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Free SaaS Solutions for Startups in 2023

Free SaaS Solutions for your business

Slack: Internal communication

ZipBooks: Accounting and invoicing

Mailchimp: Email marketing

Missive: External communication

HootSuite: Social media management

Typeform: Online survey

Hubspot: Customer Relationship Management

FreshDesk: Customer service

Trello: Team collaboration

Pexels: Stock photos / Graphic assets

Figma: Design tool

Are you running a small business but don't have the funds for expensive software solutions? Having access to the best tools and software can be critical in taking your business to the next level. But there's still hope!

You can find some great, free SaaS solutions that are very helpful in providing basic services without having to pay hefty licensing fees.

In this article, we will share with you an up-to-date list of the best free SaaS solutions available specifically tailored toward small businesses on a budget.

Free SaaS tools

Before diving into the world of SaaS solutions, let us explain to you how we will proceed. 

We have selected the overall best solution, according to our experience, and provide you with a deep analysis. Of course, you can find other solutions on the market. This is why we also provide you with some alternatives. 

That being said, let’s dive in! 

Slack

Slack is a cloud-based collaboration and communication tool for small and large teams alike. The company was established in 2013 by Stewart Butterfield and Cal Henderson. Since its launch, Slack has grown tremendously and they now serve over 500 million users around the world within large and small businesses.

Features

Slack is an effective tool that provides efficiency in communication across your organization within its platform. You can manage workflows effectively with cloud integrations such as Trello, and Google Drive, making your collaboration seamless. It is a fast and reliable free SaaS solution that you can use for your business.

Other notable features include:

  • Instant 1:1 call via Huddles
  • Access & share essential documents across teams
  • Simple and intuitive mobile and desktop application

Why choose Slack?

Slack provides a convenient way for anyone to stay connected even when they’re on the go. Some of the biggest advantages of using Slack are its intuitive user interface, team collaboration, app integrations, and real-time communication.

It's simple enough to be used by new and experienced users alike while still being robust enough to include all the features needed for effective communication. 

📱 Sign up for Slack

Alternative

Telegram is a freemium, cross-platform instant messaging service geared towards personal messaging with end-to-end encryption. Its features include:

  • Accessible worldwide as a cloud-based application with features similar to Slack.
  • Available on popular platforms such as iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS, Linux
  • Over 500 million monthly active users

Comparison

Features Slack Telegram
Unlimited messaging
Audio and video conversations with screen sharing
Video clip recording
Work with outside organizations
Integrations with other tools
Automate repetitive, time-consuming tasks
Enhanced security and data protections
Specific compliance support
Training - Online, In-person, Documentation, Videos

ZipBooks

Founded in 2015 by Tim Chaves, ZipBooks was initially created as a way to make invoicing more efficient. It is an all-in-one accounting software designed to help small businesses manage their finances. 

Features

ZipBooks lets you manage your small business's online expenses, such as payments, billings, and taxes management. It's also a free SaaS tool that offers invoicing capability with a variety of useful templates to choose from.

Other notable features include:

  • Streamline processes such as complicated paperwork or accounting calculations.
  • Offer useful features such as automated payment reminders, cloud-based data storage, payroll management, and more. 

Why choose ZipBooks?

ZipBooks is an excellent accounting software for small businesses. It has all the essential features to keep track of your finances, invoicing, and payments. The user interface is very clean and simple to use, and it's perfect if you're just starting out in business.

📊 Sign up for ZipBooks

Alternative

FreshBooks is an accounting software and bookkeeping SaaS solution that you can use for your business, with features including:

  • An easy-to-use accounting software and bookkeeping with similar features to ZipBooks
  • Offer custom pricing that users can set on their own (terms apply).

Comparison

Features ZipBooks FreshBooks
Invoicing capability
Time tracking features for tasks/projects
Expense tracking
Project management capability
Payment Processing
Mobile app
Reporting
Calculating estimates
Bank reconciliation
Double-entry accounting
Tax management
Purchase order management
Statrys free invoice generator tool

MailChimp

Back in 2001, two friends named Ben Chestnut and Dan Kurzius created a basic yet innovative web-based email marketing service called Mailchimp. Today, Mailchimp has grown into one of the biggest email marketing companies in the world with over 14 million users globally.

