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7 Free Resources for Entrepreneurs

When you’re first starting out as an entrepreneur, it’s ever so tempting to buy things to make running your business easier. There is an endless supply of apps, computer programs, design services, virtual assistants, etc. that all the seasoned entrepreneurs have. And boy, wouldn’t that be nice. 

But here’s the thing: when you’re first starting out, spending a bunch of money on these convenient luxuries isn’t always feasible.

I know. Life sucks a little.

There is some clout to the old saying you have to spend money to make money, but there is also something to be said for spending smart and saving when possible. Sure, there are things that I consider to be 100% necessary for starting and growing a new business, but I have found that there are many free alternatives to paid programs that work great when you’re just starting out. I have compiled a list of seven FREE resources for entrepreneurs that are incredibly valuable when starting a new business. Let them work for you while you focus on what you do best.



7 Free Resources for Entrepreneurs 

1.Mailerlite. I cannot stress enough just how important it is to have a mailing list. Having an avenue to directly reach your customers any time that you want is invaluable to your business, and luckily for us entrepreneurs, there are a handful of email providers that offer free email services up to a certain number of subscribers. Mailerlite happens to be my favorite for multiple reasons, but sticking to the point of this post, it is free up to 1,000 subscribers and includes things that other providers charge extra for such as automation and web forms.

Once you’re past 1,000 subscribers, the monthly cost for Mailerlite is still extremely manageable, starting at just $15 a month.

Check out Mailerlite for yourself, here!



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2. Canva. Possibly my favorite resource on this entire list is Canva. Branding is a HUGE part of business, whether we like it or not. From your logo to your colors to your website to your marketing materials, there is a ton of design work that goes into owning a business…and Canva makes it SO easy. Choose from hundreds of design templates or create your own using custom dimensions and colors. And because it’s so easy to use, you can tweak, adjust and redo whatever you want as often as you want.

Just a few examples of things you can create using Canva…

  1. Graphics for social media posts: Canva’s social media design templates already have sizing for each platform built in, which takes the painfully annoying guesswork out of trying to design things to share on your socials.

  2. Presentations: Speaking at an event and need a kick-ass presentation to go along with what you’re saying? Canva gives PowerPoint a run for its money.

  3. Marketing Materials: Letterhead, business cards, flyers, brochures, coupons, posters…basically anything office related, Canva’s got you covered.

Check out all that Canva has to offer, here!

Related Reading: 26 Things to Create for Your Business/Blog Using Canva *this will open in a new tab so you won’t lose your place on this post!*

3. Pinterest. Myth: Pinterest is only for crafters and interior designers. Admittedly, there was a time where I saw no point in using Pinterest for my business, and I couldn’t have been more wrong…especially considering that Pinterest is the second highest referrer of traffic to my website! Pinterest is a search engine just like Google, which means if your content is on Pinterest, you have an increased chance of customers finding your business. Creating a business page on Pinterest is easy, FREE and absolutely worth your time.

Explore Pinterest here!

4. Google Analytics: If I’m being truthful, I hate analytics. Spreadsheets, line graphs and numbers in general give me a rash. BUT, if you are a business owner and you have a website, (which you absolutely should, as discussed in Why Your Business NEEDS a Website) it’s a necessary evil to review your site analytics regularly.

There are hundreds of plugins that you can use to analyze your website traffic (admittedly, I’ve tried a number of them to avoid having to learn my way around Google Analytics) but none of them are nearly as comprehensive as Google Analytics. It provides such a wealth of information that even a gal who hates numbers has geeked out over it a time or two. A few cool things Google Analytics will show you…

  1. Visitors to your site: How many active users are on  your site at that very moment, how many have visited your site in the last day/week/month/year, how many of those visitors are new/returning, how long those visitors spent on your site, how many pages they viewed, etc.

  2. Referrals to your site: This is how you tell how viewers are finding your website. If they ended up on your website through something they clicked on another website, Google Analytics tells you. My top referral sources are organic search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing…does anyone actually use Bing?!), Pinterest, Facebook and LinkedIn.

