5 Free Tools to Save Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Money

Financial prudence is the key to controlling costs within small- and medium-sized enterprises. Since every dollar saved contributes to the bottom-line, it’s important to make smart choices and dedicate resources to activities that provide the greatest returns. From business intelligence to working in the cloud, here are five tools that can help you save thousands of dollars every year.


Business Intelligence
In the knowledge era, savvy businesses are turning to data for insights. Decisions such as how much inventory to hold, what products sell more than others, and what promotions generate more customer activity are best made by analytics. Set goals for key performance indicators and discover insights on the go for optimizing your resource utilization. With analytics, benchmarking, and performance reports built into Power BI Desktop (https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/), scale your business to new levels with high-quality business insights. With adaptive learning, your business could soon perform like a well-oiled engine firing on all cylinders.


Returning customers are more valuable than new customers as this worldview boils down to the cost of customer acquisition. Regardless of industry sector, business or role, keep customers engaged with SuiteCRM (https://suitecrm.com/), an open-source CRM with features comparable to the best in the market. Besides product or knowledge wikis, FAQ, and customer support, keep customers engaged with new offers every week and regular newsletters about emerging trends and fading cycles. New arrivals or clearance sales, give your loyal customers exclusive access.


Keep an eagle eye on finances with invoicing, payments, payroll, and accounting reports all built into one application on the Wave platform (https://www.waveapps.com). Connect seamlessly to your bank and credit card accounts and use many more features to manage all your financial needs. When taxes are due, simply use the accounting tool to generate GAAP-enabled financial reports. View reports to review your performance in comparison to industry peers and make proactive choices to steer your business clear of troubled waters.


Social media platforms including Facebook and Instagram have become the go-to sources for building large communities in no time as consumers are madly in love with social media. Boost your brand engagement with media sharing activities, contests, and viral campaigns, with user-generated content. Manage social media activities by scheduling posts on social media with Buffer (https://buffer.com/), an easy-to-use tool that helps users plan posts on multiple platforms. Akin to brisk sales during the rush hours of the day, catch the action when social media activity is at peak levels with Buffer.


Working in the Cloud
As the costs of computing resources can eat into your margins, take your activities to the cloud. Early cloud-based applications include storage and file sharing. With the world’s largest cloud infrastructure, Amazon S3 (https://aws.amazon.com/s3/) offers a free tier of 5 GB storage and 15GB data transfer, which is adequate more most businesses, unless you are into data analytics, media, or knowledge management.


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