business services

8 Business Services You May Be Paying for That You Can Get for Free

Looking to make some trims to your operational budget? Just getting started and need business solutions that won’t break the bank? There are a lot of bills that are unavoidable (utilities, suppliers, etc.) but today’s digital environment connects entrepreneurs with a variety of products that can help them run their business without adding to their bills.  

Cut your costs by checking out these eight free business services.

Doc Storage – Google Drive

Google may be synonymous with search engine, but the company provides a plethora of other services, many for free. Google Drive is a cloud service provided by Google, but for small businesses, it also represents a way to create and store documents.

With up to 15 GB of free storage space and access to Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides (equivalent to Microsoft Word, Excel and Power Point, respectively), Google Drive can easily be a one stop shop (free, of course) for sole proprietors, freelancers, and small business owners. And, even though it’s certainly possible to eventually meet your 15 GB limit, Google Drive offers a 100 GB for only $1.99.

Online Security – Avast

Today, any business with a digital presence needs to consider the security of their assets, and though there are many ways to achieve end point protection, not all of them are free of cost. Avast, which is recommended by PC magazine, has a free and paid service. As you likely expect, the free service does limit features. While the free antivirus software version doesn’t offer a firewall or data shredding, you will still have access to security scanning, malware blocking and rescue disk functionality.  

Finance and Accounting – GnuCash

Though it may not be the prettiest app around, GnuCash is an excellent option for entrepreneurs who want to manage their books for free. The service provides great online documentation and is easy to use and navigate. Users can attach files to transactions; export reports in PDF format; and track bank accounts, income, expenses and even stocks.

Advice and Mentoring – SCORE

Sometimes a little advice can go a long way, but in many cases, consultants and similar information resources can cost you. The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) is a free business resource that offers owners mentoring and education. Composed of over 10,000 volunteers, SCORE is an SBA resource partner that connects entrepreneurs with seasoned experts. Users can sign up and select from a variety of business types to be connected to a knowledgeable business mentor from one of the 300 chapters within the SCORE community.  

Conference Services – FreeConferenceCall

There are a plethora of free conferencing services, but many of them have limits. For example, Skype conference calling is free for all those who have a Skype account, but if you need to connect with one or more people who don’t, you’ll need to use Skype credit or have a subscription. offers free access to audio conference, video conference, recording, screen sharing, and global access, plus some other neat features like a calendar, chat feature, and a radio feature (stream conferences live over the internet). The service does have a few paid perks, like custom greetings or a toll-free number to use, but entrepreneurs should be able to make it pretty far on the free offerings.

Sending Emails – MailChimp

If you have a relatively small subscriber list and plan on sending less than 12,000 emails a month, you can use MailChimp for free (they don’t even require a credit card). Those using the “Forever Free” tier will have access to a variety of features including A/B testing, reports, a plethora of design options (email templates, Facebook Ad campaigns, landing pages, etc.) and delivery features (abandoned cart, marketing automation, geolocation, etc.).   

There are a few perks to paying for the service, like chat and email support, advanced segmentation, comparative reports, etc., but if you’re looking for a simple way to get started (one with the ability to scale up as needed), then MailChimp’s Forever Free plan is a good option.

Sign Up: Receive the StartupNation newsletter!

SEO – Wordtracker

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and keyword research is an important part of marketing, but hiring an agency or a dedicated marketing staff can be pricey for small businesses, and though many tools exist, most are paid. Wordtracker allows users to access thousands of long tail keywords and to to filter results and export keyword lists.

Those that want to take their SEO efforts to the next level do have the ability to upgrade their service, which unlocks additional features, and can always try the upgrade services for free for seven days

Brand Awareness – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

Thanks to the plethora of social media platforms available, you can market your business and connect with potential clients and customers without spending a penny. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and a variety of other social media apps are the perfect place to grab exposure without the huge marketing bill.

If you don’t have time or staff to run multiple accounts, pick the ones that are most likely to appeal to your audience, like LinkedIn for professionals and Facebook for businesses that want to gain the most exposure regardless of demographic. If you have a younger audience, consider Instagram or Snapchat.

These platforms do offer paid marketing perks, but if you put the effort in, your brand can gain traction without a big budget.

Running a small business often comes with long list of expenses, but if you really want to keep your budget tight and minimize spend, then there are plenty of business services available for free. From marketing tools to document management and storage services, entrepreneurs who don’t mind doing a little leg work can unlock big savings from the comfort of their own computer.

This article originally appeared on by Jennifer Lobb.

Previous Article

4 Scholarships for Budding Student Entrepreneurs

Next Article
venture capital

Is Venture Capital The Right Choice For Your Startup? Maybe. Here's Why

Related Posts
sales team strategy
Read More

The Best Investments to Improve Your Sales Team Strategy

Creating and maintaining a thriving business depends on the success of sales performance. Essentially, the effectiveness of your sales team at generating revenue is directly related to the success of your business. Keeping your sales team motivated and helping them maximize their performance can be challenging, but with the right tools and investments, you can...
Read More

Small Businesses That Own Their MarTech Can Edge Out the Competition

Adjustments to data protection regulations and Big Tech's revamping of how applications and third-party brokers acquire data sets have upended the world of user data management and remarketing. Big Tech, GDPR, privacy browsers and different privacy compliance standards are removing the user data of billions of users from the control of third-party marketing providers that...
brand awareness
Read More

5 Ways Technology Can Improve Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is more important than ever. Without it, customers can’t differentiate between your business and the competition. As a result, whether they shop in-store or online, they may not remember your company after a purchase, even if they like the products you sell. Brand awareness is especially important for startups, which need to quickly...