35 Free or Cheap Online Resources for Your Internet Start Up
35 Free or Cheap Online Resources for Your Internet
When you start a new business you need to find as many ways as possible to keep your costs down.
Our company has gone from two to ten people. Over the last three
Skype – Communicate by voice and text with company colleagues, suppliers and customers for free using Skype. Other similar services exist, but none of them have the coverage and reach of Skype.
Jajah – When you need to call people who don’t have a Skype account consider using
Gmail – Google’s free email service is getting better by the day. POP3, mobile access, integration to the diary, good spam filters, and much more
Pidgin - the free Pidgin software allows you to have one instant messenger (IM) window that brings together messages from AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger,
Images and Image Editing
SnagIt - Download the trial and they should send you a discount offer (normal price $40). This tremendously useful application allows you to grab images, parts of pages or whole websites so they can be reproduced in an article, document or email. All the images in this article are snagged using Snagit
Fotoflexer – A simple, but powerful tool for editing and enhancing your photos online. Should meet most of your image editing needs.
Camstudio – If you want to occasionally make simple flash videos this free screen capture software is fine. If you want to make more sophisticated videos invest in Camtasia
Camtasia Studio – If you are planning on regularly creating
Facebook - When you start a business you will be working so hard it will be difficult to keep up with friends and colleagues. But maintaining your network is very important so try using Facebook to keep in touch.
LinkedIn – LinkedIn is another networking tool which enables you to stay in touch with existing contacts, whilst reaching out to new ones. As an
Plaxo – manages your contacts by updating your address book as peoples contact details change. It also notifies your contacts about changes to your details. There is quite a bit of overlap between Plaxo,
Carbonite – Over 50% of small businesses that lose all their data through the corruption of a hard drive or theft, go out of business.
SyncBackSE - For local backup, SyncBack wins hands down. Try it for free. Software cost $30.
Google Sites – centralize file storage so you can easily edit and share documents,
Google Calendar – Being able to share a calendar with your colleagues saves you time and increases efficiency. Google Calendar is easy to use, has a mobile phone version and now syncs with Microsoft Outlook. Also look at 30 Boxes
Google Docs – If you want to edit text documents,
OpenOffice – at last a good free alternative to Microsoft’s Office. It includes a
Freshbooks – Invoicing and tracking outstanding debtors is critical to every businesses success. Freshbooks does a very good job at doing these boring but essential tasks.
Google Reader - There are loads of
Web Stats and Alerts
Google Analytics - You cannot run a successful online business without understanding how many people are coming to your site, what they do when they get there and how what pages are most popular. Google’s free analytics service provides a fantastic overview of
Popuri – To get a quick snapshot of how well your online marketing is doing, type your domain name into Popuri.us and get your Google PageRank; Alexa, Compete and Quantcast position; and
Google Alerts – It is very important to keep an eye on what people are saying about you, your company,
Customer Relationship Management
SugarCRM – The open source version of SugarCRM can be a very effective customer management tool. You may need to get a developer to set it up for you but once established it is flexible and comprehensive. SugarCRM also
Kayako – An excellent online help desk solution which enables you to track and support hundreds of clients. Not free, but good value for what it provides (from $29.95 per month)
GoToMeeting – we do all our client demos over the web using the GoToMeeting service.
KeePass – Most internet users accumulate dozens or even hundreds of passwords which can become a headache to manage and remember. The open source KeePass PassWord Safe helps manage your passwords
AVG Free - Free anti-virus software that is as good as most of the commercial solutions
CutePDF – www.cutepdf.com – Simple free PDF creation software. We send a lot of PDFs and this solution works OK. Also consider PDF995 and PrimoPDF . If you need a much more professional solution for ebooks and reports try Nuance PDF Converter (£99)
FileZilla - If you need to FTP files onto your server this FTP client is a free, easy-to-use solution
TrueCrypt – free open-source disk encryption software for Windows,
Elance – A good place to find lots of freelance specialists to help with design, proofreading, writing, development, marketing, etc. Pay attention to the ratings
ODesk – If you are looking for a programmer or web designer, oDesk is a good place to start.
Make the most of all these amazing tools to help you launch and grow your business.
As we have found out to our cost, free solutions can be a false economy for critical applications.
Please add any other applications you use in the comments so our readers can benefit from your experience. Thanks.