Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five free collaboration tools.

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five free collaboration tools.

It is hard to run a small business by yourself. That’s why you hire employees to delegate tasks to and work on bigger projects with – but this can get complicated. We’ve compiled this list of tools and resources that will help you manage and track team projects and shared tasks.

Hipchat

How much it costs: Free with a $2.00 a month premium plan

What it does: Hipchat is more than just a chat room for your employees. With their free, easy-to-use interface, you can also share files securely and create group chats or talk with members one-on-one. Their premium paid plan gives you unlimited file sharing storage and includes video conferencing capabilities. An amazing feature is the ability to search through conversations to find that one message you need.

MeisterTask

How much it costs: Free with paid premium plans

What it does: MeisterTask is a project management application that centers around collaboration and team coordination. This app offers mobile integration, checklists, deadline notifications, file sharing, and instant communication between team members. Simply open your dashboard in the morning, see what progress has been made on projects, and focus on what is important to running your business.

Trello

How much it costs: Free with paid premium plans

What it does: Trello is a simple way to track projects among your staff. Easily create projects and subtasks, add as many people who are involved, attach photos and files to projects, set deadlines, and start conversations through project comments. The free plan also allows for one “Power-up” which can sync an outside application or add a special feature your Trello account.

Producteev

How much it costs: Free with paid premium plan

What it does: With unlimited users, tasks, and projects, Producteev is a great task management service for collaborating. You can connect employees to shared projects with to-do lists, deadlines, auditing, priorities, and notifications. Easily turn work emails into tasks by forwarding them to Producteev. The premium plan only offers two additional services: personalized support and customization of the interface with your small business’ colors and logo.

Dropbox

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Dropbox is a really popular file-sharing service. Store your files in the cloud and sync with the people you want to share with. You also have the ability to collaborate with others on slides already uploaded into Dropbox. No more hassle of downloading, editing, and re-uploading files hundreds of times!

 

We’re always looking for the best affordable online resources including tools to promote to small business owners like you. If you have a tool you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In FY16 year, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook  and Twitter

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five free scheduling tools.

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five free scheduling tools.

Appointments and shift schedules can become extremely complicated if you aren’t keeping track of everything properly. As a small business owner, your time is limited and needs to be spent on scheduling as efficiently as possible. We’ve compiled this list of tools and resources that will help you schedule employees and customers alike.

When I Work

How much it costs: Free for up to 75 employees

What it does: Scheduling and keeping track of employee shifts takes an unnecessarily large amount of your precious time. When I Work is an amazing free resource that works seamlessly between mobile and desktop to make your life easier. You can send notifications to employees about their schedules and make any changes in real time. This application also gives you a sleek, easy-to-use option for clocking-in.

Setmore

How much it costs: Free with premium paid plans

What it does: Setmore is a robust tool for scheduling appointments with customers. This software can work for many different types of small businesses. Some of the amazing features this resource offers includes making appointments for multiple employees, taking payments online, allowing clients to book online themselves, syncing your calendar with other applications, mobile alerts and integration, weekly reports on projected revenue, displaying your services with prices, a customer information management tool, and many more! Some of these features are premium, so you can customize your plan to the needs of your small business.

Sling

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Sling is another great tool for scheduling employees. This service focuses on making sure you remember the scheduling tasks you need to complete and making it easier for you to do so. Not only can you communicate with employees directly through an in-app messaging tool, but they can work out shift changes between each other and notify you instantly. Sling offers a task manager and easy-to-read shift calendar that is color-coded and able to be copied for recurring schedules. This tool is free for any size business and available for desktop and mobile devices.

10to8

How much it costs: Free with premium paid plans

What it does: 10to8 is a nice free tool for scheduling appointments with customers. The completely free plan includes 100 appointments a month, two staff logins, text and email confirmations to customers, and a whole suite of features that make appointments easy. These other features include reporting, a client information database, and online payment options. 10to8 is a great option for small business owners who want a reliable tool for simple appointment-booking at a low cost.

Smoothbook

How much it costs: Free for a limited time

What it does: Smoothbook is offering their scheduling software for free right now. If you act now before they start charging, your account will still remain free forever. This mobile-friendly tool is great for small businesses who book a large number of appointments, classes, workshops, or events. The ability to book classes with multiple customers in the same time slot is a unique and valuable feature not found in free tools. You can also take payments online, connect external online calendars, and even integrate your social media and Google Adwords accounts to track and retain clients.

