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Free Technology Tools For Your Small Business

Free Technology Tools For Your Small Business

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Free Technology Tools For Your Small Business

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  1. With the generous sponsorship of: Free Technology Tools For Your Small Business

  2. Overview • 10 free apps covered in detail • Similar apps listed • Small selection of what’s available • Most apps provide full value when you move to a paid plan, but using free version is a great way to test it • You don’t have to spend a significant amount of money to have a fully functional, efficient IT applications infrastructure for your small business

  3. Productivity/Collaboration Apps – Google Apps Business Benefits: • Full suite of productivity apps to replace historically expensive desktop applications • Integrate nicely with each other – saving you time in double data entry • Remain free irrespective of the number of staff in your small business • Provide 80% of MS Office functionality – probably most of what you’ll need unless you’re a power user • Can replace or provide a cheap supplement to existing desktop applications • Fully compatible with Microsoft File formats • Enable a ready made collaborative environment with full version tracking Important apps for small business: • Gmail • Google Docs and Spreadsheets • Sites • Calendar • Google Voice

  4. Productivity/Collaboration Apps – Google Apps

  5. Other Free Productivity/Collaboration Apps • Open Office: • Zoho: • IBM Lotus Symphony: • AbiWord: • Central Desktop:

  6. File Storage Apps- Business Benefits: • Free online storage for each member of staff (1GB) • Provides an easy, secure way to share files with staff, clients and vendors • You can track who has accessed and updated files • Folder hierarchy imitates desktop file storage for easy staff training & acceptance • Easy collaborative environment includes file commenting, discussions etc. • Platform neutral

  7. File Storage Apps –

  8. Other Free File Storage Apps • Mediafire: • Filesanywhere: • Dropbox:

  9. Backup Apps – MozyHome Free Business Benefits: • Free online backup up to 2GB for home edition. Enough room to store your most vital business files • Easy, intuitive interface. Little or no training requirement • Backs up both open and closed files (this is a big deal!). Backups don’t have to be done overnight – continuous (no loss of productivity) • Very secure – 448 bit encryption • Automatic, according to your schedule • Backs up Outlook files incrementally (again, this is a big deal!) • Online solution has built-in redundancy, and is physically remote (important for earthquake regions)

  10. Backup Apps – MozyHome Free

  11. Other Free Backup Apps • Yuntaa: • File Hampster: • Comodo (Windows only): • Hinx Easy: • Syncback (Windows Only):

  12. Conference/Meeting Apps – Business Benefits: • Free, on demand audio conferencing and desktop sharing • No need for costly PBX functionality – no upfront investment • Meetings can be set up on-the-fly • Costs can be pushed to clients/suppliers. Obviates need to set up expensive phone bridges, or 800 numbers • Automated email invitations. No need for an admin to “ring around”

  13. Conference/Meeting Apps –

  14. Other Free Conference/Meeting Apps • Meeting Wizard: • Yugma: • Fuze Meeting: • Dimdim:

  15. Unified Messaging Apps – Google Voice Business Benefits: • Aggregates all your numbers under one number – you can always be available for clients • Can call different numbers depending on the time of day • Set up “routing rules” depending on who is calling you – you are in charge of who gets through • VoiceMail via email – great way to “batch” your call replies for when it suits you • Set up different voicemails for different customer contact scenarios for greater efficiency • Put “Web Widgets” on your Web Site – customers can call you without you revealing your number • Free local and long distance calls in US

  16. Unified Messaging Apps – Google Voice

  17. Unified Messaging Apps – Google Voice

  18. Other Free Unified Messaging Apps • Skype: • K7: • YouMail:

  19. Customer Relationship Management/Contact Management Apps - Highrise Business Benefits: • Easy to use and learn – little to no staff training required • Contacts accessible online in one place for all members of staff • Different levels of assignable “Group” security • Sales staff can record all interactions with a client • You can track deals in the pipeline and deal outcomes • Easy to export/import contact information • You can automate and track account/client follow ups (anf have them delivered via email) • You can copy emails to a “dropbox” and have them automatically assigned to a client/case

  20. Customer Relationship Management/Contact Management Apps - Highrise

  21. Other Free Customer Relationship Management/Contact Management Apps • Zoho CRM: • Saleforce CRM Personal Edition: • FreeCRM: • Keepm: • Tactile CRM:

  22. Project Management Apps - Basecamp Business Benefits: • Online Project Management app accessible by anyone with a browser – including clients and suppliers with appropriate security • Open, transparent design promotes effective collaboration both internally and externally • Platform-agnostic. No need to standardize your infrastructure • Easy to learn, but powerful – not over engineered like Microsoft Project. You don’t pay for unneeded functionality, and not a huge training overhead for staff • Open API integrates with a massive number of Web based apps like Freshbooks/Cashboard, and a number of iPhone apps – obviates need for data re-entry, saving you time • Collaborative environment with version tracking replaces traditional project stores such a SharePoint – significant cost savings • Easy to set up Milestones, assignable To-Do’s, and keep participants on track via email based task management. Provides better visual management of your important business projects

  23. Project Management Apps - Basecamp

  24. Other Free Project Management Apps • Gantter: • GantProject: • jxProject: • OpenProj: • Zoho Projects: • Viewpath:

  25. Financial Apps - Freshbooks Business Benefits: • Financial time tracking, estimating and invoicing all in one app • You can send and manage invoices online or offline – get paid faster, and easily track who has paid • Track expenses and re-bill clients • Online time-tracking (allows you to track time at client’s place of work) – also integrates with iPhone app. Makes sure you invoice all billable time • Integrates with several online accounting applications allowing you to avoid inefficiency of dual data entry. Also integrates with Salesforce, Basecamp, PayPal etc. • Allows online management of contractors and clear, transparent recording/access for clients – helps you build client trust and avoid nasty invoicing surprises

  26. Financial Apps - Freshbooks

  27. Other Free Financial Apps • Cashboard: • Outright: • Shoeboxed: • QuickBooks Online: • Microsoft Office Accounting Express 2009:

  28. Business Management Apps – Working Point Business Benefits: • Enter Client Data Once - Eliminate data entry errors • Become more responsive to client requests – one place to look for information on whole account • Streamline administration - Improve efficiency and boost productivity • Achieve a 360 degree view of your company using one integrated application • Link production to orders, sales accounts to inventory, stock replenishment process to inventory • Critical business information is online with redundant backup

  29. Business Management Apps – Working Point

  30. Social Networking Apps - Ping Business Benefits: • Allows you to update social networking site from a variety of entry points: Mobile Phone, SMS, MMS, IM, 3rd party apps • Posts out same message to over 40 social networking sites, saving you the time of updating them all • Allows clients, suppliers, partners, to follow you on their social networking platform of choice

  31. Social Networking Apps - Ping

  32. Any Questions? Thank you to our sponsor! RESOURCES: ~ Friends of the Santa Cruz County Library: 831-420-5790 ~ Santa Cruz Public Library Business & Company Resource Center: 831-420-5730 ~ Central Coast Small Business Development Center: 831-479-6136 ~ Downtown Association: ~ Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce: www.santacruzchamber.org831-457-3713