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    Free business tools to help you flourish

    Every dollar counts for a small business, especially for fledgling entrepreneurs. The upfront investment it can take to launch a business makes penny-pinching a necessity. That’s why putting capital into basic business essentials, like a website, advertising or communication software, is a big decision.

    Fortunately, there are myriad free tools for the everyday entrepreneur. Of course, these tools have limitations. If you have the budget for a consultant or a paid service, there are amazing options as well. 

    Here are four to help your business grow without breaking the bank.

    Build a website with Wix

    Every business needs a website, especially when it’s attempting to grow and get off the ground. But not every entrepreneur has the coding or website experience to create one from scratch. That’s how Wix can be a lifesaver.

    Wix doesn’t offer a lot of customization, but it’s a great resource to get a basic website up and running. Its site creator is extremely intuitive. All for no cost, you can create your own desktop and mobile site with plenty of features.

    If you’re using the free service, your URL will end with a “.wix.com,” which can look unpolished. But for a small fee, you can buy your own URL at GoDaddy or HostGator Web Hosting and reroute the URL to your Wix site.

    Email marketing with MailChimp

    Email marketing has become popular among small business owners and marketers. MailChimp has emerged as one of the favorite free tools. It’s a one-stop shop for all your email contacts and newsletter designs. If you have fewer than 2,000 subscribers and send fewer than 12,000 messages per month, the service is completely free.

    Mailchimp’s drag-and-drop email designer makes it easy to craft your message, and you can build sign-up forms to boost your subscriber count from other websites. As for analytics, the free version presents open rates and compares them with industry averages.  

    Advertising with Google

    Google has plenty of free tools for business owners, like Google Analytics for websites or Google Cloud for storage, but perhaps its best and easiest feature to use is the Google My Business profile. You can post hours, location and pricing information, share pictures, and even a deliver a virtual tour to anyone who comes across your business on the search engine.

    Considering that Google is the most-visited webpage on the internet, it’s only a plus to have your information available. Entering your website on your profile could also offer a boost in search engine optimization, allowing you to be found more often.  

    Communication with Skype

    Face-to-face communication in business is critical, especially in today’s world of social media and instant messaging. Skype is a free option for those looking to talk with partners, clients or employees face-to-face without travel costs.

    The Wi-Fi-based program makes it easy to call other computers and phones around the world, although you’ll have to spend a little to connect with others who don’t use Skype.

    Now that you’ve got some free tools to boost your business profile and capabilities, you can worry about the nuts and bolts of your operation.