Free Tools You Can Use To Build Your Business
Google Apps- Surprised? Don’t be. This is exactly what I use to track my projects – well sort of I also use it conjunction with Google Calendar and Docs.
Just to be clear though, I use Google Apps for my day to day business management and not the normal Gmail.
Web Based Productivity Suites
These are systems that provide your business with fully hosted web mail, team chat or collaboration, online office suites like spreadsheets, word processor and presentation tools. You can also build internal wikis and web sites with them.
Email marketing is the corner stone of every online business regardless whether your product is physical,
electronic or content based. There are tons of free scripts out there that claim to be able to do the work for you.
Stay away from them! Seriously. I’ve been burned badly by those you can read all about it if you wish.
The following are services we found that are fully hosted meaning the software and deliverability is all on the
service providers. This is important because the last thing you want is to have your Internet or web hosting
account shut down because of your mass mailing activities.
MailChimp – 100 subscribers, can only mail out 6 times a month and a MailChimp logo is added to all your
emails.They have great tutorials and support forum. They also have a paid version. I find the free version is robust enough for all my business needs.
Aweber they have been in this business for a long time. They have good deliverability rates to make sure your emails get through. It’s not free but they are one of the longest staying and reputable ones around. They do have a trial version you can use out to see if this is the product your business needs.
Shopping Cart or Checkout Systems
That’s why we’re in business right? To sell something? These shopping carts offer free basic accounts. A WordPress plugin is a lot easier to handle than installing a stand alone shopping cart system when you’re new to this stuff.
MarketPress is an easy to use, best designed and most powerful ecommerce / shopping cart plugin available for WordPress today.
Some things need to be hosted yourself for maximum benefit and growth of your business.
WordPress is what I recommend and pretty much the only thing I use on all my sites. I do not recommend
WordPress.com because they have strict rules about advertising and more. I also don’t recommend Blogger
anymore because of the lack of control. Blogger has also been known to delete blogs ‘by mistake’. You definitely
don’t need that kind of agitation. You can get free themes but I recommend getting a paid theme as these will give on going support and forums to help with editing and setting up the blog.
GenBook – You have to pay for this but can get a trial version
Google Apps Appointy – Appointment Scheduling Software | Online Scheduler (FREE)
Zoho Invoice – The free version allows up to 5 customers with unlimited invoices.
Billing Boss - is a totally free invoicing application with pretty features. The user can easily keep track of billings and payments. Account at Billing Boss can be integrated with PayPal. In result, customers can pay your invoice online immediately. Further, the mobile version of web interface is also available to interact with application on iPhone or G1.