They say that you can't build an empire on freebies (btw I completely agree with that!) but it is a fantastic starting point for any business. It allows you to explore, test and find the best solution to your problem - for free.
There are so many apps on the market today targeting business owners, freelancers and entrepreneurs, all with the promise of making our lives easier, more efficient and having the control of our business on-the-go, that it makes it difficult not to miss the good ones.
I don't know about you, but I lost count of all the apps that I have signed-up for and deleted or simply forgot about shortly after.
But there are some that stick with me!
Get your notes ready, here is the list of my top 6 free apps that I use daily in my consulting business and the reasons why have I fallen in love with every single one of them:
Canva is a graphic design platform that allows users to create social media graphics, presentations, posters and other visual content.It is extremely simple to use, loaded with templates for you to use! I love that you don't need any particular skills to use it and great results.
I'm sure that pretty soon I will take the plunge and go for the paid version. Not because the app forces you to upgrade, au contraire, the free version is fabulous on its own but loving what I get for free makes me wonder how amazing must be the paid version? (by the way, this works for any business, don't be afraid to give the good stuff away for free, people always want more!!)
2. Hubspot - get all your customer relationship management to one place. I couldn't believe how robust is the FREE version!
Hubspot is an insanely good CRM database (customer relationship database) that I adopted from the start of my consulting business. If you don't know what CRM is and if your business needs one, I really encourage you to have a look into this. I'm adding a couple of links related to the subject to the bottom of this post so you can go through and get a better idea.
There is a lot of gadgets and apps on the market that will track the time you spend on projects but I love this one in particular because of its features: you can track time by client, by project or by user (great for team management) and you get instant reports.
It helps me keep track and manage my time spent on projects and the cases when I bill by the hour.
I also recommended this app to a few persons that I know, that were constantly complaining that they don't know where their time goes. Working all day but their projects are not progressing much...
Well, here is a good one, mark and track everything you do during your day for a week and you will know instantly what you really spend your time on (hello Instagram).
Do you write a lot for your business? Then drop everything you do right now and get grammarly, it is so worth it!
This app basically makes sure that everything you write is easy to read, effective and mistake-free. As I am typing this text I have a score on my screen rating the quality of my text, measured against 5 goals: correctness, clarity, engagement and delivery.
Interestingly enough, my engagement rating dropped with this paragraph to 'A bit bland.' Ouch!!
What is a screencasting, you are probably asking right now? Screencasting is where you narrate a video recording of your computer screen. I use it when I am requested to give feedback on websites.
It's the perfect way when you need to record: just your face, just your screen, or both.
I'm adding a great article on Loom and how to use it to the bottom of this post.
The FREE version is limited by 100 participants, which is completely fine in my case but also the time, 40 minutes limit for group meetings.
I use ZOOM for my consultations, love the possibility of recording the session and send the link back to my client. When complex topics are discussed it allows them to focus on our conversation rather than taking notes.
I will, however, need to find a solution for my upcoming webinars. Either I upgrade to ZOOM Pro or remain to ride for free and use Youtube webinar option.
Now that I shared my top 6 applications that I use for my small consulting business, I am curious... What applications do you find indispensable for your business?
Are you tempted to get any of my recommended top 6?
Would you like to find a way how to stay focused, efficient and motivated in the long term, achieve your objectives and bring your business to the next level? Ask about my private accelerator program.
Don't forget to sign up for the newsletter so you can enjoy useful tips and practical freebies for your business.
All the best,
Links related to the article:
This is not a sponsored post and there are no affiliated links in this article.