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Essential Tools For Small Businesses On A Budget

Published 24 Apr, 2017 
business on a budget

Where would we be without technology? As we get busier by the day, it’s comforting to know that there’s a huge range of affordable (or free) apps and websites designed specifically to help individuals and small businesses keep on top of everything, from money to time to project management. Here are a few you might like to try. .

Wave – Business On A Budget

If you’re just starting out and don’t want to splash out on a full accounting suite, then Wave might be your answer to cost-effective accounts management. In fact, most of the functions are completely free. Wave enables you to create and send an unlimited number of professional-looking invoices, complete with your own branding, and track their payment. It also has a receipt scanning and expense tracking function and accounting facilities. For a small pay-as-you-go fee, it can also accept credit card payments.


Tracking expenses can be fiddly, and small purchases on the go can often slip through the cracks. Expensify has a smartphone app that enables users to scan in receipts using their phone’s camera and upload them for approval, rebilling and reimbursement. The free version has some limitations, but paid accounts with more advanced features start from just $5 USD per month and integrate with other popular accounting programmes like QuickBooks and Xero. You can even try the paid version out for free for a month without having to cough up your credit card number.


As the name suggests, it won’t cost you anything to use Freedcamp. It’s a web-based project management tool that allows teams to collaborate online on an unlimited number of projects with as many users as they like. Freedcamp has a range of inbuilt apps, like time tracking, that you can turn on or off within any project, and it integrates with Google Calendar. There are some limits on file size, but power users can upgrade to a paid version with extra features starting at $3.99 USD per month.


Communication is key in any small business, and HipChat makes it easy to do that for free, offering group chat, instant messaging and file sharing for an unlimited number of users. It works on every device and operating system, enabling you to keep in touch even when you’re away from the office. You can group searchable chats by teams or projects to keep track of everything that’s going on. Premium features like video chat, screen sharing and unlimited file storage are just $2 USD per user per month. Like Expensify, you can try it free for a month without providing credit card details.


If you need to log billable hours, then you can do it with Toggl for free if you have fewer than six users. You can add unlimited projects and clients, set up user groups, create a team dashboard, and customise access levels. You can run Toggl on any device, and there’s even an extension to add a Toggl button to Chrome. Some of the more advanced reporting functions are only available with premium accounts, but you can still get CSV outputs and detailed weekly reports for free. These are just a few of the programmes that can help your small businesses thrive. With so many great free and low-cost tools available, it’s easy to get your business humming without it costing the earth.

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