 

We’re always looking for the best affordable online resources including tools to promote to small business owners like you. If you have a tool you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In FY16 year, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook  and Twitter

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five free organization tools.

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five free organization tools.

From invoices to inspiration, being a small business owner can be overwhelming. You need a way to remember and keep track of your business without going crazy. We’ve compiled this list of tools and resources that will help you organize your workload.

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Evernote is a really popular tool for creating and organizing notes in the cloud. With Evernote’s free plan, you can synch up your notes across two devices, with 60MB storage, and can even store web pages and photos for reference. Paid plans offer premium non-essential services such as forwarding emails, accessing notes across unlimited devices and even offline, scanning and storing business cards, annotating PDFs, and browsing through your notes history. If you’re the kind of person who has a million things to remember but can’t keep a list all in one place, Evernote might be the free tool for you.

How much it costs: Free

What it does: We’ve recommended a free Google product before, but here’s another one that can really benefit your small business. Google Drive is a completely free service that you can use with or without your gmail account, and you can purchase additional cloud storage space if you need. Upload files, documents, and powerpoints into your Drive and share it with anyone you want easily.

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Producteev is a great way to organize your projects. You can easily keep track of to-do lists, collaborators, priorities, and deadlines for any project your small business has. Don’t bother paying for their premium plan that only adds custom colors and online support; their free plan has everything you need to orangize and track your business operations.

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Some people love to remember things by snapping a photo of it with their smartphone and looking at it later. Genius Scan offers a business-oriented approach to this same idea. Download the app on either Android or iPhone and easily take quality photos and scans of receipts, invoices, notes, and other documents. For an affordable one-time fee, you can add on other features including exporting your scanned items to cloud storage systems if you want to access them on a desktop.

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Pinterest can be used for more than recipes and DIY project ideas. Businesses sometimes use Pinterest to promote their products and blog posts, but you can also use it to organize inspiration for your small business. A unique use for this completely free website and app is to create private boards and pin instructional blog posts you want to read or ideas you like for anything from menu designs to decor for your business’ redecorating plan. Download their free tool to instantly grab content from the web for faster organization.

 

We’re always looking for the best affordable online resources including tools to promote to small business owners like you. If you have a tool you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In FY16 year, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook  and Twitter

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five affordable Human Resources tools.

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five affordable Human Resources tools.

Payroll is probably your biggest expense as a small business owner, and HR is one of the most complicated to manage. Finding an affordable, easy-to-use solution can be a challenge. We’ve compiled this list of tools and resources that will help you manage your employees at low cost.

 

Zenefits

How much it costs: Free with premium plans starting at $5 per employee a month.

What it does: Zenefits is a popular HR tool that offers a free option for small businesses that don’t require a lot of managing services. You can get employee management and benefits administration free, which includes hiring, employee directory, payroll reports, and a few other useful tools. For an affordable monthly fee, you can get access to PTO management, ACA compliance reports, payroll management, tax filing, and many more features that will help you easily manage your business. In addition to the basic subscriptions, you can also add on supplementary tools such as background checks, commuter benefits, and timecard recordkeeping. This tool has everything you could need for HR.

 

Sentrifugo

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Sentrifugo is an open source tool, which means it is completely free. Some of the big features offered include a way for employees to update their information to save you time, a robust performance appraisal system, multi-level background checks, PTO and leave management, hiring and interview scheduling, expenses, and much more. This service is a great option if you have a low budget but a complicated set of HR requirements.

 

Small Business Administration

How much it costs: Free

What it does: The SBA offers many resources available to you for free. From workplace posters to union and disability compliance, check out the different topics they have. This is a great, basic tool for getting accurate information about human resource management and compliance.

 

SutiHR

How much it costs: Free trial with monthly plans starting at $2 per user.

What it does: SutiHR is the perfect paid tool for small businesses who want to only pay for the services they will use. Choose from a dozen options, and each option will add only $0.50 to $1 on to your monthly subscription. These options include performance reviews, benefits management, document storage, HR calendar that syncs with Google, project management, hiring, training schedules, attendance, an employee self-service portal, and mobile access.

