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For a business to run effectively, tools to help in day-to-day functions are of paramount importance. For a business just starting out, however, finding the best possible tools may be tricky, as, more often than not, the right tools come with a hefty price as well. If you’re a business owner and what you’re after are free or low-cost tools that get the job done, here are some tools worth looking into:
Having a back-office system that you can count on is important to effectively run a business, things such as CRM for sales and transactions, project management to keep tabs of your obligations, manpower monitoring tool to know what your employees are up to and how far along they are on tasks that need to be done ASAP, etc. But having to purchase all of these separately can mean a huge dent in your operating capital. For small businesses, cutting down on costs wherever and whenever possible is crucial.
Bitrix24, free for businesses with a maximum total of 12 employees, is an all-in-one enterprise solution that supports the following functionalities: social intranet, CRM, workforce monitoring, calendar and activity planning, file and document sharing, project management, etc. Bitrix24 also can be accessed via your mobile phone, making your workstation easily accessible whenever you need it, wherever you are in the world. For bigger companies with more than 12 employees, subscription for an unlimited number of users starts at $99 per month.
When starting a business, the name you assign to your business is critical. Experts agree that your business name should be relevant, unique, easy to remember and catchy. If that’s something you can easily come up with on your own, congratulations. Otherwise, you might have to go through a brainstorming session with a friend or partner, or hire a branding agency and shell out substantial amount of cash that can range up to thousands of dollars.
A cheaper alternative is crowdsourcing. PickyDomains is an online crowdsourcing site that has been in business since 2007 and now has a contributor pool totaling over 50,000 from different regions of the world and from all walks of life. For a mere $50 for a name or domain, or $75 for a slogan, you can immediately start receiving suggestions. In case none of the suggestions sent your way satisfies the naming parameters you’ve specified, you can always ask for your money back.
ATMs, remote controls, conveyor systems, vending machines, your dishwasher and washing machine – these are living proofs that automation has made a lot of things easier for us. In the same vein, business automation makes running and managing a business easier and relatively trouble-free.
Comindware is an automation software that allows cross-functional work teams to capture work that’s spread across several e-mail inboxes and spreadsheets. Specifically designed for workflow management, task administration and issue tracking, Comindware, with its ElasticData technology, allows you to formalize a workflow process now and edit it later (if needed) without interrupting the normal course of day-to-day operations. Workflow Builder also lets you visually formulate and edit your workflow process even when you don’t have an extensive IT or designing experience. Simply drag and drop items in the dashboard, and in a matter of minutes, your new process can already be implemented.
For those looking to see Comindware in action in their unique environment, the software is available for download for free for 30 days.
For those occasional (or frequent) business trips, booking a flight with a budget airline helps cut down on travel expenses. But the problem with cheap plane tickets, they practically get sold out immediately after airlines put them up for sale. That’s not to mention that due to the intense competition in the air travel space and airlines’ reluctance to share their promos with price-comparison sites, you would have to be glued to each of these airlines’ websites for you to find and ultimately capture the best available deal before they all disappear.
JetRadar is a metasearch engine that sifts through hundreds and hundreds of flight, airline and travel sites for the best and lowest-priced airfares, and makes the collected information readily accessible in a single online address. This dramatically reduces the time and effort it would normally take a regular deal hunter to find the airfare offer that suits his needs.