Here's a quote from The Bootstrapper’s Manifesto
“I am a bootstrapper. I have initiative and insight and guts, but not much money. I will succeed because my efforts and my focus will defeat bigger and better-funded competitors. I am fearless. I keep my focus on growing the business—not on politics, career advancement, or other wasteful distractions”
To honor my bootstrapping hero, it's time to add a few more to our ever growing list of free tools for solopreneurs & micro businesses.
#1 Week Plan
WEEK Plan's motto is Put First Things First. I'm a huge fan of Google Calendar, mostly because I can access it from my phone & Kindle. But I'm switch to WEEK Plan because I want a planner with more. And Google Calendar is just a calendar.
This weekly planner is inspired by the The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change from Stephen Covey and Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity from David Allen.
It has room for goals, which is what I'm looking for. And while I love Workflowy, I want one tool for basic day to day stuff.
Want to build an email list for free? You can send 12,000 emails a month to a list of up to 2,000 subscribers with MailChimp’s Forever Free plan.
Here's a few ways to use this service:
- announce a new product or service
Like most of these tools, there is an option to upgrade. But if you're just starting out, it's a fantastic option.
I honestly don't have time to manage every social media platform I use. Who on Earth does? Really, with every so-called guru pushing us to tweet, post and share our every move. It's enough to make me want to scream!
That's why I love HootSuite. You can manage five social profiles, schedule updates and see basic analytics. As time is money, this is an incredible time saver for those who want to increase their online presence.
#4 Boomerang for Gmail/Outlook
The idea behind Boomerang is that emails can easily fall through the cracks. With Boomerang, you can send emails at a scheduled time, attach follow-ups, and reminders if you don't hear back from someone.
This is perfect for those who have a hard time organizing their communications. And you know not returning communications is a huge business sin, so Boomerang will ensure messages don't fall through the cracks.
Google is a solopreneur's best friend. Google can be considered a complete toolbox for micro businesses. It's free, and it rocks!
Here's just a few things you can do with Google:
- Google Drive – 15 GB of free cloud space
- Google Docs – documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings & forms
- Google Hangouts
- Google + for Business
Google does have some premium services for businesses, but you can easily get by with their free tools. You'll never escape their advertising, but it's never invasive (IMHO) and the tools are worth it.
I've Shown You Mine…Now Show Me Yours!
We bootstrappers need to stick together. So share your favorite free tool. It can be an app, program, website or any free service you use to run your solo or micro business.
Liesha Petrovich is passionate about micro business education. Doesn’t sound sexy does it? But teaching micro business owners how to create success and freedom is. Learn more at Micro Business Essentials and follow her on Twitter