Free software for small businesses
Find out more to about free software that you could use to help run your small business.
Business capital for small businesses in South Africa
You may have had a vision of running a small business for some time, but now you need to turn it into reality. You’ll need financial skills and know-how to do important business functions for starters. Lastly, don’t lose sight of your goals. The right tools, like software, could help you run your business.
We’ve got you covered with all the details about free business software. Also, small business owners can give great insights into helping other businesses.
So, we had a chat with Jonathan, who owns his own small marketing business, who answered popular questions about business software with interesting thoughts to share.
Small business owner, Jonathan, gave interesting answers to popular questions about free business software.
Do you regularly use any free business software?
“I use free software from time to time but not regarding the actual running of my business. However, I may try new software regularly if I feel there is a need.
“I often try out business software that isn't usually free by using their free trial periods. These free trials can last from a week to a month in most cases. So, there are many paid-for software tools with free trials, which helps too. Just keep an eye out for when that trial ends and if you want to end up paying for it.”
Have you tried free accounting software?
“No, my accounting firm manages my business’s financials, so I don't need to do that. However, I can see why someone would use it. I often use Microsft Excel to calculate budgets.
"I am interested in trying invoicing software to make it easier to invoice my clients.
"There is a lot you can do with free or open-source software. So, businesses should never think of breaking the law and using pirated software. Speak to your friends, family or other people in your industry for help.”
What business software do you use?
“I mostly use software that I pay to use. I use Microsoft 365 Business, Google Business Suite, Slack, Zoom, and other highly-specialised software tools.”
Do small businesses need business management software?
"I would say that it depends on the type of business and its size. Some businesses are complicated by nature, so management software could help. Also, big businesses with lots of staff should use management software.”
What role does free business software play in South Africa?
“I believe it plays a very important role in helping get businesses up and running. Any free software could help a cash-strapped startup. South Africa and the rest of the world are going through challenging financial times. So, any free help is greatly appreciated. Running a business can be expensive, and reducing monthly expenses is a must in these challenging times. However, be mindful of training and help make the most of and proper use of any software if needed.
“There are often helpful videos on YouTube to teach you how to use and do almost anything for free. Also, get first-hand advice from my established business owners that you trust for guidance when needed. It isn't always best to try to solve business problems on your own.”
Jonathan had some interesting info to share. But do you still have questions and want to know more? There are so many different software products on offer for free that could be explored.
Learn more about free business software
It could be best to organise the different software into categories, which we will look into now.
Do you need online tools and training?
Choose a platform like Entreprenerdy, which used to be called Lean Business Platform, for entrepreneurs running small businesses. It provides training and all the tools you need.
Do you think you are running your small business as best as possible? The right software can help you find gaps and improve how you run your business. Also, there are tools to help you in assessing your business. For example, Yuediligence offers a free plan.
Get more money with a crowdfunding project
This way of raising capital for your small business is becoming popular. Instead of running to banks for loans, entrepreneurs rely on a group of family, friends and other investors for funds. A free platform called the Add-a Bit is available that arranges for you a crowdfunding project.
Free accounting software is available
If you are not using a bookkeeper for your business, this free financial management and accounting software called Wave will keep track of all transactions.
Are you short of time?
Running a business is time-consuming, and you may not have enough time to read books. Listening to audiobooks on your smartphone with Blinkist is another way of learning.
What does the industry media say about your business online?
Online media have a massive effect on businesses – it's all about perception. By keeping track of what customers say about your business online, you can improve your company’s activities. Google Alerts is a great tool to use.
Do you want customers to find your business online easily?
Google My Business is a free online service designed and operated by Google for business owners.
Keep track of what people say in meetings
Avoid writing down notes on pieces of paper. Evernote offers a free plan of their mobile app that can help you take notes, make lists, and much more.
Connecting with your customers
It’s vital to your business’s success to communicate with customers regularly. Use Google Forms as a free admin app from the Google Drive office suite to conduct surveys on clients’ needs and views.
Keeping up with new business developments
Prepare yourself well as an entrepreneur by staying on your toes with all the businesses out there. SME South Africa has a fantastic email newsletter that could help South African entrepreneurs. Sign up for free on SME South Africa’s website.
Make it happen with Yoco
You make things happen as a business owner by using all the tools you need, like free business software, and you can make your business a household name.