Free online tools, ideas help small business get through COVID19 crisis

Trying to figure out how to get through these trying times?  Many companies have stepped up to offer free online tools and ideas to help small businesses get through the COVID19 crisis. Guest post by Michelle Walch

Solo businesses, especially when starting out, need certain online tools to get things running.  Then a pandemic hits, making those needs all the more critical.  How do you get your small enterprise going or keep going?

What you can do!

Many companies are offering free access to services during this time, according to Entrepreneur magazine.  You can also take classes, such as Jackie’s Best Beginnings.  Want to step up your marketing game?  Google offers free certification in Analytics, Ads, and more.  Maybe a social media contest can give your business a boost.  Read on and find out.

Free Online Tools

Here is a partial list of free online tools to help small businesses get through the COVID19 crisis.  For the full list read this article in Entrepreneur.

Communications
  • Discord: Free, enhanced Go Live streaming service so that it can now support 50 simultaneous users rather than 10.
  • Dialpad: Free two months of its cloud-based phone system, Dialpad Talk Pro. This also includes video conferences and UberConference Business.
Collaboration and productivity
  • Docusign: Free access to Docusign for managing electronic agreements.
  • Calendly*: Free Zoom And GoToMeeting integrations for their online appointment scheduling software to help remote workers stay connected. These were previously Premium tier features and will be available through June 30th. Also Free premium plan access to teams working directly on COVID-19.

Marketing

  • Hootsuite: Free access for Hootsuite Professional to small businesses and nonprofits until July 1st, 2020. Helping to manage social media, and stay connected with your customers and communities
  • SurveyMonkey: Free questionnaire templates written by survey research experts to gather data/feedback from employees, customers and broader groups impacted by the coronavirus.
  • Ubersuggest: Free plan for Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest, which helps you generate keywords for your content marketing strategy and production.
Money management
  • Bill.com: Free 90-day subscription for new customers impacted by COVID-19. The cloud-based service helps small and mid-sized businesses to automate the processing of bills, generate invoices, send/receive payments, and manage their cash flows.
  • Expensify: Reimburse you up to $50 for essential goods and groceries purchased on your SNAP card.
  • Wave: Free financial software solutions (accounting, bookkeeping, invoicing) for small businesses to help with cash flow, which becomes increasingly important during economic turmoil. In response to COVID-19, Wave has reduced paid services where possible to active customers, in an effort to provide financial relief during a time of need.

Google gives small business guidance during COVID19

Many businesses have listed their information on Google (a good move for any solo-preneur).  During the COVID19 pandemic, Google allows you to update your information.  Go HERE to learn more.

How to run a social media contest and generate leads

Hubspot offers some ideas on social media contests.  It takes some planning, is a little involved, and you need to be sure to follow the rules of the platform you are running it on. This article discusses Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.  Read how to do this HERE (long read!).

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Michelle Walch is Jackie’s ghost writer.