Our 15 life-saving tools for micro-business owners

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Micro-businesses, a subset of small businesses – defined as companies valued at less than 250k and counting fewer than 9 employees including the owner – along with freelancers are the most dynamic segment of a growing economy. According to research there were 5.6 million micro- businesses in the UK in 2019, accounting for 96% of all businesses. Freelancers is a rapidly growing segment of the economy, with an estimated 31% annual rise in people looking to go freelance, counting 4.8 million freelancers in 2017 contributing a total of £275 billion to the UK economy.

This entrepreneurial revolution has led to the need and creation of many tools catering specifically to the needs of micro-businesses and freelancers. We’ve looked at some of the most popular tools out there and chosen our top 15. Take a look:

  1. Canva, founded in Australia in 2012 has gathered much love from startup founders and freelancers around the globe. Canva empowers people that don’t know anything about design, design. There are countless templates, free and paid, for social media posts, presentations, posters, etc, for you to customize and easily edit within the platform. It’s a great tool to help you level up your social media game and make your brand stand out.
  2. ANNA is a business current account tailor cut to the needs of  freelancers and micro-businesses. ANNA creates, sends and chases invoices, sorts your expenses and takes care of your company tax returns.
  3. Hootsuite, probably the most seasoned tool on this list, is a go to for freelancers, small and big teams that want to manage and schedule their social media feeds in one place. Hootsuite offers great tools for analytics and monitoring and offers various plans depending on the size of your team and needs. On Hootsuite website you can also find rich resources and guides on making the most of your social media presence.
  4. Farillio is a legal template and advice platform, enabling freelancers, startups and SMEs to handle the legal related work they need to do in a simple, efficient and low cost way. Farillio helps demystify contracts, NDAs and other key legal documents by providing users with customisable templates, and access to a host of expert lawyers and legal advisors experienced in supporting startup entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
  5. Toggl is a time tracker boosting productivity through efficient time management. It’s a handy tool whether you are a team or working by yourself, to understand better how you spend your valuable time, time allocation across various projects. Toggl is integrated with hundreds of apps, making tracking time as painless as possible.
  6. Calendly facilitates scheduling meetings without the back and forth emails. If you feel like your calendar and inbox are taking over your work day, this tool is for you. The way it works is simple: you let calendly know your availability preferences,  then share your calendly link via email with the person you are setting a meeting with and they can pick a time and day from the time slots available. Easy, breezy!
  7. Whereby is a flexible tool providing you with video meetings in the browser – no downloads needed and no logins for guests. All you have to do is set up your meeting room and send the link to guests. Apart from a beautifully designed environment, Whereby offers a free plan for one user and one meeting room, making it a great go-to solution for solopreneurs and freelancers.
  8. Bonsai is an all-in-one freelancing solution specifically for creative freelancers or solopreneurs. Bonsai helps you organize and navigate work from proposal & contracts to invoices & expenses. Worth checking out as well their resources, lots of research and ebooks to guide you along your entrepreneurial journey.
  9. MOO, a favorite among the startup community, is the go-to place for creating & printing beautiful and memorable business stationery. Their offering, Printfinity, gives a crucial leg up for creative businesses. You can have a different image on every card or sheet in a pack. A pocket portfolio, a great way to show off your products or a creative opportunity to communicate what your business believes in (or all three!).
  10. Trello, used by communities, small and large teams but also solopreneurs, is the tool that keeps on giving. Following the agile methodology mindset, Trello enables anyone to build their own Kanban boards, assign priorities and responsibilities. A Kanban board on Trello visualises the work in a table with three columns: To Do, Doing, and Done. This way it’s easy with a glance to see how everyone on the team is progressing. Trello is compatible with numerous tools you may be already working and is also offering automation via their bot, Butler.
  11. GoCo is an HR tool automating anything that has to do with HR processes from onboarding to benefits and payroll, without forcing you to change your processes, policies, and providers. GoCo supports international locations and currency, so if you lead a remote team distributed around the world, this tool will remove a lot of pain points along the way. GoCo is offering free basic HR tools for companies with 20 employees or less.
  12. UpWork is a platform connecting in-demand talent on demand! Great for solopreneurs to find work and build their portfolio, but also ideal for small businesses that want some add-on help, or expertise on tap without having to hire a full-time person. You can look up their global database and find quality talent to work with on anything from software development and design to writing and customer service.
  13. Unsplash is offering stunning free high-resolution photos to use. The over 1 million images are hand-selected by the unsplash team to guarantee you will always get top quality images. It’s a rapidly growing community of photographers, hobbyists, professionals, emerging brands and everyone in between. Public warning: You may end up spending hours just browsing their amazing photo library so use wisely!
  14. InVision is a design focused platform facilitating collaboration and co creation in a visual and impactful way. On InVision you can create rich interactive prototypes, mood boards, and tools to facilitate hand offs from design to development. InVision is an intuitive solution for prototyping and has offerings for freelancers all the way to entreprise.
  15. Grammarly is great writing, simplified, whether you have a blog or writing business proposals, Grammarly is your 24/7 editor making sure you present your thoughts in writing in the best way possible. Grammarly’s writing assistant is an add on helping you compose clear, mistake-free writing that makes the right impression. With integrations on various tools, you can use Grammarly almost anywhere, from email to documents and social media.

We’d love to hear from you what are YOUR favorite tools that empower you on your entrepreneurial journey. Leave us a comment or ping us on social media.