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Tools and Resources That Are Free to Use

Free and Economical Tools and Resources Entrepreneurs Can UtiliseYou’ve basically put everything in place and your start-up is up and running. But do you know that there is a way to achieve cost savings even during your setup phase? Consider automating and digitizing your processes to boost collaboration, communication, planning and productivity, and there is a wide range of tools and resources available. Some are free while the others are for a low fee. Start-ups usually cash strapped in the early phase, can tap on these tools to save on some costs.

Cash is the lifeline of businesses, regardless of which industry and phase you’re in. Every business faces the ebb and flow of expenses, and that’s when they need to forecast upcoming expenses, plan for a rainy day and always maintaining a healthy amount of cash flow to meet these obligations when they come due.


Importance of Cash for Start-ups

There is a saying ‘Cash is King’. This is an apt description when it comes to the financial management of a growing company. With better cash management, your initial capital can go further. Your stakeholders such as potential lenders, employees and even investors will have greater confidence in your viability. You will have the liquidity to meet due obligations. You can also be able to undertake increased marketing efforts when you see a potential opportunity. By utilising free and economical tools and resources, this will help free up some cash and relieve your financial burden to some extent. Through wise allocation of finances, your resources can go towards prolonging your runway and reduce your rate of cash burn.


Invoice Generation

An invoice is a document stating the details of the products and services provided by a seller to a buyer. As a service, invoice generation assists sellers in generating invoices with accurate details of the transaction such as quantity of products and services, tax rates and the consolidated amount to be paid by the seller. You can utilise this to ensure a smooth processing of the transaction without worrying that certain details have been overlooked or forgotten. This helps you save the time, effort and cost of handling this yourself or hiring another staff to manage this process. It is simple enough to use that you can get started by just filling in a few standard details, often coming with step-by-step guide on customization of the invoice template to suit your business purposes.

Xero enables you to create and send custom invoices while you are out and about, receiving updates when invoices are opened and automating payment reminders. Your clients can select the payment link on your invoices and make a direct payment instantly online. Through the dashboard you can track payments as they are made and see all your outstanding and overdue sales invoices at a glance. Financio is an alternative that provides the same services.


Legal Documents

Legal documents are documents that state a contractual relationship between two parties or grants some rights. These are such as articles of incorporation which is a set of documents needed to incorporate a company, letter of intent which documents a preliminary agreement regarding the terms of a potential transaction and commercial lease agreement which documents a formal agreement between a landlord and a tenant to rent business property. If you’re starting a business, this will definitely be one of your concerns. Legal documents are unavoidable and they cost quite a sum to be done by a lawyer. Here we will be introducing to you an online service that will help make your life easier.

Zegal enables you to find, edit and sign your legal documents online such as for employment contract, confidentiality agreement and privacy policy. With a vast resource of document templates, you can find the right document for your needs. Thereafter, you can easily create your bespoke legal document through the built-in text editor. All relevant parties can then be invited to review and sign documents online, saving your time and money. You can even digitally sign other documents. DocuSign is an alternative that provides the same services.


Social Media & Community Management

Social media and community management is about creation of mindshare and relationships as well as how your brand interacts with your community in public online spaces. This is another crucial point for start-ups. This is because as a new brand, your potential clients may not know of your presence nor your value proposition and so how your brand interacts with the community is very important. This will build your image in the eyes of your potential clients which will lead to them forming a positive or negative impression towards your brand. There are many combinations of channels to interact with your customers which adds to a better and more relevant experience for them.

Hootsuite enables you to connect with your clients and achieve success on every social platform. It keeps your social presence active 24/7 by automatically scheduling all of your social media posts across your social accounts. It helps you to stay on message with pre-approved content your team can post, along with other statistical functions for tagging, searching, and usage hence makes curating content easy. You can track your performance and share meaningful insights with your team about customers and campaign content using customizable, easy-to-create reports. You can also find and filter social conversations by keyword, hashtag, and location to hear what people are saying about your brand, competitors, and industry. SEMrush is an alternative that provides the same services.


Customer Service & Surveys

This is another service that will help you collect data on your client’s experiences and further improve your service to provide a seamless experience. This will help you to predict a pattern in your clients’ behavioural patterns, such as what are they looking for, prefer or may need.  A good customer service experience will keep them coming back for more. With increasingly commoditized business touchpoints, it can be seen that a majority of customers look for customer service over all else.

SurveyMonkey enables you to gather opinions and transform them into valuable data. This is done through easy creation of surveys, quizzes, and polls for any audience, of which you can gather their feedback through weblink, email, mobile chat and social media. Meaningful analyse of results is obtained via automatic charts and summaries, including text responses which can be analysed via word cloud and sentiment analysis. Data results can be exported or integrated with your favourite apps, ultimately leading to superior insights and making of better and data-driven decisions. Typeform is an alternative that provides the same services.


Task Management, Collaboration, Organising

As work trends towards decentralization and increased digitization, tools which facilitate productivity, collaboration and automation are of rising importance to businesses both big and small. For start-ups it is good to set things right as you are embarking on establishing of internal systems. You may want to give one of these tools a go. They’re available on your laptop, mobile phones and even tablets. It can be synced across all devices.

Google Workspace enables you to reach your team wherever they are, collaboratively create and work on your project, store and access your files with ease, as well as manage your users, devices, and data securely. Decision making is faster, with the use of shared calendars, face-to-face video conferences and collective review of files as a team. Real time collaboration is achieved through collective working on files across devices, communication through built-in chat and automatic saving of data to ensure zero loss. Cloud-based storage and sharing of files enables secured access from all devices as well as ease of access to view, download and collaborate. Data and devices security is bolstered via 2-step verification, single sign-on options, endpoint management and archival settings, with all other security settings configurable and centralized on an administration console. Microsoft 365 is an alternative that provide the same services.


3E Accounting Tools Page

For readers based in Singapore, 3E Accounting has resource tools that will help greatly when building a business. We offer a complete set of resources that covers tools that you may need along your growth journey. This is such as Data Protection Notice Generator which helps you get started on data protection. There are various calculators that you could use, for example the Annual General Meeting and Annual Returns Calculator to ensure you never miss the key dates to meet regulatory requirement. The Business Valuation Calculator helps you to determine the economically true and fair market value of your business. Your manpower and recruitment needs can also be met via the Foreign Worker Quota Calculator and Employment Pass S Pass Tool. You can calculate your taxes and Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions as well as. For those planning to incorporate a company, do check out the tools for checking of company name, domain name and Singapore Standard Industrial Classification SSIC code.

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Free and Economical Tools and Resources Entrepreneurs Can Utilise