There are SO many other things you can learn about your website using Google Analytics if you really want to dig. And, once again, it’s FREE!



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to the Free Resource Library!

The ASBE Resource Library includes checklists, ebooks, worksheets and other freebies to help you start up, stand out & grow your business + income.





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5. Dropbox: You never realize how much STUFF goes into owning a business…until you own a business. Documents, photos, videos, graphics, etc. – all necessary, all stored on your computer. A few problems with this: all of that important, necessary stuff, is slowly but surely bogging down your computer. Maybe it’s just impatient little me, but I HATE a slow computer. I also strongly dislike when I go to share a set of photos or a video, and my email server delivers the news that what I’m trying to send is way too large for an email to handle. These are the types of inconveniences that we as business owners just don’t have time for. But luckily, I found an ah-mazing solution: Dropbox.

Dropbox’s basic account is totally free, and offers users 2GB of space for storing things. 2GB isn’t a huge amount, but plenty to store those items that you need to constantly share, or that you don’t have room for on your computer. And like Mailerlite, once you exceed the space from the basic account and need to upgrade, the pricing is still affordable.

6. Quickbooks Self-Employed App: Taxes aren’t much more fun than analytics are. But, like I said before, necessary evil. There’s this amazing thing called write-offs, which end up saving you money at tax time (if you’ve keep correct records all year). As much as I don’t like admitting my imperfections, I’ve committed to being transparent to my readers. Which means I have to openly admit that I have about 4 billion pieces of paper laying around my office at all times. So when someone suggests “keeping a paper log with all of my business mileage for the year” I have to resist the urge to laugh/cry. That just isn’t realistic (for me) and there has GOT TO BE a better way. *In walks the Quickbooks Self-Employed app*

I learned about this special little friend last year after filing my taxes. TurboTax recommended I use this to make my life easier…it’s like they actually know me. It has been a LIFESAVER. There are different sections of the app where you can input transactions (spending vs. income), mileage, invoices and tax information. Each month it calculates how much you made and how much you spent for your business, and it even gives you quarterly tax estimates! EXTREMELY easy to use and so unbelievably valuable. Download yours directly to your phone from the app store!

7. Stock photos: Free stock photos are quite possibly one of the best resources there are. Sure, some business owners might also be amazingly talented photographers, but I, unfortunately, am not one of them. Stock photos can be an insanely valuable tool for your marketing efforts. Let’s say you’re a dog walker and you want to start doing some neighborhood canvassing. So you decide to design a door hanger that you’re going to leave at each of your neighbors’ houses – loves it.

We live in an extremely visual world, and people would much rather look at a photo than read a bunch of text. So if you have a marketing piece with an awesome photo that helps explain what you’re offering, you’re ahead of the game, friend.

But, going back to my earlier point, not all of us have the talent/time/resources to take our own photos (and have them look professional), which is where stock photos come into play. There are THOUSANDS of high quality, unique, totally free stock photos available online and ready to download. My current favorite stock photo site is O-Dan.net. It pulls photos from hundreds of other stock photo sites and organizes them into one convenient location. All you have to do is search what you’re looking for, browse through the results, download the one you want and BOOM! You’re done.

If you do  have the time/talent/resources to do all your own photography, that is awesome and I’m totally jealous. But if you’re like the rest of us…stock photos are your new bestie.

7 Free Resources for Entrepreneurs: The Recap

“You have to spend money to make money.” True. But, you also have to make money to be able to spend money. See what the problem may be here? When starting out with your business, it’s extremely tempting to purchase all the bells and whistles that the other experts in your field are using. But while you’re getting your footing and working on growing your business, these free resources can be extremely valuable.



  1. Mailerlite

  2. Canva

  3. Pinterest

  4. Google Analytics

  5. Dropbox

  6. Quickbooks Self-Employed App

  7. Stock Photos



GET INSTANT ACCESS

to the Free Resource Library!

The ASBE Resource Library includes checklists, ebooks, worksheets and other freebies to help you start up, stand out & grow your business + income.





Submit

Want more resources and tools to grow your business? Get access to my Free Resource Library below!


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