13 Free Tools Your Small Business Needs in 2023 - Fleximize

13 Free Tools Your Small Business Needs in 2023

A roundup of the best small business tools, software and cash flow resources to help save you money and time

By The Fleximize Team

Our SME Outlook Report found that 54% of UK business owners lack financial confidence, with many stating that having more time to focus on their finances (29%) and greater access to resources (18%) would improve their situation.

As a business owner with limited time, an easy way to improve company cash flow management is to utilize technology.

By taking advantage of digital software, you can work to streamline your business’s finances, reduce operational costs and boost employee productivity.

To help you find the right solution, we’ve put together a list of our favourite small business tools and cash flow resources available in 2023.

Free accounting software for small UK businesses:
  1. Pandle: Best for intuitive bookkeeping

  2. Quickfile: Best for MTD VAT return filing

  3. Zoho Books: Businesses turning over less than £35,000 per year

  4. FreeAgent: Best for NatWest, RBS, and Ulster Bank NI business customers

  5. Crunch: Best for freelancers and contractors

Free small business tools and software:

6. Asana: Best for project management

7. Hubspot: Best for customer relationship management

8. Connecteam: Best for managing remote teams

9. Poptin: Best for conversion rate optimization and popups

10. Canva: Best for social media assets

11. Screaming Frog: Best for onsite SEO audits

12. Mailchimp: Best for email marketing management

13. Prezi: Best for creating presentations

    Free accounting software for small UK businesses:

    1. Pandle

    Best for: Intuitive bookkeeping

    Since launching in 2015, Pandle has become popular among SMEs looking for a straightforward accounting solution. Unlike other accounting software, Pandle’s platform offers users easy navigation through its:

    Plans available:

    2. QuickFile

    Best for: An integrated Making Tax Digital (MTD) filing solution for VAT

    Like Pandle, QuickFile’s cloud-based accounting software offers several small business cash flow management solutions. In addition to streamlining bookkeeping tasks, Quickfile provides additional time and project management tools, API integrations and the ability to track and file VAT returns directly to HMRC.

    Their pricing structure is broken into two tiers based on accounting size by ledger transactions.

    Plans available:

    3. Zoho Books

    Best for: Businesses turning over less than £35,000 per year

    Before launching its accounting software in 2011, Zoho gained popularity through its free, entry-level customer relationship management (CRM) software - Zoho CRM.

    As with Zoho CRM, Zoho Books is the ideal choice for businesses in their early stages, offering a similar intuitive interface for customers to get to grips with basic bookkeeping.

    With customizable invoice creation for up to 1,000 invoices per year, the platform can also be easily integrated with popular apps like Dropbox, Office 365, and GSuite.

    Plans available:

    * All paid plans offer a 14-day free trial and 16.67% savings on annual subscriptions.

    4. FreeAgent

    Best for: NatWest, RBS, and Ulster Bank NI business customers

    With more than 150,000 users, FreeAgent is a popular platform among UK small businesses and freelancers.

    Their mobile app (available for Android and iOS) provides real-time accounts and gives customers a live view of their business finances via the centralized dashboard. As well as this, they offer popular payroll features and convenient ways to track expenses on the go.

    Plans available:

    * All paid plans offer a 30-day free trial and 45% savings on annual subscriptions.

    5. Crunch

    Best for: Freelancers and contractors

    Crunch is an online accounting service that champions the UK’s self-employed community.

    Their free online community, Crunch Chorus, gives entrepreneurs access to:

    In 2020, popular US-based company Wave accounting announced that they would not be taking on new UK-based customers. Shortly after this, Crunch launched Crunch Free, a ‘UK-based alternative to Wave from Crunch’.

    Designed for sole trader bookkeeping, Crunch Free helps to streamline invoice management and offers integrations with 12 UK banks. Their Self Assessment service can be added to the free plan for £95 + VAT.

    Plans available:

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    Free small business tools and software:

    6. Asana

    Best for: Project and task management

    Utilizing project management software can speed up productivity and efficiency within your business. Helping to reduce the time cost of projects, tools like Asana can be integrated across teams for easy collaboration.

    For small businesses with less than 15 team members, Asana is the ideal free project management tool to help employees stay on track.

    Their basic plan offers unlimited tasks, projects, messages, file storage and activity logging - enabling you to connect your business goals to specific tasks and track project progress with ease.

