Last month I shared a bit about the awesome client management system Dubsado, and all that it can do to help your business run better.
But, if you are just starting to build your business, you may not feel ready to make the leap into a paid system or platform until you know just what you need.
I've been there, too. So, today I'm sharing with you a list of FREE tools that I've personally used and leveraged to build my business until I felt ready to make that jump.
For client intake forms:
As a doula, you need to keep track of your client's preferences, information, and more. Here, Google Forms is your friend. This free option allows some degree of customization in terms of color and an image at the top. And, the drag and drop form builder is super straightforward.
For online invoicing:
Wave allows you to invoice clients, collect payment via credit card or bank transfer, and includes accounting options as well. While other invoicing options have some bells and whistles, Wave is perfect if you intend to primarily utilize invoicing, and the processing fees are straightforwad.
For digital contracts:
Sign Request offers a free plan that can get you started with 15 free signed documents. If you'd like to upgrade to a paid plan their are lots of additional add-ons, but the free plan is enough to get your business up and making getting contracts signed quick and easy.
If you'd like to avoid the back and forth email train of trying to set a time for initial consult or prenatal meetings or postpartum visits, a scheduling tool like Calendly can make it a snap to streamline the process. Again, the free plan gives you all you need to get up and running, with the option to add more paid features later.
Do you want to offer clients the option to video chat for initial consults? Zoom offers a free plan that includes unlimited time limits for one-on-one video chats, and a 40 min time limit for meetings that include more users.
For graphic design
Looking to create social graphics, brochures, business cards, and more? Canva is an awesome free tool to create beautiful branding for your business. Their graphic and photo library includes images you can use for free as well as those you can purchase a license for or upgrade to their Pro account for even more options.
For stock photos:
Unsplash has a library of gorgeous photos. While you may eventually want to pay for photos more tailored specifically to your brand, this is a great first resource as you start to create graphics and materials.
For social media scheduling:
Later offers a free plan that can you get started streamlining your social media posts. While the free plan limits you in the number of posts scheduled per month as well as scaled back features, it can be enough to help you sort out that piece of the business in a more efficient manner.
I hope this gives you some tools to jump into your business and feel confident moving forward. Did I miss one of your favorites? Please share in the comments!
Johanna received a Ph.D. in English in 2014. Now a postpartum doula and educator of childbirth, breastfeeding, and infant sleep, she blogs about pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and parenting.