There are a number of free small business software options available to help run your business more efficiently. We asked small business owners, professionals working with them, and service providers about their favorite free business software tools and got more than 30 responses covering a range of uses and industries.
Here are some of our favorite free small business software options:
1. Free CRM & Project Management Software Combined – Insightly
Gavin Graham, Editor, Fit Small Business
Although typically marketed as a customer relationship management tool (CRM), Insightly offers both project and contact management. It’s an easy-to-use solution for small businesses since it can be set up in just an hour. Insightly is free for 1-2 users and costs just $29 per user after that — a good deal for CRM and project management all rolled into one.
2. Free Accounting Software – Wave
Bonny Albo, Owner, Bonny Adventures
Wave is completely free invoicing, expense and income tracking program you can download as an app or use on your desktop. It took me about 15 minutes to set it up so all my business accounts’ data ported over automatically to the app. Now I don’t have to manually track any expenses, receipts, payments, and so forth. I can also invoice clients (for free, I just pay Visa/MC/AMEX costs), add pictures of receipts, and get weekly reports emailed to me.
3. Free Web Automation App – Zapier
Steph Taylor, The Bloomin’ Boss, Wildbloom Creative
Zapier essentially automates all the menial little tasks ― such as sharing posts across social platforms or updating your CRM. It connects so many different apps together to create automations ― and you can create your own automations with little tech knowledge. The limitations on the free plan mean you can’t connect it to their designated “premium” apps and you can only have a limited number of automations running. However, even the free version is definitely a huge time-saver.
4. Free Email Address Finder – Hunter
Carrie Wood, Chief Marketing Officer, Leaseref.com
We use Hunter to find email addresses. It can be installed into a Chrome browser from the Chrome extension store. When you are on a website, just click the Hunter icon and it will search the website and social platforms and provide as many emails for that website that it can find. There are 20 free searches you receive every month.
5. Free POS Software for Small Retailers – Square
Allison Potts, Sales Editor, Fit Small Business
Square is our top POS software pick for small retailers because it offers many sales, inventory, and business management features for free. There are no monthly or startup fees, and payment processing fees are only 2.75%. Square POS also comes with a free online store and mobile card reader.
6. Free Screen Recorder Software – HYFY
Monte Eiseman, Analyst, Guild Capital
HYFY is a screen recorder that lets you record both a video of your screen and audio of you describing what is in the video at the same time. After recording it gives you a link and with integrations with Slack and Hipchat, it lets you easily share the video with team members or simply send it via email. It’s really great for accountants, teachers, sales teams, developers, etc.
7. Free Landing Page Builder – ONTRApages
Diana Koshedzhiyska, Marketing Automation Officer, Buzz Fixer Ltd.
ONTRApages is one of the easiest tools to use on the market. The tool allows you to build and publish a beautiful and responsive landing page in minutes and start collecting leads. You can have up to 10 pages at any given time (you can delete old ones to free up some space), and can have a max of 2500 people per month visiting your pages.
8. Free Tools to Automate Site Growth – Sumo
Kristi Porter, Consultant, Signify
I have only been using it a couple of weeks, but I’m loving Sumo. My favorite tool, and what enticed me to sign up, was the “Share” feature. It allows me to have social share buttons on every page, but in a custom and tasteful way. Before Sumo, I only had the ability to do this under my blog posts..
9. Free Customer Service Help Desk Software – Freshdesk
Evan Tarver, Sales Section General Manager, Fit Small Business
Freshdesk is customer support help desk software that helps your customers create and submit tickets when they’re having trouble using your product or service. The software allows you to create a knowledge base so customers can answer their own questions and resolve their issues using content you’ve already created. It also facilitates automated ticket creation from emails and social media channels. There’s a free plan with basic features as well as paid plans with premium features.
10. Free Content Management System – WordPress.com
Najeeullah Babar, President, Interloper, Inc.
With the free version of WordPress.com, which is a cloud-based WordPress website builder, you can easily setup a website or a blog without programming skills. If you want to go beyond the free version which includes a WordPress.com subdomain, free themes, and basic community support, you can upgrade to one of their paid plans that range from $3 per month to $45 per month.
11. Free Online Forms – JotForm
Chad Reid, MS, Director of Communications, JotForm
JotForm allows anyone — with or without coding knowledge — to create online forms. Perfect for registration forms, surveys, job application forms, order forms, general contact forms, and lead generation forms. A small business can run their entire company on JotForm, and for free!
