZ Texting – 250 free SMS marketing messages per month
  • Hootsuite – Manage your social media marketing efforts in one place
  • Hotcards – 100 free business cards (pickup at their Cleveland Headquarters is free, shipping elsewhere is extra)
  • HubSpot – Free email signature
  • Instagram – Free photo sharing media platform
  • LinkedIn – Professional social networking website
  • MailChimp – Free email marketing for up to 2,000 contacts
  • OneSignal – Send out unlimited push notifications for free
  • Pinterest – Visual marketing platform
  • SendInBlue – Free email marketing, up to 9,000 emails a month
  • Survey Monkey – Allows you to gather feedback, collect data, and analyze survey results
  • Tailwind – Pinterest and Instagram scheduler (free month)
  • Twitter – Free social media marketing platform
  • Vero – Instagram-like social media platform (free for the first million users)
  • YouTube – Video marketing
8. Free Administrative Tools.
You may already have Microsoft Office on your computer, but if you don't, the yearly subscription can be pricey. Here are some other options that work great and they're free.
  • Cute PDF – PDF conversion tool
  • GoogleDocs – Word processing, spreadsheets, forms, slides, and more
  • OpenOffice – Word processing, spreadsheets, multimedia presentations, and more
  • PrimoPDF – Create PDFs for free
9. Free Communication Tools.
It's funny when you work in an office setting you don't even think about all the different methods you use daily to communicate with others – the technology and systems are already in place. However, when you run your own business, you'll quickly learn that you need a whole host of tools. Luckily, there are lots of free and reliable options.
  • FaxZERO – Fax documents for free, up to three pages, two times per day
  • FreeConferenceCall.com – Conference and video calls, up to 1,000 people for free
  • Google Chat – Talk to other people over the internet for free
  • Google Hangouts – Video chat
  • Hot Recorder – Record calls for free
  • IFTTT – A free tool to get all of your apps and devices communicating effectively with each other
  • LetterMeLater – Schedule emails to be sent in the future
  • Mikogo – Desktop sharing tool, ideal for web conferencing, online meetings, or remote support
  • Skype – Free call, video chat, and instant message for Skye to Skype users
  • WebEx – Free video conferencing free for up to three people
  • Zoom – Video and web conferencing service (free up to 100 individuals)
10. Free Design Tools and Stock Images.
As an entrepreneur, you'll take on many roles. Quite frequently that role is a graphic designer. But no worries, you don't need any special training to create professional-looking images, presentations, and marketing materials; these tools are both free and easy to use.
11. Free Tools and Resources for Bloggers.
If you run a blog, there's no doubt that you'll need some specialized tools to make your blogging efforts easier. Here are some that I use and recommend.
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