If you work at a small business, wrangling up the budget to buy a wide range of software can be a challenge. However, with the rise of more and more free applications available on the web, there are some reliable solutions that can hold you over until you’re at the point of purchasing a solution. (Or who knows, you may fall in love with some free versions just like we have!) There are quite a few open source solutions to choose from, so we’ve compiled a list of our go-to small business solutions:
1. Note taking – Evernote
Whether you’re an avid note taker in meetings or just want a way to compile your to-do lists and ideas, Evernote can do the job. Available across all of your devices from mobile devices to desktops, this application has the capacity to archive pictures, voice reminders, emails, and lists. Evernote syncs with quite a few applications such as Outlook so it’s easy to keep your information stream lined. Download Evernote on your computer or smartphone.
2. Documents – Google Drive
If you’re looking for the end all be all for document sharing, Google Drive is your answer. With all of your files in the cloud from excel documents to slideshows, Google Drive allows collaboration and access from anywhere. You can quickly and easily import existing files or create them on the Google Drive itself which is essentially an online version of Office. The helpful revision history feature also lets you know who is viewing your document at any given time and the changes that have been made. Download Google Drive.
3. Social Media Management – HootSuite
In a small business, your social media and marketing is probably handed by someone wearing quite a few hats. Hootsuite is a service that gives you the option to manage all of your social media Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Google Plus, and more all via a single dashboard. With the ability to schedule posts in advance across multiple social media platforms, you’ll never have to worry about logging into 5 different social media sites again. The analytics dashboard lets you manage your traffic and see what’s working and how your followers are responding to your social media efforts. Get your 30 day free trial or register for free.
4. Email and Newsletter Campaigns – MailChimp
If you’re tired of mail merging hundreds of customers in Outlook, MailChimp is a viable free option for emailing out company newsletters or updates. MailChimp is free up to 2,000 recipients and has the functionality to help you design your newsletters and track the results such as click through rates and opens. The social sharing function also allows you to integrate your social media platforms. See the pricing.
5. Remote Access – LogMeIn
Accessing all of your computer’s files remotely can be a huge hassle. With LogMeIn, you can manage your computer remotely and see a mirror image of your screen from anywhere just like you were sitting right in front of it. The instillation is effortless, and LogMeIn also allows access from iPads and iPhones. It takes a little getting used to−especially on mobile devices, but once you get the hang of it LogMeIn is a good solution for doing some quick work tasks on the go. Download LogMeIn for free.
6. Finance – FreshBooks
FreshBooks is a cloud billing and invoice solution, was specifically built for small business to take the headaches out of accounting. Freshbooks is mobile device friendly and allows remote access to invoicing and both expense and time tracking. There are multiple accounting reports available from expense reports to profit and loss, so you’ll always know where you stand financially. Try it for free, setup only takes a minute.
7. Presentations – Prezi
Mind-numbing Powerpoint slides are a presentation tool of the past with the introduction of Prezi. Prezi brings presentations to life with vibrant 3D presentations that will keep all in attendance at your meetings awake and engaged. The collaboration feature allows you to co-edit with your colleagues across multiple devices in real time. Prezi is ideal for demonstrating ideas, displaying relationships and showing processes. Sign up now.
8. Web Conferencing – AnyMeeting
If you’re looking for a more professional web conferencing software than Skype but don’t want to shell out the high monthly rates of most web conferencing software, AnyMeeting is a modest option. If you can get past the ads, AnyMeeting allows free web conferencing for up to 200 attendees. AnyMeeting integrates with presentations, social media, and allows screen sharing. The ability to record your meetings will eliminate all post-meeting “I mentioned that in the meeting didn’t I?” comments. Sign up now, it is 100% free!
These are some of our favorite free solutions for small businesses, what are yours? If we left one of the list, please let us know in the comment below!