A man working from home sits at a table. He holds an electronic table in his hands, but his smiling face is turned toward his laptop.
Trying to keep costs down? There are plenty of free business resources online. — Getty Images/filadendron

As a small business owner, you need a way to grow your business while keeping expenses low. Here are 10 free resources your business should be taking advantage of.

Bplans.com

Coming up with a business plan can feel intimidating even for the most seasoned entrepreneurs. That’s why Bplans.com offers free business plan templates.

The templates outline all the information you need in your business plan; you just fill in the details. Once you’ve finished, you can access free resources on coming up with a pitch deck and accessing funding.

[Read more: How to Write a Business Plan During a Pandemic]

Avast

As a small business owner, you can’t afford to let a privacy breach ruin your company’s credibility. Avast provides free, award-winning antivirus software for PC and Mac users.

The software is easy to install and will scan your computer for threats and performance issues. If it detects any, the software will give you step-by-step instructions for how to fix them.

Wrike

When it comes to project management software, Wrike is one of the best options available. You can customize the software to suit your business and the company offers a free plan for up to five users.

The features include file sharing and task management, making it the perfect option for small teams. And as your business grows, the software can grow with you.

Evernote

Evernote is a note-taking app that provides many useful features for businesses. The basic plan allows you to store files and photos all in one location and access these documents from any device.

If you add the browser extension to your desktop, you can save noteworthy articles, PDFs and websites to an Evernote folder. Adding tags will make your documents and web clippings easy to search.

SCORE

With SCORE, you can find the business mentorship you need without paying for a business coach. You can either search for a local mentor or browse through mentor profiles to find someone with the experience you need.

Due to COVID, the meetings will be virtual. If you need more information, SCORE hosts a free weekly webinar with small business strategies.

Networking is crucial for small business owners, but it’s harder to do right now thanks to COVID.

Avoo

Avoo can help you find a qualified attorney to hire in your area. But what if you just have one legal question and aren’t quite ready to hire a lawyer? Instead of searching Google for the answer, you can use Avoo’s free Q&A option.

You’ll submit your question on the website and receive multiple responses from multiple attorneys. This isn’t a substitute for legal advice, but it could help point you in the right direction.

Virtual networking groups

Networking is crucial for small business owners, but it’s harder to do right now thanks to COVID. Virtual networking groups are a great solution.

You may be able to find a group on LinkedIn or a site like Meetup.com. You can also try attending a virtual conference and taking advantage of the networking options offered there.

[Read more: How to Network From Home]

Free e-books and audiobooks

Audiobooks and e-books are the best way to continue learning and growing your skillsets. And if you’re strategic about it, you can find many of these resources for free.

Sites like Project Gutenberg offer free books in a variety of formats. You can also reserve audiobooks and e-books for free through your local library.

Grammarly

If you regularly have to write content for your business, you know how difficult it can be to catch spelling and grammar errors. That’s why Grammarly is one of the best options for anyone who struggles with editing.

The free version will point out your grammar, spelling and punctuation errors. The software can’t catch everything, but it’s a useful tool to help you improve your writing.

Hubspot website grader

Have you ever wondered whether your website is performing the way it should? With Hubspot’s free website grader, you can get an inside view of the factors that are impacting your website’s performance.

To get started, you’ll enter your website and email address. From there, Hubspot will evaluate your site for things like page speed, page size, security and responsiveness. This can help you identify any problems that need to be fixed.

[Read more: Favorite Tech Tools of Small Business Owners]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published November 16, 2020