Business startup advice – 4 alternative free business tools to use
If you’re starting your own small business, one of the best tips we can give you is to make sure you have all the right tools at your disposal. This is essential if you want your brand to grow and prosper.
So, what do we mean by tools? Well, many media companies benefit from using programmes that specialise in content design, communications, image sourcing and video editing.
But, with so many of these platforms available on the market, it can be hard to know which one to choose. Selecting a service that strikes the right balance between good value and efficiency can be tricky, and sometimes the iconic brands that previously dominated the creative and business spheres, aren’t always the best option.
Whichever way you look at it, starting a company comes with a lot of costs. So, instead of investing in expensive applications, follow our top bit of small business tips and advice and use these free business tool alternatives instead.
Designed to make running a small business so much easier, they offer all the same features as the bigger brands, without requiring you to part with a single dirham.
Four priceless bits of business startup advice
Content design – swop Adobe Photoshop for Canvas
Since it was founded in 1988, Adobe Photoshop has been the leading graphic editor on the market. Even today, countless media and publishing companies still swear by it.
However, Canvas is here to change all that.
This innovative graphic design platform, founded in Australia in 2013, is perfect for making posters, social media posts, presentations, logos, marketing materials and every kind of creative content you can imagine.
The free plan comes with everything you need to design and download impactful bespoke content, and there’s also the option of upgrading to a paid plan if you want to access more advanced tools.
It even provides free templates to help you get started and a bit of inspiration.
Communication – swop phone calls for Zoom
It’s hard to imagine a time when we didn’t have Zoom and it’s crazy to think that many of us had never used the video calling platform before the pandemic hit.
Indeed, even as we emerge from the difficulties of the past year or so, Zoom meetings are still more common than face-to-face ones.
So, now that every professional has Zoom downloaded onto their phones and laptops, why would you shell out on expensive phone contracts for yourself and employees?
We suggest switching phone calls for Zoom calls for many reasons. As well as allowing you to record conversations and share your computer screen, you can always choose to keep your camera off if you’re on the go and want to make a more traditional phone call.
Embracing new communications technologies like Zoom will absolutely save you money, and improve your relationships with your clients, colleagues and partners.
Image sourcing – swop Shutterstock for Unsplash
Providing over 320 million royalty free images, plus videos, music and more, Shutterstock charges a monthly subscription fee to access its pool of resources.
Therefore, it might come as welcome news to learn that Unsplash gives you permission to download and use its images, either commercially or non-commercially, without any charge at all.
With all the images donated by a generous community of international photographers; no picture accreditation is technically necessary either. Although, we’re sure the artist behind each snap would appreciate it if you did give them a shout out.
Unsplash stocks thousands of backgrounds, images and wallpapers, providing all you need to jazz up your website, create impressive presentations or make marketing materials.
Running under the tagline ‘Powered by creators everywhere’, Unsplash is such a well-meaning and valuable source of wonderful imagery.
Video editing – swop Final Cut Pro for InShot
Professing to have the most advanced tools of any professional video editing application, Final Cut Pro has a new rival in the form of complimentary application InShot.
Inviting users to release their ‘unlimited creativity’ it offers a simple, no-nonsense way of trimming, splitting, speeding up, slowing down and merging videos that can then be used on your website or social media.
It also comes with a wide collection of cool filters and effects, plus animated stickers and text.
Meanwhile, if you’re putting together a vlog for your platform, InShot offers voiceovers, sounds effects, readymade music, options to add your own music and other methods that will help get your videos trending.
As with all the programmes above, it’s absolutely free to download and use.
For more tips for starting a small business, visit our ‘How to start a business’ page.