Small Business Technology

Six Best Free Software To Kick Your Business To Successville

Written by Ashwin Satyanarayana for Gaebler Ventures

Are you looking for free business software? Here is a review of some of the best free software and service options out there for entrepreneurs. Skype, Google docs, Survey Monkey, DimDim, Doomi, and Foxit are all great options for entrepreneurs world-wide.

Could anything that comes free actually shame something that you pay for in the same product class?

Does the statement "you get what you pay for" not hold any truth in it? It certainly appears so when it comes to some utility & productivity software for which paying is not fashionable anymore. Check out software - best in class -- that could empower your business and fetch you an avalanche of profits:

Skype: Superb audio-quality, excellent connectivity, 50% less bandwidth usage, free calls to any user with Skype installed on laptops or computers (which is a relentless, ever-growing number), improved video calls whipping out quality projections at 30 frames per second and a powerful screen-sharing capability - Skype is a benchmark when it comes to VoIP for small businesses. Apart from all that, it enables you to chat, communicate with your co-workers, share files and even allows you to conduct training sessions while you show your team how to perform tasks using your screen sharing facility. Did I mention that you could place calls to anyone in the world, right from your computer or even your mobile device (with Wi-Fi) for low-rates? What business can say no to all this?

DimDim: Want to do a conference with your global vendors? How about taking a live class on social media and its impact on your business? Did it ever occur to you that you could hold meetings and conferences sitting wherever you are and not move out at all?

Web conferencing allows you to do all that. It could be expensive, you say? The business centre I used to work out from used to cost me a cool $15 an hour to host a virtual meeting or a conference; DimDim allows you to do it for free. You may host unlimited web conferences with a limit of 20 attendees/guests. You may also allow them to view your desktop. Think virtual classes, technology courses, brainstorming with whiteboards (this is available for free too), software demo, and much more.

Survey Monkey:

Starting a business without knowing what's in demand or what your potential customers might think about your products and services is plain abortive. There is no point in running a business when you are oblivious to how your customers react to your products and services. But then, how would you possibly know? Isn't market research a tedious and time-consuming process?

Not anymore; especially not with services like Survey Monkey. Use Survey Monkey to run polls, surveys and much more right on your website. You may even email these surveys to your mailing list to gain knowledge on consumer perception of your products and services. Knowing this will allow you to make changes to your business accordingly.

Google Documents: Collaboration allows you to work with your team - no matter where each member of your team is located - seamlessly and in real-time. Of course, most of the project collaboration software does come with a price-tag. Could you do it for free? Google Docs is unmistakably easy-to-use, completely free and a feature-packed, effective suite of software. Set-up spreadsheets and collaborate. Sync it with Google Calendar to plan for projects and you may even sync Google docs with outlook. Needless to say, you could have a little module showing-up your Google Docs alongside your Gmail.

Doomi: Nothing fancy; simple, yet elegant. You can use Doomi to create a quick to-do list on the fly and strike off work that you completed. You can even set-up a completion time against each task so as to keep yourself organized and scheduled. The best thing is that it allows you to step back at the end of the day, take a look at your finished to-do list with items scratched off (showing completed) and then bask in the glory of a day spent well.

Foxit: The Foxit Reader 3.0 should be your best friend when it comes to viewing and modifying PDF documents. Strikingly, it uses much less space and computing resources than Adobe reader. Quick to launch, allows you to convert PDF into text files (I know you needed this, didn't you?), lets you draw graphics and highlight text. All those marketing brochures, invoices, quotations, research documents now have a better way to be dealt with, don't you think?

Ash has an undergraduate degree in engineering and an MBA from Ohio University. Today he is a corporate trainer, business coach and a freelance writer.

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