37 (Mostly Free) Software Solutions to Grow Your Business
BY Carly J. Cais
December 14, 2022
Early-stage startups and SMBs have one thing in common: a relentless effort to maintain a healthy bottom line. To achieve this, small teams end up stretching themselves too thin by wearing too many hats. Having free software solutions at your disposal can be a game-changer in growing your business.
The good news is that modern technology has come a long way and a lot of B2B SaaS tools are optimized to serve even the most cash-strapped business. We have compiled a list of 37 mostly free software solutions that will help you grow your business. But remember that not all of these are free forever. Some have free trials and some free plans have fewer features and usage restrictions. So choose wisely.
If you’re a digital business, you will enjoy the link shortening and tracking capabilities of Bitly. It enables you to analyze how your links are performing and identify the touchpoints. The free plan is good enough for the most important features — link history tracking and workflow integration.
Buffer is one of the earliest and to this day one of the best social media scheduler apps you can use for your business. The free plan allows you to edit and schedule 10 posts at a time in 3 accounts — ideal for small businesses looking to automate social media posts.
Canva has quickly risen to be the go-to design platform and we recommend this free software solution to everyone. The free plan offers thousands of templates, design types, stock visuals, and collaborative features to get your design team off the ground.
As a business owner, you might be drowning in calls and meetings every day. Calendly solves the problem by offering an efficient and easy-to-use meeting scheduler to help you stay on top of your calendar. The free plan allows you to embed Calendly in your website, make unlimited one-off calls and connect popular calendars.
If you’re struggling to be at your productive best, Clockify will help you. It’s one of the most popular time tracking apps for teams. As a free software solution the it already comes with robust time management features so you don’t need to look elsewhere, and you can upgrade for more features.
Project management is a crowded market but ClickUp has made a name for itself by bringing chat, projects, docs, and goals under one platform. The free plan is powerful enough for most teams but you can remove the usage restrictions by going for a paid plan.
Coolors.co is a fun and easy way to pick color palettes for your business. The free plan allows you to generate palettes for up to 5 colors and pick colors from images which should help businesses finalize their brand accents. It’s one free software solution you won’t need to pay for!
If you want to take your competitor analysis to the next level, Eyedropper should be your friend. It’s a free chrome extension that allows you to pick and identify colors from any web page. Together with WhatFont, Eyedropper makes branding strategy easier for up-and-coming brands.
For businesses that are using Facebook Messenger to collect leads, Genius Messenger CRM is a useful tool. It turns Messenger into a sales pipeline for you to nurture and close deals. It works on most popular browsers and has a 7-day free trial.
Google’s free apps are easy to use and collaborate with remote teams. From Gmail, Drive, Calendar, Meet, Chat to Sheets, Docs, Notes, and Slides, there’s an app for every task. If you have subscribed to Google Workspace you’ll enjoy enhanced features across the board.
Google Data Studio turns website data into useful visuals and insights. It’s a great way for business owners to connect with 800+ datasets including Google Analytics and Google Ads. The best thing about Data Studio is that it’s completely free to use.
Google Analytics offers an URL builder that’s perfect for building UTM parameters to URLs. This way you can track and measure individual campaigns without any hassle. Just like most Google products, this one’s also free.
Google My Business has quickly become an all-in-one dashboard for people looking to know more about your business. It’s free and easy to set up and helps you gain SEO visibility and generate leads.
If you’re looking to understand how the fastest-growing companies are pulling off mind-blowing numbers and how you can get ahead of them, you’ll love Growjo’s curated lists. Growjo publishes lists for free so you’re getting a lot of competitor information without paying a dime.
If you’re not a fan of Buffer, Hootsuite can be your solution for social media scheduling. The free plan includes 2 social accounts and 5 scheduled messages but you can opt for the Professional plan to enjoy seamless social media scheduling.
For the longest time, HubSpot has been the ideal platform for all things marketing, sales, and CRM. The primary reason is that HubSpot offers a host of free tools that help most SMBs and startups get basic things done.
Modern businesses run on extensive tech stacks. Sometimes, it becomes difficult to connect disparate apps to automate processes. IFTTT relies on the “if this then that” framework to link all apps together. The free plan comes with 5 applets, unlimited applet runs, and no-code integrations to automate workflows.
LinkedIn has become a popular platform for B2B brands to generate revenue. Inlytics helps you measure LinkedIn content performance so that you can fine-tune your brand presence. The free plan stores 30 days of data, offers basic analytics and 3 post schedules per month — enough to get started with your LinkedIn marketing.
Make is an uber-powerful integration app that seamlessly connects apps and automates workflows. It’s one of the most powerful and feature-rich automation tools out there. The free plan offers a drag and drop automation between 1000+ apps, real-time monitoring, and unlimited users.