Features

MailChimp offers a range of features to businesses of all sizes, including email campaign automation, audience segmentation, as well as connecting to third-party apps and services to help take your email marketing campaign to the next level.

Other notable features include:

  • Customizable email templates that you can design to fit with email marketing campaigns of your business
  • A/B Testing feature to help you track the performance and responses of emails you sent to potential prospects/clients
  • Analytic tools to help you keep track of your email marketing campaign progress
  • Social media integration for many different types of social media platforms

Why choose MailChimp?

MailChimp is a great choice for those looking to get into serious email marketing with its all-in-one solutions and the robust features it offers. It also has a great user-interface while also offering flexible options for several kinds of businesses.

✉️ Sign up for MailChimp and get a 1-month free trial

Alternative

SendGrid is another great tool that offers email marketing features similar to MailChimp, including features such as:

  • Email marketing campaigns with a friendly user interface and email API to help you scale your messages and track them
  • Manage your email lists, segment your audience depending on activity, and customize messages with dynamic content.
  • Analytics and reporting to monitor email engagement rates, tracking opens, clicks, and unsubscribes using data captured.

Comparison

Features MailChimp SendGrid
Email campaigns
Email API
Marketing automation
Contact management
A/B Testing
Analytics and reporting
Email templates
Delivery optimization
Multi-channel support
Email validation
Transactional email
API integrations

Missive

Missive's journey began in 2015 when Etienne Lemay, Philippe-Antoine Lehoux, and Rafael Masson noticed the need for modern messaging solutions. Today, Missive is used by thousands of teams all across the world and continues to be a top choice for easily managing individual and group communication virtually anywhere.

Features

Missive allows teams to collaborate on email, chat, SMS, and more, all from a single shared inbox. Team members can effectively manage their communication channels and enhance productivity as Missive also provides a user-friendly interface and sophisticated search capabilities.

Other notable features include:

  • Mobile applications for iOS and Android
  • Message assignments & internal notes
  • Customized processes & real-time collaboration.

Why choose Missive?

If your business seeks a collaborative email platform with customized workflows, integrations, and powerful search features may choose Missive. It enables teams to work together in real time on various communication channels.

📫 Sign up for Missive

Alternatives:

Front is a collaborative inbox application that allows teams to manage their email, social media communications, and other channels all in one location. Its features include:

  • Configurable inboxes for each channel. You can manage email, social media communications, SMS, and more all in one location.
  • Use rules and workflows to automate repetitive operations such as message auto-assignment, tagging, and scripted answers.
  • Customized templates to save time and guarantee uniformity in your messaging.

Outlook is an email, calendar, contacts, and task management application developed by Microsoft. Its features include:

  • User-friendly interface to send and receive emails and take advantage of features like attachments, read receipts, and message prioritizing.
  • Creation and administration of tasks and to-do lists, as well as the use of elements like due dates, reminders, and task delegation.
  • Integration with other Microsoft products like OneDrive, Teams, and SharePoint.

Comparison

Features Missive Front Outlook
Email management
Collaboration
Unified inbox
Real-time drafting
Internal comments and user tagging
Automated workflows
Customizable views
Third-party integrations
Mobile app
Calendar integration
Task management
Notes & memos
Search functionality
Security features

HootSuite

The Vancouver, Canada-based social media management platform Hootsuite was established by Ryan Holmes in 2008.

Hootsuite was originally designed for users to manage several Twitter accounts from a single dashboard. However, this drastically changed as it grew into supporting other social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and others that we know today.

Features

Hootsuite provides a number of services that can assist you in managing your social media activities. Like the ability to plan posts across various social media sites in advance or its friendly user interface that is easy to manage.

Other notable features include:

  • Analytics tools that enable customers to track the performance of their social media content and measure results
  • Content curation tool with the capabilities to find and share intriguing information from across the web
  • Manage social media advertising campaigns, such as designing and optimizing ads or targeting specific demographics.
  • Integration with other SaaS tools and services.

Why choose HootSuite?

Hootsuite offers a complete range of tools that may help you simplify your social media activities. The customizable dashboard of Hootsuite also gives you an overview of your social media performance, allowing you to make informed decisions, track your progress, and build your online presence.

