51 Free Resources For Small Businesses
I was inspired by this question to organize a list of free resources for small businesses. Here’s the list broken up by category. All of the below resources are either completely free or offer a trimmed down free plan.
Books and eBooks
- Don’t Just Roll the Dice: A usefully short guide to software pricing – A guide on best practices for pricing your product. (Principles apply to all products, not just software.)
- 101 Landing Page Optimization Tips – Landing page optimization tips for testing, reporting, and increasing your e-marketing campaigns’ ROI.
- Using Twitter to Enhance, Promote and Measure Your Landing Page Campaigns – Ways to leverage Twitter to increase the effectiveness of your landing page marketing campaigns.
- Getting Real: The smarter, faster, easier way to build a successful web application – Details the business, design, programming, and marketing principles of 37signals.
- Sugartone eBook – Collection of small business articles from the HP Sugartone blogging contest. (requires email address)
- HubSpot’s Internet Marketing Whitepapers and eBooks – A collection of 38 whitepapers and eBooks written by internet marketing experts. Includes topics like How to Monitor Your Social Media in 10 Minutes a Day, Lead Generation Lessons From 4,000 Businesses, Facebook marketing, Linkedin marketing, Twitter marketing, and much more. (requires email address)
- The Gutenberg Project – Over 33,000 free books available for download.
- Your local public or university library.
- Best Places to Get Free Books – The Ultimate Guide – A huge list of places online where you can get books for free.
- Website Grader – Website analysis tool from Hubspot.
- Blog Grader – Blog analysis tool from Hubspot.
- WooRank – Website analysis and SEO rank checker tool (similar to Website Grader).
- Pear Analytics – Website analysis and SEO rank checker tool (similar to Website Grader).
- Google Webmaster Tools – Provides you with detailed reports about your pages’ visibility on Google.
- Google Analytics – Analytics to monitor your website traffic.
- List of free SEO rank checker tools
Website and Blog Tools
- Wufoo – HTML form builder for creating contact forms, web surveys, and invitations so you can collect data, registrations and online payments without writing a single line of code.
- Unbounce – Create optimized landing pages for your marketing campaigns.
- Stock.XCHNG – Free stock images for your blog.
- Microsoft Office Image Site – Free stock images for your blog.
- Flickr – Images for your website/blog.
Business Collaboration Tools
- Markup – Share ideas with co-workers by drawing on any webpage with a variety of tools. Lets you express your thoughts, make a point, or simply edit.
- Dropbox – Document sharing and storage/backup.
- Skype – Video calling and online phone.
- Google Voice – Provides free PC-to-PC voice and video calling worldwide, and free PC-to-phone calls into North America.
- Google Apps – Lots of business collaboration tools including Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Sites, and more.
- SurveyMonkey – Create surveys to conduct, manage, and analyze research.
- FreshBooks – Financial record keeping with invoicing and time tracking capability.
- UserVoice – Customer support and feedback tool. (similar to Get Satisfaction)
- Get Satisfaction – Customer support and feedback tool. (similar to UserVoice)
- Evernote – Data capturing service that makes it easy to remember things using your computer, phone, and the web.
- Ta-da List – Web based to-do list maker.
- MailChimp – For managing email newsletters.
- Thunderbird – Email client from Mozilla.
Track Your Competitors
- Alexa – Monitor website traffic metrics, search analytics, demographics, and more. (similar to Compete)
- Compete – Monitor website traffic metrics, search analytics, demographics, and more. (similar to Alexa)
- Google Alerts – Monitor topics of interest on the web, including mentions of your competitors and your own business.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Zoho – A suite of more than 20 different online business applications for collaboration, productivity, and other business tasks.
- Highrise – Dead simple web-based CRM software.
- vtiger – Open Source CRM software.
- Screenr – Web based screen recorder to create and share your screencasts around the web.
- CamStudio – Open Source software for creating screencasts.
- Jing – Create screencasts.
Content Management Systems (CMS)
- WordPress – Easy to use web software you can use to create a website or blog.
- WordPress plugins – Use plugins to customize your WordPress website to do just about anything you can think of.
- WordPress Themes – Official repository of free WordPress themes.
- Drupal – An open source content management platform for building websites and applications. Like with WordPress, Drupal has thousands of add-on modules and designs to customize your site. Drupal is more powerful than WordPress, however, it requires more technical knowledge.
- Joomla – Open source content management system (CMS) that enables you to build websites and online applications.
- Hubspot Grader Tools – A suite of tools to help you measure and analyze your marketing efforts. Includes Twitter Grader, Facebook Grader, Press Release Grader, and more.
- HubSpot Internet Marketing Webinars – Huge archive of internet marketing webinars.
- Microsoft BizSpark Program – Becoming a BizSpark member entitles you to free access to most of Microsoft’s tools and software. Only software based companies are eligible.
- Microsoft WebsiteSpark Program – Provides web development and design companies access to Microsoft Web design and development software and solutions, support, training & marketing visibility.
- Subversion – Software version control for software based companies.
- Trac – Ticket tracking/wiki with subversion integration for software based companies.
Here’s a massive list of free and open source software packages on Wikipedia.
Do you know of any other great free resources for small businesses?