5 low cost tools for your business to help you work smarter, not harder.
Work smarter, not harder. It’s a great motto to do business by, and there are a number of fantastic low to no cost tools out there that can assist you with this. We’ve compiled a list of our favourites to share with you so that you can maximise your time spent on projects.
While Photoshop and Illustrator are fantastic design tools with which many designers produce high quality graphics, they are costly, take time to master and are incredibly time consuming if you want to create top-notch designs. Canva is the highly simplified, user friendly and most importantly – free version of these tools. The platform is online, so you can access your designs anytime, anywhere. The platform incorporates a number of beautiful templates for posters, social media graphics, invitations and much more. It even allows you to set up your own branded templates for you and your team to use.
You can set up your free account here: https://www.canva.com/
Asana is a web and mobile application designed to help teams stay on track with various projects – from one-off newsletters to large events and more. The free version allows you to create unlimited projects and conversations and set unlimited tasks for yourself and up to 15 team members. The paid versions start at $6.25 per user per month, but we find that the free version is plenty for small teams. It’s a brilliant productivity tool which makes it easy for you to set your daily, monthly and even yearly tasks so that you can stay on top of your schedule and work load.
Sign up here: https://asana.com/
Mailchimp is a user-friendly, comprehensive email marketing tool which makes it easy for you to share business news, promotions and important messages to your database. The platform is equipped with dozens of beautiful email templates – and if you don’t like any of those, you can also put your own together quickly and easily! You can also delve into their marketing automation (most features of which are free – a huge plus since many marketing automation tools cost hundreds to thousands of dollars per month) to take your customer relations even further.
There are a number of great tracking tools incorporated into the platform, which allow you to determine the number of ‘opens’ your emails receive, which links are clicked within the email – even down to the exact subscribers that open the emails and click the links! These aspects of the platform allow you to determine what does and does not work within your email marketing campaigns, as well as which subscribers are most engaged with your business messages.
The majority of Mailchimp’s features are free until your database surpasses 2000 subscribers.
Set up your free account here: https://mailchimp.com/
4. Survey Monkey
On the surface, Survey Monkey is a great tool for collecting feedback and conducting market research. Dig a little deeper and you will find that it is an extremely versatile tool which allows you to do a lot more than just collect data. You can get really creative with this tool, even in its free, basic form. If you have the budget, it’s worthwhile purchasing a ‘Gold’ subscription. For $29 per month (or $348 per year), you can take your ‘surveys’ that extra mile. Oakleigh Grammar uses Survey Monkey for our Business Directory submissions, internal room bookings and even latest news story submissions!
Get started here: https://www.surveymonkey.com
Eventbrite is a free platform that allows event organizers to plan, promote, and sell tickets to events and publish them across Facebook, Twitter and other social-networking tools directly from the site’s interface.
Within the platform you can track the number of ‘hits’ your event receives within a certain week, day and month, manage your guest lists, print name tags and so much more.
You are not limited to large scale paid events for your organisation within Eventbrite – you can use it for smaller scale internal events as well, and even go so far as to make an event page ‘private’ (only available to those who have the direct link). Oakleigh Grammar uses the platform for RSVPs to School Tours & Open Days and takes advantage of the customisable ticket sale form, collecting vital market research data with each registration. We have also used the tool for a number of private, internal events for Staff and/or Parents only.
Eventbrite is mostly free – the only time you pay is when you run an event with paid tickets and you opt to absorb the ticket sale fee, which is 2.5% of the ticket cost (alternatively you can choose that the ticket buyers wear that cost).
Set up your account here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/