• Gina G. Scala

6 Free Online Tools for the Small Business Owner

We all know that one person who takes the road less traveled. I am proud to say that’s me. It takes me longer to arrive but I get there and on my terms (kind of stubborn). Along the way, I learn new things – some out of necessity; other curiosity.

Writers are a jack-of-all-trades (though, it sometimes feels like master of none). Owning my own business has proven that true more times than not, and I am OK with it. Being self-taught is something that should be lauded; not judged. So, this week’s blog highlights some of my favorite free online apps that help me conquer everyday challenges as a small business owners.

  1. Adobe Photoshop Express: Photoshop is always my go-to app/program for playing with photos. Although, there are some serious limitations with the free version. It gets the job done, and its user friendly. So, if you’re not artistically or technically savvy, this app is a great place to start. You really can’t go wrong.

  2. PicMonkey: This was recommended to me as a great app to fill in where the free version of Adobe Photoshop Express falls short. Two words: LOVE IT. I use this exclusively for adding an overlay to photos. It’s simple. The app offers more than what I use it for but I can live without all the bells and whistles that come from a paid version.

  3. LunaPic: If you want/need to remove background from an image it doesn’t get any easier than this app. OMG; simple. It’s also great for resizing photos. Everything about this is user friendly. I haven’t played with the other elements that much (mostly because I just rediscovered it the other day).

  4. Gramblr: This allows you to schedule Instagram posts from your desktop, and it connects with other social media sites. Super easy. Love it! If you haven’t already checked it out, do it now! It’s awesome. You may even want to drop your paid social media scheduling apps. Just a thought!

  5. Pandadoc: Full disclosure: free trial offer. It's worth it. I don't think you need to subscribe as long as you get what you need during your free trial. For me, it was about getting off the white paper (yes, even we need help sometimes). Once, I had a place to start. I was good to go. Now, that doesn't mean I won't change my mind and subscribe in the future.

  6. Social Mention – Keeping track of your social media presence can be difficult – even with an editorial calendar. This app tracks any mention of your business online. It's also a great way to keep up with the competition and industry leaders.

Final Thought:

My two cents: if there’s a free app and it works for you: use it. In fact, try similar apps until you find one that saves you time and money. Caution - don’t put all your eggs in one basket; you’re able to miss some great new tools.