 

WebHR

How much it costs: Free signup with monthly plans starting at $2 per user.

What it does: This is another affordable service that allows you to pay per tool. The more employees you have, the cheaper it is to include them in this simple, but easy service. Some of these include an HR calendar, payroll and attendance management, document storage, an applicant tracking system for hiring, and a self-service portal for employees. This is a really affordable platform that won’t over-complicate your HR needs.

 

We’re always looking for the best affordable online resources including tools to promote to small business owners like you. If you have a tool you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In FY16, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook  and Twitter

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five affordable legal resources.

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five affordable legal resources.

Navigating the law is complicated for business owners. The high price of lawyers and legal teams may seem daunting, but there are affordable options. We’ve compiled this list of tools and resources that will help you find accessible legal advice and assistance at low cost.

 

How much it costs: Monthly plans starting at $39.00

What it does: Legal Shield is a low-cost law firm that has plans specifically for small businesses. Their plans are broken down by how many employees you have and in which state your business is located. In addition to unlimited legal consultation, monthly plans include a number of calls each year, collection letters each month, and legal document review each year. They even have a free mobile app for on-the-go assistance. If you need representation or additional services, Legal Shield offers a 25% discount towards your lawyer’s normal rate. This resource is perfect for small businesses that need reoccurring, but simple legal needs.

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: This free resource is great if you need quick legal advice but don’t want to pay for a lawyer. The process is simple and easy-to-use: fill out some basic information about your business and your question, and you will have the opportunity to contact someone near you for help. Lawyers.com also has good articles about small business law.

 

How much it costs: Free resources with paid extra services

What it does: Legal Zoom offers many different services and tools. Business advisory plans include telephone consultation, legal document review, and a yearly “legal check-up” to make sure your business is in compliance with the law. You can also download legal forms and documents at a low cost to use as many times as your business needs. There are so many plans for different needs, check out this affordable resource whether you need general advice or help with specific legal issues.

 

How much it costs: Monthly plans starting at $39.95

What it does: Rocket Lawyer specializes in three areas of legal assistance: legal documents, attorney consultation, and business incorporation. Premium and accelerate plans are available for a one week trial if you think you might be interested in paying for their services.

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: The American Bar Association partnered with FindLegalHelp.org to provide you information and assistance. If you have a special circumstance or qualify as low-income, this is a fantastic resource for inexpensive or pro bono legal help.

 

We’re always looking for the best affordable online resources including tools to promote to small business owners like you. If you have a tool you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In FY16, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook  and Twitter

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five affordable local business resources.

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five affordable local resources.

Sometimes the advice you find online just isn’t right for the unique challenges your small business faces. There are many organizations with locations all over the country that can give you personalized assistance. We’ve compiled this list of tools and resources that will help you find local events, advice, and opportunities.

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: SCORE is a nonprofit resource for accessing business advice. They offer free webinars, local workshops, and a service to find a mentor near you. You can either meet your member in-person at a local chapter or through various digital communication channels. All meetings are confidential, and they won’t charge you no matter how many times you meet with your mentor.

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: The Small Business Association (SBA) is always a good place to look for small business advice and assistance, but did you know they have local offices? Look up your regional or district office for local workshops and seminars. The SBA also offers lots of resources for information and advice.

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Small Business Development Centers are also local offices that are available to small business owners. The main website offers special members-only deals from partner companies such as Quickbooks and Square. Looking up your local SBDC chapter will show you workshops, training, advisors, and events near you. Sign up to become a member for free.

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Our blog features free or low-cost events each month. The in-person workshops and seminars are only located in California at this time, but we also showcase online webinars that anyone can join.

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Your local chamber is the best place to go for representation. As a small business owner, you deserve to have your voice heard by local government officials and community investors. Use this resource to keep up-to-date on city and county level laws that might affect your business. Your chamber might also host networking opportunities and workshops. Additionally, check out the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Nation for newsletters, mentors, ebooks, articles, tax calendars, and more.

 

We’re always looking for the best affordable online resources including tools to promote to small business owners like you. If you have a tool you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In FY16, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook  and Twitter

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable online tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five affordable money management resources.

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable online tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five affordable money management resources.

As a small business owner, you already know that the world runs on money. Financing your business is tough sometimes, and managing your capital is just as difficult. We’ve compiled this list of tools and resources that will help you understand your finances and manage your accounts.

