Last week I went to a networking meeting, and the topic for discussion was: “What caused you the most stress when you first started your business?”

For some, it was finding an office space. For others, it was getting their first client. For me, it was worrying about money. I had been saving to give myself enough to get my business off of the ground but, especially in the early days, there always seemed to be something else that needed paying for!

Building a business is a costly process which makes it necessary to save money where possible. So, if like me you want to spend as little as possible, here are a few useful freebies that will save you money.

Free for a while

It may sound obvious to opt in for a free trial, but you would be surprised as to how many people don’t utilise this! Especially if you’re a new business owner, it is important to make the right decision about what to spend your hard-earned (and often limited) cash on. So, try out your options first using their free trials before purchasing their product for a year or on a monthly subscription.

Xero

Xero is business and accounting software that will make your finances much simpler. As standard, it is £22 per month, so to make sure this is the right accounting app for you, why not try it out first! On the free trial, you can access every feature with unlimited users, and you aren’t even required to put in your credit card details!

Amazon Prime

Don’t think this is relevant for your business? Take a look at how much you spend on P&P for your deliveries! It’s great if you have lots of orders to place: we get so much stationery, printer ink and office equipment from Amazon, our subscription pays for itself within the first week! If you want to use the free trial just while you’re setting up and kitting out your business, it is great way to get free postage… just make sure you remember to cancel your subscription before the free trial is over!

Dropbox Professional

Many of us love Dropbox as a free way to store photos and files. However, when you use it for your business, the free 2GB soon runs out! Rather than constantly deleting files to create space, try the free 14 day trial (normally £19.99 per month) of Dropbox Professional to get yourself a whole 2TB as well as other useful features.

Skype

Skype has a 1 month free trial which allows you to make national and international calls to mobiles and landlines totalling up to 400 mins (Excludes special, premium and non-geographic numbers.) Normally £6 per month in UK- it is worth trialling for a month to check that it is right for your business!

Forever Free

Quality is not always costly. Many business owners assume they have to fork out for apps that are worth having, but some of the best ones are absolutely free! Check out these ones if you haven’t already:

* Buffer– for scheduling out your social media posts

* Pexels– for downloading good quality images

* Mailchimp– a marketing platform that allows you to design and send out emails to your mailing list

* Canva– design and create your own images

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