by Kenny Lange on December 31, 2015

4 Nearly Free Amazing Services for Serious Small Businesses (Part 1)

Running a small business is hard! Most of the difficulty comes not from understanding your craft and not necessarily acquiring customers (although we all want more of those!).

Much of the frustration in operating a small business comes from expensive, inefficient, or hard-to-use services. That’s why if you’re serious about running your company smoothly, looking professional, and eliminating waste or inefficiencies then you should know about 4 amazing nearly free services.

The features and prices listed are for lowest available package for each service. Frequently there are upgrades available should you need to scale your business or there’s a feature you see as a “must-have” for your particular line of work.

All services are also cloud-based and offer some form of integration with each other.

1. Google Apps for Work

Google Apps for Work gives you everything you need to communicate and collaborate with team members and clients. You can also create and store all of your documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in a secure cloud environment called Google Drive.

The ability to quickly add users, apps, and manage all of your tools from one admin console is also a huge benefit. You don't have to be a super techy person to make basic changes either. There's even a mobile app that will allow you to take care of your team's needs - like resetting a forgotten password - on the go.

Quick Need-to-Know List:

  • Cost: $4.17/month for 30GB storage if you agree to annual contract; otherwise $5/month.
  • Free Trial: Yes, 30 days
  • Support Rating: Above average
  • Support Channels: Phone, email, online knowledgebase
  • Chrome Extension: Yes, third-party developer. Read about them.
  • Mobile App: Yes, full-featured for each product
  • Key Integrations:
    • Teamwork Projects
    • HelloSign
    • Salesforce
    • HubSpot
  • Key Benefits:
    • Less than $5/month/user for all of your core operation services.
    • Integrates with almost every major software platform sold.
    • Information accessible anywhere in the world you work and on any device.

2. FreshBooks

FreshBooks is a cloud accounting software that allows you to send professional invoices via email or snail mail (they actually print and send it for you with a return envelope for a small fee). You can track your expenses, receive payments online, and generate almost every type of report necessary.

You can also track time towards projects/tasks, have contractors track time and invoice you, and collect reviews from clients after you send an invoice. Overall, it can handle most any financial need for a small business.

Quick Need-to-Know List:

  • Cost: $8.96/month for 5 active clients (you can achieve inactive ones to keep spots open) if you agree to annual contract; otherwise $9.95/month.
  • Free Trial: Yes, 30 days
  • Support Rating: Excellent
  • Support Channels: Phone, email, online knowledgebase
  • Chrome Extension: Yes, mostly used to notify you of payments received.
  • Mobile App: Yes, most functions available. Timer is key feature.
  • Key Integrations:
    • Google Apps
    • Stripe
    • HubSpot
    • Gusto (formerly ZenPayroll)
  • Key Benefits:
    • Ease of use and setup.
    • Look very professional with little cost.
    • Speeds up payment time from clients with automated reminders.
    • Get a live support person on the phone within 2-3 rings.

The Wrap Up

Communication, scheduling, storage, and financials are all bedrocks of a business - big or small. It doesn't have to take a fortune to have high caliber services at your desposal. Picture yourself getting more done, feeling less stressed, and earning more wins with these nearly free, hassle free, paper free tools!

Stay tuned for part 2 when I reveal services to help small businesses organize your projects and take the headache out of getting paperwork signed.

Here's a link to all 4 in a beautiful eBook format!

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