Written by Satyendra | April 01, 2015

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Every business has a few pet tools in its arsenal that help it stay ahead and survive cut throat competition. If you are just starting up or are in the growing phase, you too need a couple of tools to keep yourself updated and manage your business easily yet professionally. In this post, we list 9 such tools which can prove beneficial for small businesses in the longer run.

Evernote - Evernote is a really powerful tool that helps you remember all the things that happen in your life. Using this free online tool you can consolidate all of your notes in one place and retrieve them by entering one-word search term. The best part about this tool is that it allows you to save your ideas/inspirations in different formats. Found an interesting page on the web? Just use Evernote Web Clipper to save it. Want to record a note in audio format? No worries. Evernote allows you to do that too. Saw an interesting image in a magazine? Just click a picture through the Evernote App on your phone and save it along with accompanying notes. What's more? With Evernote you can also find a picture using the text in the image. You can access Evernote from pretty much anywhere, be it your phone, computer or iPad. You can opt for a paid version of this tool if you want to share your notes with your team.

Dropbox - Dropbox makes it really easy to sync, store and share your files online. It offers upto 2GB (+500 MB upon each referral) storage space for free. All you need to do is simply drag and drop any file on your computer into the Dropbox Folder and it would automatically sync the file with your Online Dropbox. Wait, Dropbox has something more to offer! You can even access your files via your smartphones using the Dropbox mobile application, which currently supports iOS, Android and Blackberry platform.

Google Analytics - Google Analytics is one of the best tools out there to help businesses learn a great deal about their website's traffic. It can tell you how many hits your website gets, where these hits come from, average time a user spends on the website and much more highly relevant information. This free tool can even help companies monitor the effectiveness of a particular marketing campaign. To get Google Analytics and start tracking your website, you simply need to create an Analytics account and paste the analytics code at the bottom of all the pages on your website that you want to be tracked.

Google Alerts - With the help of this tool, businesses can keep a track of anything they want. For example what is being said about you, your company, your competitors or anything that interests you. Simply create Google Alerts for the term that you would like to track (example: Nike) and thereon you will get regular updated via email as and when something new about the term is published on the web. By using this amazing tool you can have the keyword related links delivered to your email for free. Stay updated, stay ahead.

Skype - We would like to believe that anyone reading this post has heard about Skype. Skype is an online chat software that allows you to make Audio/Video calls to anyone, anywhere across the world at a really low cost or even free (Skype to Skype). Skype is easy to install, has a really friendly user interface and offers crystal clear voice quality.  It is a great tool for collaboration and group chats.

MailChimp - MailChimp is a great way to build and manage your email list. Using their ‘Forever Free' plan, you can send upto 12,000 emails a month to a list of up to 2,000 subscribers. The best part is that they don't even ask for your credit card details. This easy to use application makes designing and sending email newsletters fun. It not only helps you create amazing newsletter by offering pre designed templates but also provides concise reports, detailing how many people opened your email, where they clicked and other relevant information. You can use it to send email newsletters, invitations, coupons or anything else you like.

Crowdspring - Crowdspring is a proven, quick and a risk-free way for companies to access high quality talent at a really affordable price. All you need to do to get started is this: choose from one of the three packages that they offer (minimum amount to be paid for posting a project), fill in the details about the project and make the payment. Yes it's that simple. By using Crowdspring, you can solicit the design of many artists rather than working with just one or two designers.

Wave Accounting - Wave Accounting is a 100% free accounting application made for freelancers and small business owners. Don't fret if you do not understand accounting; this program is built for non- accountants like you and me (if you are an accountant, jump to the next point). It can connect with your online bank and credit card accounts and eliminate hours of tedious manual data entry. You can even invite your accountant, bookkeeper, advisor or anyone else to join you on Wave. It's a great (free) alternative to QuickBooks and other expensive softwares out there.

Highrise - Highrise lets you manage tons of tasks to help your business run more efficiently. Using this CRM you can manage your contacts and keep track of your emails/phone calls or notes. You can even set reminders, schedule follow-ups and view history out of your various interactions with a client. After using this application, you would never have to remember when you spoke to the client or what you said etc. as this application would take care of all of that. If you want to give it a try, you can opt for the free trial version which is free forever.