In the face of fierce competition and ever-evolving technology, the modern business owner is tasked with running a company that’s both lean and ready to adapt. Thankfully, there’s plenty of software out there to help entrepreneurs invest in their businesses without breaking the bank.
Obviously, there are a number of paid software solutions worth investing in. For example, credit card processing tools such as Quickbooks or virtual data rooms like Firmex are robust and are more than worthy of their price tag; however, SMBs should take advantage of freeware alongside such paid services. From project organization to SEO and beyond, it’s easier than ever to run a powerful business on a budget.
Utilized by approximately 25% of all sites on the web, WordPress has established itself as the premiere CMS available today. From niche blogs to storefronts, WordPress’ flexibility and various design functionalities make it ideal for just about any industry, whether you’re trying to build an audience or push a new product.
With common plug-ins such as Yoast, which allows users edit live previews of their on-page SEO efforts, such as meta descriptions, readability and keyword density, WordPress is a must-have for anyone looking to build a solid web presence and look good doing it.
Organization can be the bane of budding business owners attempting to manage the moving pieces of their various projects. Thankfully, the emergence of project management software such as Trello is working to keep those pieces in order.
Trello’s interface is both intuitive and easy to use, allowing users to “funnel” their various projects and place them in particular phases.
For example, let’s say you’re managing various content writers and want to see where they are in the various stages of completing their articles. As the content manager, you can track your writers as they to shift their work from “In Progress” to “Completed” to “Revising” (and so on). In addition, users can upload files and leave comments within the platform.
Trello is an especially useful tool if you’re managing multiple colleagues or relationships across multiple projects. With millions of users and the promise to be free forever, Trello is definitely worth checking out regardless of your industry.
Moz (formerly SEO Moz) is perhaps best known for their in-depth SEO tools and willingness to educate the public regarding best practices when it comes to search engines. In short, the MozBar (also known as the Moz Toolbar) is a browser extension that assigns an “SEO score” to a particular page or domain.
The MozBar is incredibly useful when trying to determine “high authority” sites for linking and outreach purposes. For example, a relatively unknown or new site might have a score of 4, whereas Time.com or CNN.com, which have been around for a long time and have plenty of in-bound and out-bound links, rank at 96 and 98, respectively.
While the toolbar score isn’t the end-all, be-all of what a site is “worth,” it’s a solid indicator of how sites are viewed by search engines and whether or not they’re considered “authoritative” in your space. This is especially helpful when writing link-heavy content or finding high quality sites for outreach.
Beyond the software mentioned above, there are plenty of free options out there for business owners looking to grow their companies online. Between the numerous solutions offered by Google (between their Keyword Planner to Google Docs and beyond) to free versions of paid platforms such as MailChimp (for those wanting to get their feet wet with email marketing), the modern business has more flexibility with their budget than ever before.