Starting a new business can be a stressful time. Perhaps you just finished massage therapy school, and sure, you secured a quality location and the proper equipment for your new massage therapy business, but now where is all the additional start-up cash for marketing, accounting, and various other business needs going to come from? Thankfully, free products and services currently available on the internet have rendered many of these cash woes a thing of the past. Investigate the below online management resources that are free for businesses, and perhaps you can alleviate much of the extra stress inherent in starting a new massage therapy business.
1.) Free Social Marketing Tools
In order for your massage therapy business to thrive in the modern market, it is imperative that you take full advantage of social media. Create custom business profiles and produce attention-grabbing content on the entirely free networks of Twitter and Facebook to promote your business. Additionally, creating your own blog is now relatively simple, especially with the many free online templates out there. WordPress, WordJot, and Blogger are all free, helpful, and easy-to-understand blog publishing tools that can save you from the overwhelming world of computer programming. All you need to do is provide the written content! Video blogs are another way to introduce your massage therapy programs and services and acquire substantially more customers. Video blogs can be entirely free to create and are easily uploaded. For your video blogging needs, Blip.tv is an excellent video blogging, podcasting, and video sharing service. You can also upload video blogs online by simply signing up for YouTube. And to properly emphasize your company’s professional image, VideoSpin has some helpful video-editing software to improve your final video product.
2.) Free Website Platforms and Tools
A business creates a website to market, generate leads, promote your massage therapy training and expertise, and advertise services. Weebly, SnapPages, and Synthasite are free, highly regarded, and simple-to-use website builders that allow even the computer-phobic to have functional and professional-looking websites. Microsoft Office Live Small Business has a free basic service that allows you to create a company website, domain name, and email. And once the website goes live, it is essential that you understand who is using your website, what they are doing when they arrive, and how long they are staying there. Google Analytics is a very popular program that provides free services to monitor and track traffic activity, visitor behavior, and more. To further monitor your blogs, social media networks, and other internet marketing ventures, StartPR, HubSpot and Shoutlet are also free.
3.) Free Office Computing Tools
Not all startups can afford the costs associated with installing Microsoft Office onto their office computers. Google Docs is an open-source desktop application, and online file-editing and sharing tool, that uses simplified word processors and spreadsheets. For protecting all of the valuable documents saved to your work computers, you must utilize some sort of storage and backup service. Luckily, Adrive and Mozy are online data storage and backup systems currently operating as free services to customers. And to ensure the safety and continued functionality of these expensive-to-fix computers, BitDefender Online Scanner is a free and basic virus-scanning service. Additionally, ZoneAlarm provides firewall protection from hackers.
4.) Free Accounting Software and Tools
Poor money management and planning can doom your business. Unfortunately, accountants do not work cheaply. Free to small businesses, FreshBooks is invoicing, time-tracking, and expense-monitoring software that allows you to manage client billing. And as the name clearly suggests, LiteAccounting allows you to easily invoice and track payments, free of charge. Citrus is another online billing website in which your customers can view, download, and pay invoices by credit or debit. Zoho Invoice can be helpful to your massage therapy business, as one of its primary features allows you to set up recurring invoicing. For money management and other financial planning needs, Mint is a popular and free Tool. QuickBooks has a free download to address the accounting needs of small businesses. And to further help your company avoid the pitfalls of money miscalculation, Bplans.com offers nine different business calculators, free of charge, to help you determine your proper cash flow, starting costs, and more.
5.) Free Calendars and Scheduling Tools
To have a successful massage therapy business, you must effectively manage scheduling, and Google Calendar is the shareable calendar and scheduling organizer to fulfill this need. And why not also allow your customers to schedule upcoming appointments online? BookingPad is an online bookings system that can be integrated into your business’ website. Another free online booking and scheduling option is clickbook.
6.) Free Customer Service Management Tools
Be certain that your current customers know that you care about them personally, and care about their continued satisfaction with your massage therapy services. Show your clients that you truly listen by utilizing Stazzle, which allows you to track a variety of customer information, including birthdays, other family members’ names, and any and all other useful personal information. BatchBook is a wonderful tool for managing contacts and communications, and it also gives you the ability to create mailing labels and email lists. EMail Manager is an excellent tool for high volume emailing. Additionally, Mad Mimi and EmailBrain assist in creating branded email newsletters and other promotions. And Feedback 2.0 is a great program that specializes in collecting opinions and suggestions from customers, as any good business owner looking for some longevity in the massage therapy industry needs.
7.) Free Business Forms and Tools
The U.S. Small Business Administration can provide you with all requisite governmental forms, and Winmark Business Solutions provides useful and free small business tools such as business plans, official government forms, IRS forms, and legal forms, as well as business templates, including form contract agreements and job applications. And if you sign up for the free membership, Inc.com gives you access to over 100 tools for small business needs, including employee management, marketing, workplace safety, and more.
Janine Johnson writes online about education and career growth opportunities.