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Mint is a completely free, all-in-one service for managing your finances. Not only does it allow you to connect your business bank accounts and credit cards to see your cash flow, but it offers so many helpful and easy-to-use options. With Mint, you can pay bills, see your credit report, set and track monthly budgets by spending category, receive alerts so you don’t miss a payment or incur fees, and more. This is a safe, secure application that is available online and as a mobile app.

 

How much it costs: Free with premium features like payroll services starting at $20 a month

What it does: Wave offers free accounting and invoicing software. You can easily track your cash flow so tax season is a breeze, schedule invoices and send out emails when payment is due, and scan receipts with your mobile camera directly into your accounting records. For a small monthly fee, you can also add on detailed payroll services.

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Tidyform has dozens of free templates for you to download. Choose from invoices, receipts, orders, contracts, budgets, timesheets, payroll, balance sheets, and many more. In addition to financial forms, you can download templates for marketing, HR, and any other paperwork your small business might need.

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: This website has over 30 free courses to help you understand and manage your accounts. Choose to learn the basics like balance sheets and debt or enhance what you already know as a small business owner with topics such as bank reconciliation and depreciation. While a lot of this content may seem extremely detailed for everyday small business operations, educating yourself will help your business in the long run. This resource is also a good way to improve your ability to do your own finances if you don’t have an accountant.

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) put together a nine-part video workshop to explain everything your small business needs to know about taxes, planning for retirement, payroll, and hiring undocumented employees. You can choose to watch any lesson independently from the others with detailed outlines and transcripts for easy review.

 

We’re always looking for the best affordable online resources including tools to promote to small business owners like you. If you have a tool you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In FY16, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook  and Twitter

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable online tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five affordable marketing resources.

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable online tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five affordable marketing resources.

Marketing is vital to growing a business. In today’s digital world, it isn’t enough to rely on street traffic. Marketing your small business has expanded to include social media, blogging, email, online ads, and many other electronic methods. We’ve compiled this list of tools and resources that will help you attract and retain customers to your small business.   

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: If you have a smartphone, you should check out Google’s new Primer app. As a small business owner, time is precious. Primer is an easy-to-read, completely free resource for learning how to market your business. It offers topics such as advertising, content creation, business strategy, and success measurement. These five-minute lessons will help you grow your business without breaking the bank on a specialized marketing team or spending hours trying to figure out marketing techniques from scratch.

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Smartsheet offers a dozen free Excel templates that you can download for free. Among the different templates, you can find digital marketing, monthly marketing budget, social media editorial calendar, competitive analysis, and other templates that will help you organize your business. Creating a marketing strategy is important for growing and engaging with your small business’ audience, and using Excel spreadsheets is an easy way to effectively manage that strategy.

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Advertising costs money, and small businesses like yours don’t have extensive marketing budgets like big corporations do. One way to compete for local business is through offering deals online through services like Living Social. How it works is that you work with Living Social to create an offer for customers. When someone purchases your deal, Living Social takes a small percentage for marketing your offer and pays you the rest. This is a great opportunity for small business to attract local customers without paying up-front costs unless you make a sale. Living Social also offers a free ebook for marketing basics.

 

How much it costs: Free with premium plans starting at $29 a month

What it does: If your business posts to social media—which it should—then you have probably shared links to other websites. The problem with this is that you might lose your potential customer if they don’t visit your website after checking out the link. Sniply offers a unique, easy-to-use tool that pops up a customizable button that visitors see when they visit a web page you link to. This helps drive traffic to your business’ website and increase sales opportunities. The free plan supports 1,000 clicks a month, and offers valuable tracking and analytics.

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: This resource is two-in-one — or a ten-in-one if you prefer! We have created two other lists of five free online tools that will help you market your small business. The two biggest aspects of digital marketing involve email and social media. Take a look at each blog post for marketing tools for scheduling newsletters, reaching out to customers, creating effective social media posts, expanding your target audience, and more.

 

We’re always looking for the best affordable online resources including tools to promote to small business owners like you. If you have a tool you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In FY16, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook  and Twitter

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable online tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five affordable tax resources.

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable online tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five affordable tax resources.

Whether you file your small business’ taxes yourself or pay a professional, preparing for tax season is not fun. There are a lot of potential mistakes you can make and deductions you can miss. We’ve compiled this list of tools and resources that will help tax preparation easier and less confusing.   

