5333418174_bc3dd19661_nAny small business owner knows the phrase “money is tight” can be a huge understatement. Expensive software, consultants, permits, and a plethora of other things are all vying for a piece of a new firm’s small budget. Thankfully, many large companies offer incredibly useful services for free! These companies do so for a variety of reasons, whether to encourage business owners to upgrade, to collect marketing data, or simply to generate brand awareness. Whatever the reason, small business owners can capitalize on these no-cost products and services.

Wifi

For small businesses, having free wifi on the premises for customers can be costly. However, that’s about to change: Facebook and Cisco recently rolled out their new wifi service, free to any establishment with a supporting router.  Customers will be able to connect to the network simply by checking-in at the venue on their Facebook page. Additionally. Facebook will provide business owners with anonymous demographic data about those who have checked-in at their location. Not only can business owners provide a popular service for their customers, they also gain valuable marketing data.

Transaction Technology

Intuit’s mobile payment app is highly useful for companies who want the flexibility of accepting payments anywhere. The app in conjunction with the attachment allows individuals to take credit and debit card payments from their phone. The app and the card reader are both free, but there is a small fee per transaction. (Intuit is also giving away a 30-second Super Bowl ad to one lucky small business!)

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Analytics

Although there is a Google Analytics Premium package, the free version has some great tools. The program allows you to analyze your site’s traffic to see who your customers are and how best to reach them. Google Analytics can also help you analyze your advertising and campaign performance. Like anything, the program works best if you take time to learn the full extent of all its tools.  Learn the ins and outs of the program to get the most out of your site statistics.

Advice

While gadgets are great, nothing beats good, sound advice from people who’ve been in your shoes before. Professional guidance is one of the most valuable resources a small business owner can have access too. Luckily, there are plenty of places to get it:

We’re right there with the others mentioned above —Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. is committed to helping small businesses thrive, and we do so in part through our free products. If you are trying to get funding, make sure you look at this checklist before you meet your lender. Stay alerted to changes in your business credit profile with CreditSignal®*, and register your business for its free D&B D-U-N-S Number. What’s a D&B D-U-N-S number, you ask? Well, here’s an infographic we made that breaks down just how important it is to businesses.

[Image Sources: Ken Hawkins, Colin Zhu]

*CreditSignal only indicates that your D&B scores and ratings have changed and alerts you when your business credit file has been purchased. To view actual scores and ratings and learn about what industries are purchasing your D&B file, we recommend that you upgrade to one of our business credit monitoring or credit building solutions. Please note, due to the proprietary nature of these inquiries and inquiry requests, only the industries in which the purchasing customers reside will be revealed.