Running a small business is no easy task. Juggling appointments, industry education, and critical business chores is often a challenge for even the most veteran agency owners. But you’re in luck because there are many new and digital small business tools available to help you run your business — with robust free versions to support your agency.
Read on to learn about some of our favorite free digital tools to run your insurance agency.
Free Digital Tools Support Agency Operations
There are many digital tools to help you accomplish many of the critical daily tasks of running your agency. Small business tools can help you to:
- Track your time and manage your team’s calendar
- Communicate with clients and vendors
- Pay invoices digitally
- Plan and schedule social media posts
- Schedule meetings and appointments
- Sign documents electronically
- Handle accounting and banking needs
- Manage agency-wide projects
Take inventory of the tools and agency management programs you’re already using. Look for gaps and think of the pain points you and your team complain about with your current system.
Consider how new small business tools can support your current workflow and add efficiencies. The right digital tools can save you time, attract new clients to your agency, and help you grow your business.
The Best Free Digital Tools to Run Your Agency
Try our favorite small business tools to help keep your agency running smoothly. The tools we’ve mentioned have free versions to suit the needs of many agencies. Some may have limits on functionality or features that are only available with upgraded, paid versions. Other tools limit the number of users or size of the company that can access the free version. Check your eligibility with each tool.
Task Management Tools
To manage tasks assigned to you and your team, try digital tools like Asana, Trello, ClickUp, or Airtable. Each of these platforms has a free version to try and use if you have a smaller organization. The platforms work similarly, but each has a different look and options. It is worth playing with the user interface to find which task management tool you and your team prefer.
Electronic Signature Programs
As an agent, you need to sign and have your policyholders sign many documents every day. But it costs money and takes time to send documents physically to a client for signature – then await their return to you for processing. Electronic signatures are valid and legally binding in most applications, so you can use a free e-sign program like DocuSign, HelloSign, SignWell, or PandaDoc.
Chatbot Communication Tools
Sometimes you can’t be online to answer customer questions, so having a chatbot seems like an ideal solution. But for smaller agencies, investing in the software or a vendor to provide chatbot services has traditionally been cost-prohibitive. But chatbots with free versions are now available through various software companies like Flow XO or IntelliTicks.
Calendar and Scheduling Tools
Agents and brokers need to schedule their time carefully. And having a calendar or scheduling program that allows other people to schedule time with you is an efficient way to manage your time. Look at free resources like Calendly, Setmore, Square Appointments, or Doodle. Explore the features of the different programs and see which you prefer.
Social Media Management Resources
Your social media presence is an essential part of your agency branding. But it can be a challenge to keep up with producing and posting content and all of your other responsibilities. That’s where a good social media management tool comes in. Try the free versions of Hootsuite, Planable, SocialOomph, or Later. For more information about creating a social media calendar for your agency, check out our blog.
One of the most critical tasks of running your agency is handling the expenses and assets. Your accounting software has to be robust. There are plenty of programs competing for your business with many different features you may find valuable. Try free versions of Wave, Zoho Books, ZipBooks, or SlickPie.
Find More Small Business Tools With the American Agents Alliance
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