Start a Business Using Free Apps: Monthly app subscriptions can get expensive, especially if you’re paying for a bunch of different services and tools you need to run your small business.
If you’re starting a business with minimal capital, it’s important to look for areas where you can cut down on startup costs. Business apps and platforms are one area where you can definitely reduce costs by using free apps.
But, you shouldn’t use an app just because it’s free — make sure you choose quality tools that will boost your productivity and help you get more done in less time. Below are some ideas to get you started.
Free Apps to Use to Keep Costs Low When Starting a Business
1. Spike (free web-based email)
Spike is a communication platform that helps teams of all sizes connect and create together to accomplish more. This free webmail service is also the world’s first conversational email application.
What does that mean, you ask? Well, Spike turns your traditional email threads into chat-style conversations, removing the stiff formalities and eliminating repetition to keep your conversations flowing.
Besides revolutionizing the way you and your team deal with emails, Spike has a whole range of built-in features and tools that make it one of the best free email apps for small businesses. These include:
- Video meetings
- Voice messages
- Group chats
- Collaborative notes
- Tasks and to-do lists
- Multiple calendar syncing
- File management
These free features allow you and your team to use Spike as an all-in-one collaborative workspace, thus reducing the need for tons of other apps to get your work done.
If you’re going to choose just one free app to get your business up and running, Spike would be a great option.
Plus, as your team grows, you can upgrade to a paid version of Spike to increase its utility, while still limiting your need for additional apps.
2. Google Drive
If you want a free file sharing app for your business, you can’t go wrong with Google Drive.
This cloud storage program from Google supports multiple file types, from text documents and spreadsheets to images and videos.
All you need to access Google Drive for free is a Gmail account, which also gives you access to the rest of the free tools in Google Workspace.
Google Drive users receive 15 GB of free storage space, which should be plenty as you get your new business up and running. You can always upgrade to a paid storage plan later as your business grows and your needs change.
Emailing back and forth with teammates or clients to try and find a meeting time that works is a huge time suck. And, when you have a startup to run, your time is extremely important.
Calendly helps eliminate this back and forth by syncing with your calendar to automatically share your availability with anyone you want to meet with.
The app gives you a unique link that you can send via email or include as part of your email signature.
Then, when someone clicks on this link, they’re taken to your Calendly scheduling calendar and they can select an open time slot to meet with you.
Additionally, you can embed a Calendly calendar on a website, which can be useful in case you run a type of business that takes appointments from customers and clients.
Buffer is a great free tool for managing your social media accounts, and it’s really easy to scale up as your company’s social media activity increases.
Buffer allows you to set content in your queue and schedule a time for it to post automatically. That way, you can take care of a whole bunch of social posting at once and move on to other important business activities.
This platform also provides you with analytics tools, so you can see how your social posts are performing and adjust your social media marketing strategies as needed.
Every business needs accounting software, and Wave is a great free accounting program for small businesses.
Wave is very user friendly and provides all the essential accounting tools you need to get started with your new business.
The program includes unlimited income and expense tracking, unlimited invoicing with customizable templates and payment terms, and unlimited users — all for free. There’s also a dedicated mobile app for invoicing.
The only downside of Wave is that there are no paid plans with additional features or functionality, so you may need to switch to a more robust accounting program as your business grows.
If your small business needs to take payments from customers in person, Square is an affordable tool that provides you with POS software and a card reader that you can use from any mobile device.
Keep in mind that, although it’s free to sign up for and use, Square does charge you a commission for every card payment transaction you process.
Still, Square is a great app for small retail, restaurant, and service businesses, as it’s generally cheaper than traditional card payment processing services, especially if you’re processing less than about $5,000 a month in sales.