I love free stuff. And as an entrepreneur, if I can find a tool or
program that does a great job without me having to pay or pay much for
it, I love it even more. Here are a few of the tools I'm loving right
now. If you're not using some of them, check them out .
We'll just make a Google category, since so many of the tools I use are from Google.
- Search – It seems pretty basic, but I'd say Google.com is the Web site I use the most. Actually, I use their toolbar, but their search is the single one I rely on for all my business use (and personal).
- Analytics – Although, as I wrote over on The Marketing Eggspert a few weeks ago, you can over-analyze
analytics, knowing your web stats and traffic is super important.
Google's free Analytics tool makes it so easy to do so.
- Ad Planner – I'm still new to it, but Ad Planner
is pretty cool. It helps you target exactly your audience (say, female
between 18 and 25 with bachelor's degrees who live in Texas) to find
the Web sites you'd do best to advertise on.
- Docs – If you haven't used Google Docs
yet, you need to. They have components to rival Microsoft Word, Excel,
and PowerPoint, and the best part is: you can share them online rather
than attach to an email and lose track of which version you need.
- Facebook – Facebook is free, and a great
way to expand the number of people who know about you. You can set up a
Profile for you (the person) and a Page for your company.
- Twitter – Again, free. Twitter
is like instant messaging on crack, but it's one of the top 3 referrers
to my blog and Web site. You can post links, share blog articles, start
conversations or participate in them.
- QuickBooks Online – I never seem to have $200 to plunk down on the latest version of QuickBooks, so I use their online version
for $9.95 a month. When you have someone other than yourself who needs
to access your account (like an accountant or accounts payable), this
is really convenient.
- Constant Contact – If you're not already doing email marketing, you should be, and price can't be your excuse. Constant Contact
offers great packages starting at $15 for up to 500 contacts. Their
templates make it really easy to create professional looking emails. If
you're set up and want to get the most out of the program, check out my
ebook, Do-It-Yourself Email Marketing.