Kapwing helps businesses up their video-editing skills with smart captioning and collaborative UI. It’s like Canva but for videos. The free plan offers a 250 MB upload limit, 3 hours of video exports, and no watermarks for 3 exports per month to expedite video content creation.
Loom has become the most popular way to quickly host and share videos for remote teams. The free plan of Loom offers up to 5 minutes long videos, free editing, video insights, screen recording, and cam bubbles, and 25 videos per person, which should be enough for businesses with small teams.
MailChimp is an all-in-one email marketing platform that has features curated for SMBs and startups. The free plan offers marketing CRM, a design assistant, a website builder, landing pages, and 10,000 emails per month. Note that MailChimp doesn’t mail to role-based email addresses such as [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], etc.
New businesses often struggle to deliver emails because ESPs cannot detect their IP reputation. MailGun is an SMTP-powered email platform that helps in email deliverability. It offers a free trial for 3 months where you can send 5000 emails per month, track and analyze sent emails, route inbound emails, and keep 5-day logs.
Mockflow makes it easy for companies to visualize their UI designs in real-time and wireframe ideas. It has a super easy editor, product design tools, and asset collaboration features. The free plan offers 1 UI drawing project and 5 reviews which is a good way to get started with Mockflow.
A lot of times images speak more than words. When you’re collaborating with teams, you can capture screenshots, record videos and annotate in real-time and download content with Nimbus Capture. It has free Chrome, Firefox, and Edge extensions for you to start using immediately.
Otter.ai makes live audio and video transcription a breeze. Its free plan is powerful enough to highlight keywords, smartly organize speakers, and add comments. The free plan also comes with a 600 minutes transcription limit per month and 30 minutes of duration per transcription.
A good document management and digital signage tool is a rarity. PandaDoc addresses the issue by editing and tracking invoices, forms, and proposals, and replicating workflows. The free plan offers robust eSignature features such as wet signatures, signature audit tracking, and unlimited uploads.
PhantomBuster is an automation and data extraction tool that can extract contact information for CRMs and social media. For instance, you can scrape the LinkedIn connections of any LinkedIn user for outreach campaigns. PhantomBuster has a 14-day free trial with 2 hours of automation and up to 5 chains of automation.
Publer is a hassle-free software solution and an all-around social media scheduler for small businesses. The free Publer plan includes 5 social accounts, 10 scheduled posts per account, 25 saved drafts, and 24-hour published post history — the features are adequate for you to amplify your social media marketing today.
Pocket is the world’s bookmark. If you’re too busy to read important pieces in the day but don’t want to miss them, you can save them in your Pocket library to revisit later. Pocket also recommends curated content according to your choices. It has been a free software from day 1 and has gradually grown into a full-fledged reading app. The premium features are nice but you can live without them.
Rytr is an AI-powered copywriting tool to help you get rid of writer’s block and speed up content creation. It can generate text outlines, product copy, email copy, and blog paragraphs while adapting specific tones and styles. It has a free plan that generates up to 5000 characters a month, in 30+ languages and use cases and comes with a built-in plagiarism checker.
Seamless.ai makes the job of finding sales leads and contact information of prospects easy and well — seamless. The free Chrome extension is excellent at automatically finding contact details from web pages and social media profiles and adding them to a CRM of your choice. Perfect for teams looking to save time in sales prospecting.
While ClickUp is all about powerful features, Trello takes a thoughtful approach to make sure teams don’t get overwhelmed. The free plan of Trello offers unlimited Kanban-style project management cards, 10 boards per workspace, unlimited power ups, storage activity logs, and up to 250 Workspace commands. It’s perfect for small teams to focus on things that matter most, and one of the best free software solutions out there.
If you have ever wondered what the awesome fonts people are using on their website, WhatFont can answer that for you. It’s a free Chrome extension that can detect font names just by hovering over letters and tells you the services used to serve the fonts.
WordPress is where 43% of the world’s websites are hosted. It has been a market leader for a long time and its free plan offers great flexibility to new businesses. WordPress.com is an all-in-one CMS tool that offers all the basic website functionalities but with WordPress branding all over the URLs and footers. If you want to use plugins, themes, and custom domains, you can save money by paying for WordPress.org which is a self-hosted solution.
Zapier is the leading automation and integration software that connects the dots between a wide range of applications and services at work. The free plan offers 100 tasks per month, with 5 automated workflows or Zaps, and single-step triggers. It’s a great starting point for companies with a simpler tech stack.
Zendesk is a powerful helpdesk and omnichannel customer support system that streamlines CS. It has a free ticketing system trial that lets you use features like ticket routing, website live chat, app integrations, API, analytics, custom branding, and more. Post the trial, the sales plan starts from $19/month per user.
If you have made it this far, you now have a solid list of free and almost free software solutions that will help your business grow. Alternatively, you can get in touch with a curated team of growth experts who can streamline your strategy and create a sustainable roadmap for your business.
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