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50 Free or Low-Cost Apps for Small Businesses

For many small businesses, keeping up with all of the latest tools and apps can be tough. So, we’ll make it a bit easier for you.

Here are 50 low-cost tools and applications to check out today.

The best part is that many are completely free!

  1. Around Me – Search for the nearest restaurants, banks, gas stations, hotels, and more. Time is money and when travelling for business, this app will help.
  2. Award Wallet – Travel a lot for business and have too many reward programs to keep track of? Track it all and stay organized and in sync with your rewards.
  3. 1ShoppingCart  – Build, sell and grow your ecommerce storefront.  You can try out the tool for one month at no cost.
    1Shopping Cart
  4. Beesy – This low cost app enables you to take meeting notes and has automated To-Do lists as well as some nifty Task/Project Management
  5. Bizzabo – A mobile networking app for events and conferences to keep attendees, organizers and sponsors engaged. You can learn who will be attending in advance and make plans accordingly.
  6. Bump – This free app enables to smart phone users to actually bump their phones together to transfer contact information, photos, files, etc.
  7. Camera Awesome – The name alone is cool. This free app is touted as one of the best photo editors. Even the Wall Street Journal has endorsed it.
  8. Cloze – Overcome “inbox overload” and filter through the noise to get to those critical emails.
  9. Converter Plus – This free app not only helps you with currency conversion, but also comes with a mortgage calculator, fuel consumption tools, and more.
  10. Dashlane – Need a password manager and secure digital wallet for devices? This free app might be just what you are looking for.
  11. Dictionary.com – Need a dictionary and thesaurus on the go? This free app is the way to go. A bonus, you don’t need internet while searching words!
  12. Doodle – This low cost app is a great tool if you are in the position of setting up meetings with people in different locations, businesses, etc. Doodle app enables you to poll invitees to determine which date and time best accommodates people.Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 7.24.30 PM
  13. Dropbox – Another great free app that lets you store your files, including photos in the Cloud.  Access them anywhere and share with anyone. You will never have to worry about forgetting a thumb drive again. Or, if you can’t make a meeting, your colleague can access that all-important presentation and deliver it for you.
  14. EasilyDo – Your free personal assistant that checks traffic before your commute, checks weather, tracks packages, lets you know when there is an important date you need to celebrate and more.
  15. Blogger – Create your own free blog in minutes and leverage your other Google products to help promote.
  16. Evernote – Another free app that enables you take notes, make lists, sync files across devices and stores everything in the Cloud.
  17. Facebook Pages – Want to engage with your customers, stakeholders and community in general?  Set up a Facebook page to share information and communicate real-time.
  18. Find My iPhone – Not just for your iPhone, but really any Mac Product, this free app is one that you want to have. If you have ever lost your phone, you know the feeling of fear.  Help mitigate loss with this app.
  19. FlipBoard – Curate the news the way you like it in one place with this free app.
  20. Gate Guru – The winner of numerous Best Travel or Airport Apps, this freebee let’s you view your Tripit and Kayak itineraries, view/post airport security waiting times, see a structured list of airport food, shops, etc.
  21. Gmail – Looking for free email, with real-time notifications, multiple account support and more? Check out Gmail.
  22. Google Docs – Want an easy way to share documents with colleagues and be able to edit together simultaneously? With free Google docs you can be in one part of the world while a colleague or client is in another sharing and updating the same document.
  23. Google Hangout – Can’t make the meeting? Use Google Hangout to meet with up to 10 different people while seeing them online at no cost. Share information, photos and more all from the convenience of your office, or even the airport.
  24. Google+ – Looking for a social channel that is different and offers you the flexibility of distribution lists (circles) magazine style viewing on your tablet? Check out Google+.
  25. Google Translate – What a free and easy way to translate messages, signs or social posts?  Google translate offers both text and audio translations.
  26. Instagram – This free app enables you to take photos and video and then apply filters to improve the product, which is perfect for blogs, websites, and more.
  27. Lemon Wallet – Store digital copies of your credit cards, ID, etc. all for free in this app.
  28. Mozy – Looking for an industry leader in online backup? Mozy is a free app that helps you securely access all your backed-up files
  29. ooVoo – Need to conduct video calls? Check out this free app and join ore than 70 million other video chatters.
  30. PCalc Lite – Looking for a calculator that has more capability than the standard one on your device. This free app gives you a scientific calculator.
  31. Perfect365 – Looking to make people picture perfect for your website, blog, etc.  Perfect365 is a free app that offers one-tap makeovers, photo editing and more.
  32. Photo Editor by Aviary – Another great free option to edit your online photos.  Supported by multiple languages and numerous devices, the reviews are good for this app.
  33. Pic Collage – Looking to dress up your photos for your website, blog, newsletter or other collateral? Check out this free app!
  34. Pic Stitch – Want a different photo editor? Pic Stitch is a free app that creates interesting visuals.
  35. Podcasts App – Want an easy way to access your favorite Podcasts to stay up-to-date on trends and news? Want to customize your own station with your favorite podcasts? Check the free Podcasts app!
  36. Skype – Need to connect with a client or colleague and want to talk face-to-face? Or perhaps SMS?  Check out Skype’s free tools. Upgrade to the paid version and get more options.
  37. Skyscanner – Looking for an easy way to compare flights and costs? Check out this free app!  More than 20 million people are using this app to get better and cheaper flights.
  38. Square – Need a quick and easy way to process credit cards? Why not use your smart phone with this free app. They will even give you the free card reader!
  39. Survey Monkey – Want to get the pulse of your market or a sample at least? Try Survey Monkey. Create you own surveys on your schedule. Their free version lets you create a survey with up to 10 questions. Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 7.23.12 PM
  40. Tripit – Need to keep all your travel plans in one place, plus share with key people? Check out Tripit’s free app.
  41. Tumblr – Looking for a place to host your blog?  Tumblr may be your spot. This free resource hosts more than 108.2 million blogs.
  42. Twitter – Want quick news bites and to share quick news bites about your company in 140 Characters or less? Set up your free Twitter account.
  43. Viber Media – Want to connect with people around the world by phone for free? Then check out this free app.
  44. Vine – If you are looking for an interesting way to showcase your company with six-second videos, Vine could be your free resource. Be sure to sign up for Twitter first, if you haven’t thought.
  45. Wave Accounting – Like many small businesses, you need accounting! Why not try this free accounting software with unlimited invoicing, collaboration options and more.
    Wave Accounting
  46. Waze Maps – Looking for free GPS navigation with turn by turn? Waze may be your app.
  47. Weave –  This free Project Management tool will keep your organized and in the know of what is happening with your business.
  48. Wikipedia – This free online encyclopedia is a great resource that is used by researchers and general information seekers. Create your own Wiki page to showcase your business’ history and expertise.
  49. WordPress – A great free resource to help you create great blogs. With a variety of plug-ins, this is a great tool for your blog.
  50. XE Currency – Have the need to convert currency quickly? Check out this free app.