🦉 Sign up for HootSuite and get a 30-day free trial

Alternatives

Buffer is a social media management application that allows users to schedule and publish articles, track analytics, and manage their social network presence all from a single platform.

Sprout Social is another useful social media management software with capabilities for scheduling posts, monitoring social media activity, and assessing success across numerous platforms.

Comparison

Features HootSuite Buffer Sprout Social
Social Media Platforms ✅ Supports over 35 social networks ✅ Supports Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+ ✅ Supports Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and TikTok.
Scheduling ✅ Allows users to schedule posts in advance on multiple social media platforms, including the ability to schedule Instagram posts. ✅ Allows users to schedule posts in advance on multiple social media platforms ✅ Allows users to schedule posts in advance on multiple social media platforms, including the ability to schedule Instagram posts
Analytics ✅ Provides analytics to track social media performance across multiple social media platforms, including engagement, follower growth, and more. ✅ Provides analytics to track social media performance across multiple social media platforms. ✅ Provides analytics to track social media performance across multiple social media platforms, including custom reporting options.
Team collaboration ✅ Offers team collaboration tools, including assigning tasks, message assignments, and approval workflows. ❌ Lacks team collaboration features. ✅ Offers team collaboration tools, including assigning tasks, message assignments, and approval workflows.
Audience engagement ✅ Enables users to engage with their audience across multiple social media platforms through a unified inbox. ❌ Lacks audience engagement features. ✅ Enables users to engage with their audience across multiple social media platforms through a unified inbox.

Typeform

Typeform was founded in 2012 by two friends, David Okuniev and Robert Muñoz, who had a vision for making forms knowledgeable, humane, and beautiful. Since then, Typeform has grown into being used by thousands of businesses across the world.

Features

Typeform is a web-based service that lets you create fun, interactive forms, and surveys. It's a powerful tool for collecting data, getting feedback from customers, and gaining insights into how your users think and feel.

Other notable features include:

  • Customize every element to fit your brand—from colors and font types to backgrounds, images, audio files, buttons, and more
  • Add branching logic so you can present different questions or form fields depending on what responses the user inputted in earlier questions.
  • Optimized forms for mobile devices
  • Integrations with over 500 apps—allow businesses to quickly send data wherever across the internet.

Why choose Typeform?

Typeform is a fantastic tool to create beautiful forms and surveys with ease. With its simple drag-and-drop editor, you can create customizable forms in no time. 

📜 Sign up for Typeform

Alternative

Survey Sparrow is a cloud-based survey software that assists organizations in creating engaging surveys, collecting replies, and gaining insights in order to make data-driven choices. Its features include:

  • Designing surveys using a variety of questions, such as multiple choice, rating scales, open-ended, and more
  • Sending surveys by email, social media, SMS, online links, or integrated into websites
  • Advanced analytics and reporting capabilities allow customers to view survey data, follow replies over time, and obtain insights to make data-driven choices.

Comparison

Features TypeForm Survey Sparrow
Customizable surveys
Multiple question types
Multi-channel distribution
Advanced analytics
White-labeling options
Custom domain support
Logic jump/Branching
Payment integration
Chat surveys
Offline surveys

HubSpot

HubSpot was founded in 2006 by three people: Dharmesh Shah, Brian Halligan, and Mike Volpe. Today, businesses of all sizes use the platform to track leads every step of the way from the first click to the closing stages thanks to their comprehensive dashboard full of stats at all times.

Features

Hubspot is a powerful marketing and sales software designed to help businesses grow. Its all-in-one platform offers features such as website building, email marketing, content management, lead and customer relationship management (CRM), analytics, automation, and more.

Other notable features include:

  • Intuitive interface with customizable workflows
  • A/B testing capabilities to test your marketing activities
  • Dynamic content creation options - you can get up and running quickly without wasting time or resources on training or tutorials
  • Track data on website visitors' leads generated through campaigns, and customer behavior patterns
  • Automated lead segmentation, automation triggered by customer behavior triggers built into forms or emails included in workflows

Why choose HubSpot?