12. Free Email Marketing – MailChimp
Zondra Wilson, Blu Skin Care
I often use MailChimp to send email blasts to customers about sales and skin care tips. The free tier of this popular email marketing management service lets me send up to 12,000 emails per month to a list that’s no larger than 2,000 email addresses. In other words, I can’t blast the world, but the typical small business including Blu Skin Care can email a significant portion of my customer base. The free version of MailChimp is pretty much unrestricted. Also, I get access to MailChimp’s free comprehensive reporting and A/B split testing.
13. Free Social Media Management – HootSuite
Aaron Hockel, Partner, AltaVista Strategic Partners
HootSuite is hands down the best free social media management tool. It lets you schedule future posts, automatically sends them out to three social profiles, tracks all our growth analytics, and they offer tons of free courses on social media. We have been using it for years, for free, and it has greatly reduced the time burden having a social media presence can have on a small business owner.
14. Free Scheduling Software – Homebase
Laura Handrick, HR Analyst, Fit Small Business
If you run a brick and mortar business, like a restaurant or a retail store operating in one physical location, you can’t beat Homebase as your free scheduling and timekeeping software. It has built-in team communications and messaging, and can manage time off requests and shift swaps with an app. It will save you oodles of time and remains free regardless of how many employees you have in that one location.
15. Free Tool for Getting Online Reviews – Trustpilot
Leon Rbibo, President, The Pearl Source
One of my favorite free software tools is Trustpilot. With its free version, businesses receive 50 invitations each month to collect feedback from its customers. It also allows those reviews to be displayed on one, highly-visible, impartial profile page that ranks independently in search engines. Trustpilot allows you to proactively engage with your customers, actively listen to their opinions and help build brand reputation.
16. Free Communication Software – Slack
Levi Boyd, Digital Marketing Strategist, Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu
One of my favorites for managing my team and streamlining communication is through an app called Slack. Instead of trying to communicate through phone calls, texting, email, and Skype, everything runs smoothly because it’s integrated directly through the app. It’s really cool because I can talk about various subjects in different channels so that everyone on the team is able to see any updates, pictures, files, and more.
17. Free Conference Calls – UberConference
Chasen Nick, Marketing Director, RAMS Home Loans
My favorite free software is UberConference. I have tons of conference calls every day and this allows me to host an unlimited number of calls. Each of my guests can either call in or connect through the platform. I can record all of the calls, and I’m also able to mute specific people or send messages privately. The interface is really intuitive and allows me to quickly and easily perform certain commands in the middle of a call.
18. Free Visual Project Management Software – Trello
Amy Smith, HR Editor, Fit Small Business
Trello is a Kanban-style project management solution I didn’t even know I needed until I started using it. I previously used it to track my freelance projects and clients. The labels made it easy for me to see which project belonged to which client. Due dates on individual cards kept me on top of each deadline. Plus, I can easily drag and drop cards from list to list. And now I use Trello in everyday management of projects at my full-time job.
19. Free Document Management and File Storage – Google Docs
Richard Blount II, Global Director, Four Winds Agency
I would have to say Google Docs is my favorite. I love the fact that I’ve got a word processor, spreadsheet, storage (for files) and more at my fingertips. No matter which computer I’m on (at the office, home, vacation laptop, and even my phone) I have access to all my forms, word docs, spreadsheets, PDFs that I’ve uploaded, and all my files. The free version is limited to 15GB of storage, but that is plenty of room for me. It also makes it convenient when I want to share documents and files. I just grab the “shareable link” and send it off in an email to a client. Google Docs makes a lot of my day-to-day business activities convenient.
20. Free Email Tracking For Gmail – Mailtrack
Chloe Brittain, Owner Opal Transcription Calgary
I do a lot of cold outreach, and tracking open emails is crucial for measuring the performance of my campaigns. Using a tracking tool also helps me know when it’s time to send a follow-up to nudge someone to action. With Mailtrack I can glance at my email inbox and know which of my emails have been opened, when, and from what type of device. I also get real-time notification popups, so I can keep close tabs on my email activity while I work at my laptop.
21. Project Management Software – Redmine
Dary Merkens, CTO, Gunner Technology
Without a doubt, the best free small business software we’ve used is a project management tool called Redmine. It provides powerful issue tracking and a suite of additional features like calendars, report generation, team management, and more. Plus you can extend it further via plugins, which opens up a whole world of possibilities (like adding a fully functional CRM). I can’t recommend Redmine highly enough.