    Plans available:

    * All paid plans offer a 30-day free trial and 18% savings on annual subscriptions.

    A second free tool worth considering is ClickUp. Compared to Asana, ClickUp’s free plan offers more automation options and customization features, but as a result, is less intuitive than Asana’s simple interface.

    7. HubSpot

    Best for: Customer relationship management

    Over the years, HubSpot has established itself as a global inbound marketing leader.

    Its cloud-based CRM platform makes it easy for businesses to build an efficient sales funnel and streamline customer relationships, marketing efforts and sales.

    From social media management tools to operational data syncing, the HubSpot CRM suite is the perfect starting point for small businesses in need of a free, entry-level platform within the marketing space.

    Plans available:

    * HubSpot offers bundle plans which enable you to customize your CRM with features that benefit your business most.

    8. Connecteam

    Best for: Managing remote teams

    Connecteam is an employee engagement and management application geared towards remote working teams. With more and more businesses switching to hybrid and work-from-home setups, this software helps to encourage virtual employee communication.

    Their free plan is a great alternative for businesses that are familiar with Slack. In addition to offering chats for teams and groups within their Communication Hub, Connecteam also offers a breadth of functions for:

    They score highly on customer support, with many users reporting responsive fixes to issues that arise.

    Plans available:

    9. Poptin

    Best for: Conversion rate optimization and pop-ups

    For businesses in need of a cost-effective way to capture leads and optimize conversion rates, Poptin comes rated highly. Their customizable pop-ups and embedded forms offer benefits to a wide range of small online businesses. They are particularly useful for eCommerce retailers that want to increase their engagement, reduce abandoned carts and grow their email subscriber lists.

    Plans available:

    10. Canva

    Best for: Social media assets and basic graphic design

    Canva is a small business favourite, helping to save you time and money on your website marketing and social media efforts.

    With a range of free customizable templates for documents, blogging, eBooks, social media banners and posts, Canva makes visual asset creation seamless for small teams lacking graphic design skills.

    Their free plan includes 250,000 templates, more than 100 design layouts, countless drag-and-drop graphics and up to 5GB of cloud storage for your images.

    Plans available:

    * All paid plans offer a 30-day free trial and 16% savings on annual subscriptions.

    11. Screaming Frog

    Best for: Onsite SEO Audits

    If you're looking to optimize your business’s website, Screaming Frog can save you a lot of time with its fast and powerful crawling capabilities. Their user guides help business owners with limited knowledge of SEO uncover technical issues like crawl errors and broken links.

    Generate XML sitemaps and visualize your website structure to make better-informed decisions about website hierarchy and internal linking.

    When used in combination with free SEO tools like Ahrefs Keyword Generator, and web analytics platforms like Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools - you can quickly collect and analyse a wide range of data to benefit user experience.

    Plans available:

    12. Mailchimp

    Best for: Email marketing management

    Mailchimp competes with HubSpot’s Marketing Hub through AI-powered content tools that streamline small business email marketing campaigns.

    Their free plan offers users a wide range of features - including 1,000 monthly email sends, pre-built templates, integrations, reporting, and analytics.

    Under this plan, you can also make use of the creative assistant function, which allows you to import brand assets like logos, font packs, and images to quickly create brand-consistent campaigns.

    Plans available:

    * All paid plans offer the first month free and pay-as-you-go payment options for infrequent senders.

    13. Prezi

    Best for: Creating presentations

    If you’re looking for a new presentation tool, Prezi offers some real benefits.

    Perfect for creating interactive and engaging visual communications, the platform is particularly popular among education businesses, tech startups, and law firms.

    Their presentation software offers a unique format that frames presentations around a large canvas instead of individual slides.

    Unlike programs like PowerPoint, Prezi is run through web browsers, which works to reduce compatibility issues when viewing presentations on different devices.

    Prezi’s free plan is best suited to sole traders and freelancers looking to create a small number of presentations for clients per month.

    Plans available:

    * All paid plans offer a 14-day free trial.

    Leverage technology and teams to develop cash flow confidence

    In times of economic downturn, becoming a cash flow wizard can empower you to make informed decisions, mitigate financial risks and strengthen your business for long-term success.

    Selecting the right tools for your small business is essential, but it's not enough on its own. To truly benefit from the technology you choose, you'll need to equip your teams with training and ensure familiarity with any new systems put in place.