With the rampant pandemic and plummeting business indexes around the globe, both large corporations and small businesses are struggling. The pandemic has proven to be a crucible for all operations of a business, from manufacturing to research to all the way to marketing. Small businesses have gotten the raw end of the deal as they did not have enough resources to smoothly adapt to the changing work landscape.
Now, operations for small businesses are expensive than ever. And without a solid revenue stream, there is no chance of survival for them.
In this post, we will go through some resources for small businesses that can help them in wading through these trying times.
So, let’s dive right into free business resources!
US Small Business Administration (SBA)
If your small business is operating out of the US, you are in luck. The US Small Business Administration is the ultimate holy grail of free resources for small business owners, such as tips, articles, funding opportunities, etc. On top of that, it has business planning worksheets to streamline the processes of a business, either established or just starting out. These come in extremely handy during funding rounds.
Experienced entrepreneurs can get free counseling at any time of the year. The best part – in most cases, businesses are eligible for some sort of fundin g through SBA channels. So, checking out this one of the free business resources is a must.
Google My Business (GMB)
As the name indicates, this is a free business indexing and marketing tool by Google. The sign-up is free, and almost self-mandatory, for businesses to ensure that users who are using Google Search, which are in billions, can find your business.
In addition to adding your authentic NAP, you can multimedia such as photos and menus on your profile.
Listing your business on GMB also gives you an extreme edge in SEO. Studies have shown that those companies who had complete and optimized profiles on GMB fared extremely well on the SEO front.
WordPress is one of the leading website-building tools in the world right now. It offers both free and paid options to its clients to build an intuitive website for their businesses. If you think your business is not web-based and can do without a website, it is time to revisit that premise.
From free templates to professional website building plug-ins, WordPress has it all. You can start with a free option that can still get your business started in the virtual world. As you move along, you can pay a premium for advanced site-building and in-house marketing services.
Crowd Funding Platforms
Crowd funding is a hassle-free way for a business to secure finances from investors. There are many platforms that are free because they do not charge upfront for just signing up. Once you secure your funding, they will take the fee from the money raised. The most popular option in this field is Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
Patreon is a great choice for businesses with predominantly content-based operations.
Yelp for Businesses
Yelp is a famous business directory but Yelp for Business is one of the free resources for small business owners. It basically provides a separate dashboard to businesses once they are listed, where they can handle review and optimize profile according to needs. Moreover, analytics section helps them how their business profiles are performing on Yelp. You can contact them for more information and queries.
CityLocal Pro Approaches To Help Businesses
CityLocal Pro is yet another online business directory helping small businesses grow, with millions of site visits every month.
Small businesses, especially with a local storefront, can benefit a lot from CityLocal Pro as it uses local metrics for lead generation and conversion.
Their approaches to connect your local business with your target audience are effective. One such example is their Top Pros Pages. They list great businesses here automatically but you can always request them to get featured here for free. These pages are optimized against highly searched specific service with in a city. So, getting listed here is of no harm but benefits. This is one of the reasons that it wins a section in this article as one of the resources for small businesses to generate leads, for branding, reputation building, and more.
You can contact them for free consultation and to learn what more they have for you.
Graphic Designing Tools
Graphic Design has come a long way in the last decade or so, thanks to its immense popularity and the development of new AI-based tools. Since you will need to market your business by wading through the tricky waters of the web and social media, a free graphic designing tool is a must.
Canva is a free tool with a very user-friendly UI and processes. This is the best option if you do not have a big budget for marketing or necessary graphic designing experience. Canva offers free templates for logos, cover images, etc.
After being done with all the website-building and graphic designing, it is time to show the world what you have accomplished. Mailchimp is extremely popular in demand for its free email marketing options. For reference, a business can send over 12,000 emails to 2,000 subscribers without any charge.
Apart from conventional email marketing tools, it also offers metrics and analytical tools to gauge the success of your campaigns.
No sign-ups and log-ins and you can schedule a meeting with your whole team. This is perfect for a company with “full-time freelancers on the roster”.
It takes literally seconds for the participants to fill out the form and then they will be reminded in advance for the meeting. The name may sound silly but it is a professional tool for effective team building through seamless scheduling.
There are many free platforms that allow users to interact and collaborate creatively. For the best experience, you are better of with Google Drive and Evernote. Both are owned by Google and allows a remote team or share and work on collective projects with ease and efficiency.
With Google Drive, you get free online tools such as Google Meet for conferencing, Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. As a cherry on top, it has 15 GB of free storage.
There are plenty of free communication tools to go around but Slack has come a long way from its contemporaries. It is now a standard in both large firms and small businesses to get in touch with a coworker. It has a lot to offer in terms of customized group creation with multiple users, file sharing options, and messages directly in a secure way to any individual in the group.
Small companies are often tight on budget and can use free business resources whenever they get their hands on one. In the case of a great one, there is no way around it. The resources for small businesses discussed in this post are highly reliable for business research, funding, communications, marketing, etc. So, take a deep look at them and pick those that serve your business the best.