22. Free Appointment Scheduling Software – Calendly
Michael Blank, Real Estate Investor, Entrepreneur, The Michael Blank
The one piece of software that helps me be productive is Calendly for scheduling appointments and meetings. Calendly makes it easy for other people to schedule time with you. It links with your calendar, and checks your availability. It shows only those time slots where you’re available or want to be available. This software literally makes me 10% more productive because you can eliminate all the back and forth and voicemails about what time is the best time to meet.
23. Free Note Taking, Organizing and Archiving App – Evernote
Dan Gudema, Chief Marketing Officer, Eight Arrows
Evernote has probably been the single most important free software I have used over the past five years to help me in my small business. It allows me to store text, images and videos on the cloud from my smartphone, tablet and desktops. Since I started using Evernote, I have not had to grab a sticky pad and write a note down, and when my smartphone dies or my notebook dies, the information is not lost.
24. Free Proposal & Invoice Software – And.co
LaTasha James, Social Media Strategist, A Journey East
AND.CO is an incredible tool that allows you to create proposals and contracts. When I first started my digital marketing company, I was completely in the dark about what to include in my contracts, but I knew that having one was important. This tool pre-populates a ton of important details that many of us often forget including late fees, harassment clauses, and portfolio retention guidelines. They’re also customizable based on your needs, and they’re able to easily be sent and e-signed by both parties.
25. Free OCR (Optical Character Recognition) Software– Free OCR
Michael Cordova, Entrepreneur, Author, 21st Century Technologies
Free OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is a desktop software application that scans the text from an image or pdf file. It keeps you from having to type in all of the text yourself. You upload a PDF or image file, Free OCR scrapes the text from the file and puts the text into a box that you can copy and paste into your document. Simple. You won’t use it all the time, but it is a huge time saver to have around when you do need it.
26. Free Online Invitation Software – Evite
Brian Ma, Broker, Flushing Real Estate Group
Whether it’s an open house for our newest listing, a company social mixer, or a sponsored marketing event, hosting events for our local community is one of the best ways to grow our contact list and raise awareness of our real estate brand. We love using Evite because it’s easy to use and offers a wide range of free design templates for a variety of event types and we can customize an invitation to suit our brand and event. Evite even offers a mobile app to help you manage your events on the go.
27. Free Task Management Tool – Asana
Megan Meade, Content Editor, Software Path
Asana is a free project management tool that allows you to organize projects, tasks, and teams. Our team uses Asana to track project deadlines as well as maintain visibility of existing tasks and priorities on a daily basis. Tasks can be created on multiple levels, including subtasks and dependent tasks, to create a structured workflow for teams to follow. We wouldn’t be without it now.
28. Free Business Credit Report – Nav
Jeff White, HR & Retail Section General Manager, Fit Small Business
Most small business owners don’t realize that their business has a credit score just like they do. When combined, your personal and business credit can affect whether you qualify for loans and leases, get favorable terms from suppliers, or win bids on government contracts. Nav offers a free personal and business credit check that won’t impact your credit score. Click here for more details.
29. Free Video Call Software – Join.me
Katie Derrick, Senior Content Writer, It Works
Join.me offers business users a free plan to video call anyone, from stakeholders to clients, and with the option to invite up to 10 participants, this free software tool effectively and affordably helps small businesses communicate and expand their network. You can even share screens using this tool, and it supports up to five video feeds at a time, offering a lot more than many other free video software tools out there.
30. Free Small Business Lender Marketplace – Lendio
Brock Blake, CEO, Lendio
Lendio is a free online service that helps business owners find the right loans within minutes. Lendio’s marketplace model allows a business owner to fill out one 15-minute application and have access to 75 different lenders, including American Express, Bank of America, OnDeck Capital, Kabbage, and Lending Club. Bringing all options together in one place, from short-term specialty financing to long-term, low-interest traditional loans, Lendio decreases the amount of time and effort it takes to secure funding.
31. Free Contact & Vendor Management – HubSpot
Jun AnTan, Co-Founder, Eezee
We had been using excel to manage our vendors at the start, as we started small and didn’t really think about using a system. As we grew in vendors and customers, we needed a system to record the data and automate some of the processes. Our CRM helps us automate data entry by attaching one plug-in to outlook so all the emails are tracked. This reduces time needed to do mundane data entry.
We hope you liked our list of free small business software. Our featured experts have shared their favorite free tools to help save time, money, be more productive, and create a professional brand image. Have you used any of the tools on this list, or was there an awesome free tool that we missed? Share with us in the comments below!