Thought you couldn’t afford the latest business tools? Think again.

Our first event of the year saw a panel of SUBS Partners share the inside track on their favourite free and low-cost tools with a packed room. We’re not ones to keep knowledge like that to ourselves, so we’ve pulled together this blog outlining the panel’s top five tools.

Tool # 1 – Twitonomy

Cost – Free

Highly recommended by our social media expert Alex McCann, Twitonomy gives you a snapshot of how you’re performing on Twitter.

While Twitter’s analytics makes it easy to see how individual tweets have performed, Twitonomy provides an overview of your activity with a whole host of helpful stats including:

  • How frequently you tweet
  • The percentage of your tweets that are replies or retweets
  • Your most-used hashtags
  • Your most retweeted / replied to / mentioned tweets

You can also analyse how your competitors are doing so you can see whether you need to up your game. All this comes for the enormous cost of absolutely nothing and it takes just a few seconds to sign up and get your first report.

Tool #2 – Zoho

Cost – Free

Around a third of those at the event said they use a Customer Relationship Management system with Zoho’s platform the preferred option for some present.

Highly recommended by Steph, Zoho is a single system to manage all your business processes. The main advantage of the system is that it lets you manage every stage of the customer journey from first contact, to quotes, orders, payment and marketing. And, with room for 10 users on the free version, it’s a good option for small businesses.

Before we bring you Tool #3 here are some photos taken during the event by Martin Hambleton Photography:

Tool #3 – Libre Office

Cost – Free

A top tip from Dan, LibreOffice is a free ‘Office’ like suite of tools similar to Microsoft Office 2003 with everything you’d expect from the paid version including word processing, spreadsheets and presentations.

If you’d prefer the real deal, Dan recommends Microsoft Office 365. £15 a month secures licenses for 5 devices bringing the cost per device in at a tiny £3 per month. With 1TB of online storage and regular free updates, you can be sure you’re running the latest version making it a real bargain. 

Tool #4 – Wave

Cost – Free

If you’re still creating invoices in Excel and saving them as PDFs, it’s time to get up-to-date with free online invoicing tool Wave. Championed by Becky, this app has:

  • A recurring invoice function
  • Brandable templates
  • In-app sending so you can email invoices to customers directly
  • Nicely-worded chasing emails for late paying customers

With a detailed dashboard, you can also identify outstanding invoices and your income by month and year at a glance. Simple to set up and intuitive to use, Wave is a real winner.

Tool #5 – Quik

Cost – Free

Making interesting video content to promote your business has never been easier. Quik allows you to select photos and videos to create a neatly edited video in just a few clicks.

Alex explained how he uses the app at a recent training session at the BBC:

“I had a short video telling people about the event and some photos from the first day’s training. I used Quik to create combine the two giving me a cool little video that I could share on social media to advertise the next day’s sessions and increase attendance.”

It takes just a few seconds to select the images you want and, with a few clicks, your video is ready to go. Like the name suggests, it’s Quik.

If you like the sound of this event and you want to get involved, simply sign up for any of our next events by registering your details.