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Free Software Options for Small Businesses on a Budget

When you’re running a small business, controlling costs is the key to keeping your head above water. Of course there are certain unavoidable things that require an investment, such as overhead and staff. But the good news is, there are also a number of free resources available to help small businesses with their software needs, and they’re pretty impressive. Here’s a handful that we recommend.

Google Docs – When it’s powered by Google, you know it’s good. Google docs is a free application that lets you create everything from documents to spreadsheets to calendars and even surveys that you can use to get valuable feedback from your customers. The best part is that everything is stored securely in the cloud, letting you share any and all your data instantly right over the web.

OpenOffice – If you prefer to store your documents on your hard drive or internal server but can’t afford the hefty price of Microsoft Office software, OpenOffice offers similar programs for free, including word processor, spreadsheet and presentation applications. What’s more, it’s compatible with a variety of other file formats, including MS Office and is available in nearly 30 different languages.

Skype – More and more small businesses are beginning to see the value of using Skype for their telecommunications. It’s especially attractive because you can make person to person and video calls to other Skype users for free. Even the more robust packages they offer are extremely cost effective. Skype gives you lots of options at little to no cost. You can even integrate it with your Synclio account. (Check out our article about how you can use Skype as your business phone system for more information.)

Distributed Source – CRM is the practice of effectively managing your communications and relationships with your customers. There are a number of CRM software products on the market, but Distributed Source offers a free basic plan for up to 3 users and 3,000 contacts. It’s the perfect way for a small business to organize and track leads as well as manage contacts and tasks efficiently.

WordPress – Blogging is an extremely important part of SEO because search engines like Google give particular preference to sites that are frequently updated with fresh content (i.e. a blog). WordPress provides a user-friendly free way to create and manage your blog so you can help get your business noticed on the web.

These are just a few of the many free resources available to help small businesses achieve success on a tight budget (just do a Google search to find countless more). For those companies trying to cut costs, Synclio also offers a free trial of our virtual phone system as well as a variety of affordable plans to choose from. With all of these tools, you’ll be armed and ready to take on the competition and come out on top!

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posted by Rebecca Daneault @ 6:25 PM