7 Best FREE Small Business Resources

7 Best FREE Small Business Resources

Being a small business, or even solopreneur, can be very challenging at times. Over the past few years I’ve tried many different programs and websites to help me run my company. Below are the 7 best small business resources that I’ve used in my 3 years of business. Do you have a favorite not on the list? Let me know! I always love learning about new ways to help my business succeed. (This is not a sponsored post, I just want to share my process of efficiency & time management!) I use these resources every day in my business, because the goal is always working smarter, not harder!

1. Asana – An online project management tool that enables companies to manage and organize tasks and projects, communicate and collaborate. It is helpful for teams or individuals that handle multiple projects at one time. Asana has been the ONE system that I use to jot down my goals, to-do’s , projects, systems, outlines, notes, reminders, pretty much everything! It is very user-friendly and the app gives you notifications right to your phone.


2. Evernote – Capture and prioritize ideas, projects, and to-do lists, so nothing falls through the cracks. Evernote is the perfect note taking tool. You can create various notebooks depending on the topic and within each notebook is where you create your notes. Evernote has numerous templates from budgeting to project notes and even a gratitude journal. I have personal & business notebooks that I use and sync to my phone. I love using Evernote because it is the best way to take notes during client phone calls and meetings, as well as plan out each blog post I create for my website.


3. Dropbox – Dropbox is a file hosting service that I use on a daily basis. It is the best way to send design files and keep a backup of projects. You can organize your projects into different files and share them with whoever you need to either directly or by sending a link. Dropbox has a great app that syncs with your folders online giving you easy access to your files on your phone too!


4. Bit.ly – Bitly is a URL shortening service and a link management platform. You can customize your URL & shorten it to use on social media posts, emails & more to clean up space and keep readers from seeing a really long URL. Bitly is also a powerful online marketing tool used to track clicks, see site referrals and get an idea of which geographical locations most clicks are coming from.


5. Unsplash– This is hands down the best free photography site that I’ve seen. Stock images can get expensive for both you and your clients, try first to see if Unsplash has any images that you would be able to use. More precisely, Unsplash grants you an irrevocable, nonexclusive, worldwide copyright license to download, copy, modify, distribute, perform, and use photos from Unsplash for free, including commercial purposes, without permission from or attributing the photographer.


6. Google Analytics – Google Analytics is a free tool that can help you track your digital marketing effectiveness. It provides statistics and basic analytical tools for search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing purposes. If your website doesn’t have google analytics – I recommend setting it up now! It is super easy to set up, all you need is a google account. Google analytics will give you a tracking code that you add into your website and then start tracking number of page clicks, show your most viewed pages, geographical locations & so much more all for free!


7. Font Squirrel or Dafont – Both of these sites have amazing free fonts. It can sometimes be hard to find quality free fonts that are licensed for commercial work. Font Squirrel has hand-selected typefaces that will make sure every project has the type of font you need from beautiful thin sans-serifs to chunky serifs! Dafont also has a way to search for only 100% free fonts to make sure you do not come into any licensing problems.

How To Hire The Right Brand Designer For Your Business?

How To Hire The Right Brand Designer For Your Business?

Hiring A Brand Designer? Check out these tips to hire the right designer for you.

Having a professional brand strategy is one of the most important aspects of your business. Your brand is the heart & soul of your company. Your brand designer should help you visually communicate your core values, mission, target audience, and your passion through purposeful & professional design.

Your brand colors & typography are just the beginning! From the logo creation to complimenting marketing materials, social media graphics & website design, every aspect of your brand needs to fit your aesthetic in order for you to best serve your customers.


Here are some tips to hire the right brand designer for you:

1. Review Portfolio & Website – Make sure your designer’s style aligns with your business aesthetic. You should see their proven success and experience in the industry displayed throughout their website.

2. Technical Skills & Knowledge– A major part of your brand is your logo & supporting designs. These should be vector designs. (From a tiny website icon to building signs & large graphics, your logo needs to be highly scalable.)

3. Positive Testimonials – See what others have to say about the designer & their work.

4. Connect – Choose someone who you feel a connection with or understands your specific industry. It’s important to feel like they “get” you!

5. Asks The Right Questions – They should choose to learn about your company and ask the proper questions to ensure they understand your message.

6. A Seamless Design Process – From the initial inquiry, the process should be easy to follow with great customer service.


Developing your brand is an exciting and fun process. I focus on research & development of initially understanding who you serve and how you help so we can bring to life a professional design. I am passionate about creating a brand that makes you smile.

