Owning or working for a small business is full of joys: Seeing your business take off, working closely with a small team and watching your ideas flourish.
It’s not all a walk in the park, though. Small teams, limited budgets and not enough time in the day can make things challenging.
When every dollar counts, you have to take advantage of all the freebies you can get. Here’s a list you should take advantage of now.
Need to ship something out? The United States Postal Service offers free shipping materials. Get free boxes, forms, stickers, envelopes and cardboard tubes. The USPS also provides templates for creating your mailing pieces.
If you want to save on shipping costs, you can do that, too. You’ll find information on bulk mailings, shipping rates and classes of mail.
Microsoft Office is pricey. You don’t need to pay for it if you know about this free alternative: LibreOffice. It’s a free, open-source office suite compatible with Microsoft Office files. Since it’s open-source software, the program is continually updated at no charge. Tap or click for details.
LibreOffice offers six programs that will feel instantly familiar to you if you’ve used Office before. Writer, Calc and Impress are equivalent to Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. They have most of the same features. You just might need to poke around to find some of them.
Even better, LibreOffice can open and edit the documents you made in Office and save new files in Office formats. Download Libre Office here.
If your branding could use a makeover, check out logobee. Its free web-based platform, Logo-Maker, has hundreds of templates that you can customize with your brand name, colors and slogans.
How do they make money? If you want your logo in vector format (which is good for print, posters, billboards and large-scale or high-quality graphics), the download will cost you $39.
You can download a PNG file for free, as long as you agree to the terms and conditions, which include a line that says you don’t have exclusive rights to your design — which makes sense. They’re giving you free graphics, which means they’re giving them to everyone else. In a pinch, though, it works.
Social media content creation
Canva is not your typical photo editor. Yes, you can easily crop photos, add text or resize. But you also get access to countless templates to create your presentations, social media graphics, greeting cards, marketing materials, posters and anything else you can dream up.
The best part is how easy Canva is to use. It’s a drag-and-drop, intuitive editor. Try it out the next time you need to resize a photo quickly. Most of this is free, though you can sign up for a paid account to access premium images and templates. For basic use, though, a free account should give you everything you need. Try it here.
Accounting software upgrade
Are you fed up with QuickBooks? You’re not alone. Kim hears from listeners all the time looking for a better way to get their accounting done.
That’s where our sponsor NetSuite comes in. It’s the world’s No. 1 cloud business system for good reason. If you’re bogged down in spreadsheets stored locally on your computer, you’ll love the fact that you can access all your data in one place whenever you want.
Now, the software itself isn’t free, but you can check it out at no cost and see if it’s right for you. And every small business owner knows the right software can save you a ton of time, and that truly does equal money.
To see it in action for yourself, head to Netsuite.com/kim and get a free product tour.
Stop paying for multiple systems that don’t give you the information you need when you need it. Ditch the spreadsheets and all the old software you’ve outgrown. Now is the time to upgrade to NetSuite.