Whoever said nothing in life is free didn't do their research. It turns out there's a wide selection of free tools and solutions out there to get your business off the ground. This list of 12 free -- or almost free -- online tools will help you take your plan from the table napkin to the growth stage without breaking the bank. Of course, your business may eventually grow out of these free services, so be sure to check out all the affordable upgrade options, which allow the basic packages to remain free for the cash-strapped entrepreneurs who will follow in your footsteps.
HuffPost Small Business Board of Directors member and CEO of GrowBiz Media Rieva Lesonsky knows just how valuable free can be, since she's used several of these services herself. "For small-business owners, access to free tools means they can take the money they'd otherwise have to spend and invest it elsewhere in their businesses," says Lesonsky. "They're great first steps on the path to profitability."
First of all, you're going to need an Internet connection. Head to your local library or Starbucks, where free WiFi hotspots will get you online quick. Or, search for hotspots in your area here.