If you're looking for an all-in-one solution to help you manage your online marketing efforts, then HubSpot is worth considering. The wide range of features offered by this platform makes it suitable for businesses of all sizes and stages of development.

📉 Sign up for HubSpot

Alternative

Zoho CRM is a cloud-based customer relationship management software that assists organizations in centralizing their sales, marketing, and customer support activities. Some of its features are:

  • Solutions for automating sales operations like lead tracking, pipeline management, and sales forecasting
  • Ticket management, knowledge base management, and customer self-service portals for managing customer support operations
  • Analytical and reporting capabilities that help organizations to analyze performance, detect trends, and make data-driven choices

Comparison

Features HubSpot Zoho CRM
Lead management
Contact management
Sales forecasting
Pipeline management
Marketing automation
Email marketing
Landing pages
Web analytics
Conversational bots
Blogging and content creation
Sales sequences

FreshDesk

FreshDesk is built with customer service in mind as a cloud-based customer support software that helps you increase efficiency in customer support with functionalities that are essential for your business. The company is based in San Bruno, California with offices in Chennai, India, and London was established in 2010 by Girish Mathrubootham and Shan Krishnasamy Today, the company has over 24 million users.

Features

With FreshDesk, users can quickly and easily track customer service conversations, make improvements based on customer feedback, respond to inquiries faster, and enhance the overall customer experience. 

The software also has built-in custom reporting capabilities to view performance metrics in real-time. With advanced analytics and insights generated from the data captured by FreshDesk, businesses can glean valuable insights about their customer service operations and use them to deliver better service.

Why choose FreshDesk

Overall, FreshDesk is an excellent choice for businesses looking for an all-in-one help desk solution that offers time-saving features to improve customer experience. It has a whole host of features designed to automate routine tasks such as ticket assignment, tagging, and categorization. Additionally, its advanced reporting capabilities let you track performance metrics over time so you can always stay in touch with what’s going on in your business.

💻 Sign up for FreshDesk, and explore the tool with a 14-day free trial.

Alternative

ZenDesk is a customer support platform that offers a uniform interface for handling client queries, tickets, and interactions across numerous channels. Its features include:

  • Establishing and managing a knowledge base of frequently asked questions and common difficulties, allowing customers to discover reliable answers quickly.
  • Delivering assistance to customers over a variety of channels, including email, chat, phone, social media, and others, ensuring a seamless and consistent experience.

Comparison

Features FreshDesk ZenDesk
Ticketing
Automation
Multi-channel
Social media
Reporting
Gamification
Knowledge base
Self service
Community
Integrations
Customization

Trello

Founded in 2014 by Michael Pryor and Joel Spolsky, Trello is a free, online project management tool with millions of active users that are using the tool to manage personal projects, small businesses, and more. The platform is well-known for its simple and intuitive workflows with the highlight being the collaborative elements in projects, tasks, or ideas within a group or organization.

Features

Trello is an incredibly useful web-based project management tool that has gained immense popularity due to its simplicity and intuitive interface. With Trello, you can easily plan, organize, and execute successful projects by creating different boards for each project and assigning tasks to corresponding cards.

Other notable features of Trello include:

  • Assigning people to certain tasks in order for efficient work and productivity
  • General organization when it comes to memos, notes, or ideas that need quick access or further development
  • Search bar that lets you quickly find any item associated with a specific project or keyword without having to go through piles of documents
  • Integration with several third-party apps like Slack or Google Drive allowing users to share files seamlessly.

Why choose Trello?

Trello is an excellent tool for those seeking simple yet effective project management solutions - it's easy to use yet powerful enough for your most detailed projects. There are also functionalities where you are able to integrate popular SaaS services such as Google Drive or Slack.

🧮 Sign up for Trello

Alternatives

  1. Notion: An all-in-one tool that offers excellent features for note-taking, task management, and project organization.
  2. Asana: An easy-to-use web and mobile application that helps teams stay on top of their work by providing a variety of features, such as task assignments, progress tracking, and team collaboration tools.
  3. Monday: A cloud-based project management platform that provides customizable workflows and automation features, where you can streamline your workflow, improve communication, and stay on top of deadlines.