The Effortless Client Process

The Effortless Client Process

*Disclaimer: This blog post contains referral links, which may reward me in the event of a purchased subscription. I only write about products and systems that I use and 100% believe in.*


Dubsado – The Best Client Management System for Entrepreneurs & Small Business Owners.

After using Dubsado for one full year for my small business, I have decided that it is a must for small biz owners who are currently doing EVERYTHING themselves. Dubsado gives you the necessary tools to add automation and organization so you can focus on your favorite parts of running your business.

Dubsado is the perfect Client Management Software for my Graphic & Website Design business. From sending out forms such as proposals, contracts & packages to capturing leads, creating invoices, accepting payments, reporting, scheduling appointments, syncing calendars, and even setting up client portals – Dubsado is more than just a CRM software. It is my all-in-one business tool!

Dubsado stands out from other companies that I have tried because it is extremely customizable with my business from the branding integration to the customized workflows.

The customer service at Dubsado is amazing. They answer all my questions & have free webinars to teach the new updates. Being a part of the Dubsado Community on Facebook has strengthened my work with the software and has lead me to connect with business owners of all types.

If you are thinking about Dubsado, give it a try. Your first 3 clients added are completely free! I set up a mock client to dive deep into the program and utilize everything Dubsado has to offer. And if you are interested in purchasing a subscription, you are in luck! I can offer you 20% off your first month or year with the referral code MarisaLucy. Click here to get started!

My Top 6 Reasons to LOVE Dubsado:

1. Manage All Clients From One Place

In one platform you can view all of your client projects. Within one system, you can track all of your leads, new inquiries, and projects. Even the project categories can be as customizable as you need. I have mine broken down between, Graphic Design, Website Design, Photography, & All Design Work (for clients who would fall into multiple categories.)

Within each project, you can see all of the forms you’ve sent your client, access to their important contact information, list of invoices you’ve sent & if the payment has been received, appointments scheduled, workflows added, task to-do lists, a section on any project notes, and access to set up their client portal.


2. Fully Customizable

Dubsado does not add their logo/branding to any documents that go out to your clients. You have the option to add your logo, brand colors, fonts, & customize to your brand’s needs. You can even set up custom domain names for your client portal. I’ve tried other Client tools in the past, and none were as customizable as Dubsado. You can add as many packages, services, forms, you need to perfectly fit your client’s needs.

3. Client Portal

Having a client portal sounds so fancy! 🙂 And it is! Each client has the option for you to set up their very own portal. I link the portal to my website for clients to login. There, they will see all their forms, project info, and tasks all in one place. It will also remind them when they need to sign a form, pay an invoice, or respond to feedback.

4. Forms, Workflows, & Automation

Dubsado’s forms, automation, templates, and workflows save my business time and energy. I have worked on a process that’s better for my clients and myself through the automation features. My clients have consistent experiences, automated emails can be sent out, and reminders to clients so that I don’t have to remember everything!

The forms are so amazing. There are contracts, proposals, questionnaires, packages, lead captures & more. Clients can sign right there and Dubsado automatically sends it back to let you know it’s been signed.

There is also a new Scheduler. This saves so much time with clients going back and forth to find time for a meeting. There are many customizable features such as, I don’t allow anyone to schedule an appointment 8 hours or less ahead of time.

5. Tracking & Accounting

Just on the home screen, you can see how much money you have made so far compared to your yearly (or monthly, depending how you set up) goals. Using Dubsado, you can invoice, keep track of all invoices for each client, set payment periods, track open invoices, and generate reports. Plus, you are able to receive payments through Paypal, Stripe or Square. You can enter expenses, view your project breakdowns, and reports that show how your finances are looking – which is REALLY important as a small business owner. Set invoices to a due date and have Dubsado send automated emails to your clients when they are past due.

6. The Online Community

Dubsado has amazing customer service. They walked me through video tutorials, answered every question I have, and create an amazing Facebook group for Dubsado users to connect. I’ve actually been able to find clients through this Dubsado community! If you need help, there is always someone willing to figure out how to fix your problem.


There are so many more amazing features about Dubsado, that will help you save time, money, energy, and make you look polished & professional. Give it a try, it’s completely free up to your first 3 projects. And if you are ready to purchase, don’t forget the promo code marisalucy to save 20% off!

Thanks for reading & I hope you take the chance to dive into the best, in my opinion, Client Management Software system for small businesses & entrepreneurs.