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: While it may seem obvious, the Internal Revenue Service is the most accurate resource for information regarding taxes. This portal for entrepreneurs is chock-full of helpful links to ease your concerns and questions. From a free tax calculator to a term dictionary, this web page can help you properly and easily prepare your small business taxes. Also, check out the small business tax workshop the IRS created for a comprehensive, but quick, guide to your business taxes.

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Every business is unique, and the more diverse your small business is the more complicated your taxes will be. Business USA created an easy-to-use tool that takes information about your small business and shows you a tailored list of tools and information that pertain to your business’ individual needs. If your business has employed veterans or disabled people, invested in charities or green energy, own property or vehicles for business use, provide benefits to your employees, or several other unique situations, this resource can help you navigate the tax complexities of your small business.

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: This short but sweet resource is an easy-to-read list of all the paperwork and information you will need to efficiently file your small business’ taxes. This checklist is especially handy if you have been procrastinating and don’t know what you need. Whether you are filing taxes yourself or hiring a tax professional, this checklist will help make gathering everything you need easier.

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: One of the most complicated aspects of business tax is how to handle your employees’ payroll. These five important tips will help you stay on top of accurately classifying and handling payroll taxes so you don’t get slapped with fines and penalties from the IRS.

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Running a small business takes a lot of time and energy. Spending a little money to hire a tax professional handle your small business’ taxes might be worth the time and money saved from doing it yourself. Use this resource for finding a legitimate tax preparer. If you are doing your business taxes yourself, or just want to be better informed, this site also has great webinars, workshops, and information about different areas of tax law and preparation.

 

We’re always looking for the best affordable online resources including tools to promote to small business owners like you. If you have a tool you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In FY16, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook  and Twitter

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable online tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five affordable social media resources.

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable online tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five affordable social media resources.

Social media is the new hot way to market to customers around the world. And it’s free to use! We’ve compiled this list of five affordable online tools you can use to utilize social media for your small business. From creating to publishing, this list has you covered.  

How much it costs: Free, with optional premium paid plans

What it does: Hootsuite is a great easy-to-use dashboard for writing and scheduling your social media posts to be published in the future. The free plan allows you to connect to three social media profiles with basic analytics tools for tracking follower growth and post performance. If you need help thinking of things to post, they also offer ten free content suggestions every week. If you just need help, Hootsuite has helpful social media classes and an online help forum.

How much it costs: Free, with $19 a month premium plan

What it does: Cyfe is another all-in-one dashboard that keeps everything you need to know about your social media in one convenient place. In addition to creating and scheduling posts, you can track your followers and post performance, see demographics of your followers, and look at detailed web analytics for your small business. What is outstanding about Cyfe is it also allows you to track your business’ sales, finances, and projects. This resource really is great for small business owners who want everything in one place without having to log into multiple websites and accounts.

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Latergram is specific to scheduling Instagram posts, but it is really convenient to be able to create and publish Instagram posts from your desktop instead of hunching over your mobile phone all the time. Not many web services let you do this for Instagram, so take advantage of Latergram’s incredibly helpful tool. Their calendar view scheduling is easy-to-read, and their media library lets you keep all your photos in the cloud to use in the future. Latergram is also planning on implementing a hashtag campaign tool which will make Instagram giveaways and contests easier for you – these are popular marketing strategies to engage younger customers.

How much it costs: Free, optional premium paid plans

What it does: Buffer is another scheduling tool that is simple and straightforward. Their integrated Pablo tool allows you to design visuals for your posts, and connects to all six major social media platforms (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Linkedin). If you want to connect your business Instagram, you’ll need to download the Buffer mobile app. This may sound complicated, but using the mobile app allows you to schedule your posts on the go.

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Images boost interaction from your followers – you should try to include some kind of visual in every social media post. Finding images for commercial use can be difficult and expensive, so Hubspot created over 500 royalty-free images that you can use. No fees or attribution required. If you need help using images in social media posts, take a look at some of these affordable design tools.

 

We’re always looking for the best affordable online resources including tools to promote to small business owners like you. If you have a tool you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In FY16, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook  and Twitter

Opportunity Fund. Working Capital for Working People. opportunityfund.org