Comparison

Features Trello Notion Asana Monday.com
Kanban board
Task management
Collaboration
Project templates
Time tracking
Gantt charts
Team management
Mobile app
Integration support

Pexels

Pexels is one of the most used websites to get stock photos for free for many businesses. It offers a large collection of royal-free images, stock photos, and videos - free - for millions of users on the internet.

The company was founded in 2014 by Bruno Joseph and Ingo Joseph, and today Pexels supports more than 500 million image downloads per month as it exponentially grows.

Features

Pexels is a stock photo website that provides high-quality and free photos for commercial and personal use. It offers photos from acclaimed international photographers with no copyright restrictions so anyone can download and use these images without needing to pay.

Other notable features include:

  • A suite of editing tools that make it easy to customize images
  • The site's library contains thousands of images covering diverse topics such as nature, travel, food, lifestyle, fashion, and more
  • All photos are licensed under Creative Commons Zero or CCO
  • Community section where users can interact with one another and follow interesting photographers
  • An app store with popular plugins designed to make image editing easier than ever

Why choose Pexels?

Overall, Pexels is an excellent resource that provides access to high-quality, royalty-free images without any nasty legal surprises. It's easy to navigate and use and has plenty of options available for anyone looking for quality photos to add to their creative assets. You can also

📸 Sign up for Pexels free

Alternative

Unsplash is a website with a large collection of high-quality, royalty-free photographs that can be used for personal or commercial uses without crediting the owner. Its features include:

  • Search functionality - for photographs using keywords and applying filters based on categories, orientation, and color.
  • An API that allows developers to connect their picture collection to their apps, as well as integrations with popular programs such as Trello, Medium, and Canva.

Comparison

Features Pexels Unsplash
Free images
Premium images
Image quality
Search filters
Collection curation
License type
Attribution requirement
Community engagement

Figma

Founded in 2012 by two experienced software engineers and designers - Dylan Field and Evan Wallace. Figma is an industry-leading design tool with over eight million users across 195 countries. Its innovative approach aligns perfectly with team collaboration needs across various industries, making it a popular choice for teams worldwide.

Features

Figma is a cloud-based UI design and prototyping tool for web, mobile, and desktop applications. It makes it easy for teams to create designs quickly and collaborate with the entire team. 

It also offers great tools for designers, from detailed design systems to sophisticated wireframing tools. With Figma's integrated screen-sharing feature, you can share your designs with clients or stakeholders in real time. 

Additionally, users can access their projects from anywhere through their mobile phones, making collaboration with colleagues much easier. 

Its advanced features, like drawing shapes and vector objects, advanced text styling, and path operations, make it highly popular among UX/UI designers everywhere. 

Why choose Figma?

Figma is a highly recommended tool for product designers seeking a quick and efficient way to produce top-notch designs and prototypes without manual coordination between various software packages. Figma is a simple yet powerful solution that streamlines the product design process, making it an excellent choice to consider.

🎨 Sign up for Figma

Alternative

Canva is a web-based graphic design platform that allows users to generate a wide range of visual content, including social media graphics, presentations, and marketing materials. Some great features of Canva are:

  • Pre-designed free slide templates that are available for various forms of material, such as social media posts, flyers, business cards, and more
  • Creative tools, such as drag-and-drop capabilities, text and image editing, and filters and effects
  • Integration with various platforms, including social networking platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, productivity platforms such as Google Drive and Dropbox, and others

Comparison

Features Figma Canva
Vector editing
Image editing
Design templates
Collaboration
Prototyping
Animation
Plugins
Presentations
Brand management
Team libraries
Version history

Wrapping up

Startups seeking to enter an existing industry may have limited finances or resources to invest in costly software solutions.

Yet, with technological improvements and ease of access, free SaaS solutions provide numerous benefits for organizations while also saving them the essential costs to function efficiently within their objectives.

These free SaaS solutions add considerable value to companies, allowing them to remain competitive and dominant in a crowded industry in areas ranging from project management to customer relationship management, communication, accounting, and marketing.

Hence, whether you're just starting out or trying to improve the efficiency of your operations, you can absolutely benefit from these free SaaS solutions for your business in 2023 and beyond.

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Some parts of this article were written by AI and this article has been fact checked and edited by the author before publishing.

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