Don’t overlook how technology can support small business growth. With the right tech, you can grow faster, scale more efficiently, and delight customers faster. For more tips on communication, marketing and collaboration for the small business, be sure to check us out at TaylorMade Solutions.

 

6 Tips to Market to the Start-up Entrepreneur (& the #1 Way)

I don’t care where you are located, start-ups and the people who do start-ups – the entrepreneurs – are all the rage.  Everyone wants to be a part of the next great start-up.  And, why not?  It can be pretty damned cool working for or with a start-up.  But start-up entrepreneurs can be hard to reach.  How do marketers reach them?  Here are 6 tips to market to the start-up entrepreneur.Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 4.20.04 PM

Like all marketers I had assumptions and beliefs about what works and what doesn’t.  So, I wanted to test my theory.  I asked 20 start-up entrepreneurs to take a short survey.  I wanted to know where do they look for information, who influences them and what influences them.

6. What type of advertising do you notice

This is an interesting question in and of itself.  I didn’t ask what influences them, but rather what do they notice.

Interestingly enough in this group it was ads on buses.  In fact, 71% noticed these ads.  Online pop-up ads were second getting the attention of 43% of my sample group.  Tied for last place were ads in local newspapers and/or in newsletters.  In fact, only 14% noticed these ads.

5. Do Ads Influence Entrepreneurs?

Now, this is the question that is really important to all marketers! Are my ads influencing you?  Will I woo you to my brand versus my competitor with my clever and witty ads?  Sadly the answer is a resounding no from my sample.  Nearly 72% indicated that ads do not influence them.

4. How about trust?  Do Entrepreneurs trust our ads?

Again, I was pretty certain about what I would get for answers to this question.  In the words of Erik Qualman, only 14% of consumers trust tv ads.  My survey was more focused and 58% acknowledged that they don’t trust advertisements in general.

3. How do you feel about promotional materials (hats, t-shirts, pens, etc.)

I have my own personal feeling about promotional items and it is quite strong. For me, unless it is something amazing, I likely don’t take it.  If I have to take it and I am travelling I leave it for housekeeping.  As a marketer, I always hope that people are not like me in this regard, but they are.  In fact, 57% felt that promotional items were a waste of money.  And, most importantly marketers, not one person indicated that promotional items had any influence on them when it came to wanting to work with one brand versus another.

2. So, where do Entrepreneurs go looking for information?

Well, according to my survey nearly 72% visit blogs.  Surprisingly for me though, is that 57% also go to government sources.  Perhaps this should not be too surprising as many start-ups are seeking funding grants and programs for such things as payroll, and yup, you guessed it: marketing funds!

 1. So, what is the best way to reach Start-up Entrepreneurs and better yet, influence them?

Are you ready for it?  As a marketer if you are surprised by this, we really, really need to chat.  The #1 thing that influences the start-up entrepreneur are referrals by peers.  In this instance, entrepreneurs are not that different from the rest of us.  Check out this great survey result from marketingcharts.com.  Their results indicate that 84% of respondents trust peer results.  My survey netted 100% results.

Second to referrals were…and a drum roll and again if you are surprised, we need to talk……blogs.  Nearly 72% said that they are influenced by blogs from peers and/or experts.

Social media discussion groups were third at 43%.

So, if you want to reach and influence start-up entrepreneurs, dump the traditional marketing approach of push, push, push the message and adopt a solid content marketing strategy.  Be sure to make Influencer Relations a part of that overall strategy!