Every company today needs a lot of software to operate as efficiently as possible. With so many demands on data tracking, content, filing, security, and backups, you will find yourself overwhelmed if you don’t have a starting point. Here are our first seven recommendations for software and freeware you will need for your business.
As a company, you need to be prepared for disasters of any kind. Of course you should be backing up to an external hard drive or network-attached storage device regularly, but what if your whole building burns to the ground? Cloud storage should be a secondary backup in case your physical backups go down for the count. Mozy archives your files and its storage plans start at under $10 a month.
If you aren’t already blogging as a company, get started now. WordPress is free and easy to use. Writing quality content is important to proving your professionalism and leadership within your industry. Not only does online content capture the eyes of interested individuals, it enables you to update your social media pages with value your audience cares about, and it helps you build a brand that your target audience can trust.
You will need help with managing client accounts and billing, but you don’t need to pay for full-fledged accounting software to do it. Make online accounting and invoicing tasks easy with Sage One, which will help you breeze through administrative tasks, giving you more time to continue on with your day. The freeware offers helpful insights into your business spending with built-in reports, and a premium subscription allows you to collaborate with your accountant, reducing the time you spend on tax preparation.
You probably already know about Google Docs, which is freeware that allows your team to share files, but Vyew offers a whiteboard space that promotes more flexibility for the creative process. You can upload files, draw, discuss, and more. You don’t even have to register, though you will miss out on the access to VoIP and audio services. The freeware allows up to 20 participants.
You should be emailing your contacts and tracking their engagement. Constant Contact makes it easy to see who is opening your emails and who is clicking through your links to view your added content. If you don’t have a strong email marketing strategy in place, start creating one now.
Constant Content gives you a free 60-day trial to see what you can do with their online software. You will be able to create polls, add surveys, schedule campaigns, remove addresses that are bouncing emails, and create reports to show your progress. Once you’ve found a format you like, just keep copying your emails and adjusting the content for a faster and more efficient emailing process.
Every company really needs to have Microsoft Office for the many files that are shared this way. Word and Excel are too important not to have on at least one computer in the office. To make the most of all your computers, OpenOffice provides alternative freeware that will work for almost everything you need.
This freeware offers an alternative to Basecamp, closely replicating the important features. You will be able to create projects by starting from scratch or using their available templates. This project management tool is great for keeping everyone in the loop, and your free account includes 20MB of storage. Use Freedcamp to track how much time each participant spends on your project. If you already have Basecamp, Freedcamp allows you to import your projects directly into the freeware, so your switch will be relatively painless.
Once you’ve figured out some of the basics, you will also want to look at security software for protection (Avira AntiVirus is a great free alternative), social media management software to schedule and monitor your posts, and much more. Take it one step at a time and you will soon find what works for you and what isn’t necessary.