Cost effective and often free, here’s a list of great digital tools to help run your business.

Most small businesses don’t have the money to run their own IT department or a digital marketing division. If you are starting, running or growing a small business, you can still run the important ‘back end’ stuff for next to nothing. It just takes a little know how.

1: First step, buy a smartphone. It may seem obvious but this will be an essential business tool.

2: If you need a website, install WordPress. If you don’t want to do it yourself, don’t spend too much on a site. You can get a very good company website for less than you think.

3: If you want to sell online use services like Trafficattic or Shopify.

4: You don’t need a bulky email server cluttering up your office. Use Gmail from Google. Also, make sure your office accesses the Internet via Wi-Fi (using a password), it’ll be less hassle in the long run. Also, less nasty wires.

5: Why buy brand new computers when there are many high quality used laptops for sale? They will work very well, just make sure they are Wi-Fi enabled.

6: If you don’t want to pay for lots of software try Jolicloud OS. It’s an operating system that connects low cost computers to the cloud.

7: You can save a small fortune by using free online invoicing and free online accounting software from a great Irish company like Bullet.

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8: You don’t need to buy hard disks to store your company data, just go online and into the cloud with Dropbox. Here you can store everything at an affordable price.

9: If you don’t want to pay Microsoft for its software you can use Google Docs or, for spread sheets, OpenOffice.

10: If you need a great project management tool, why not try Slack? It’s an easy-to-use messaging app for teams and works well as a collaboration tool for company teams.

11:If you want to accept payments by credit card, you can use affordable apps and systems like Payleven.ie or iZettle.

12: Make sure you bank online and look for bank supports if you are a new company. There are supports available online in terms of banking and credit.

13: Set up a PayPal account so you can receive payments via PayPal and buy from suppliers in other countries.

14: If you need to run a large email list, use Mailgun. It’s a pleasure to use and free. Or else, try MailChimp.

15: Need to  plan a project? ProjectManager.com has great planning tools such as its Gantt chart and task management feature.

16: Buy an all-in-one wireless printer (don’t opt for color, unless you really need it).

17: If you want help with branding, digital marketing, web design or most IT issues go to Fiverr and find people who can help you with practically any issue for a very reasonable price.

18: Finally, if you need to develop new business skills there are many top class online services like Alison and Lynda.

READ: Build your business brain – 12 great websites.

TOP TIPS: Do you qualify for business supports or grant money? Find out now.

Images from Shutterstock.

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