If you’re running a small business enterprise and want to keep your costs down, one of the best ways to do so is with the free software available to you on the net, like free conference call/teleconferencing services and free accounting app downloads, for example.

Here are some other alternative tools that you may find useful for your home business.

Open Office

Like with Microsoft’s Office suite, users have the ability to create text, spreadsheet, publication-style and presentation documents, while also offering users the facility to analyze data and produce eye-catching presentations and dramatic illustrations. Work can be published in .pdf format without requiring any additional software. See OpenOffice.org for more information.

Free Dynacom Accounting Edition

This does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s free, and it does your accounts – well, it’s software that you can use to do your accounts. Great for organizations big and small. Dynacom’s free start-up Accounting Edition offers a basic business accounting package and includes software functions for sales, purchasing, payroll, bank, and general ledger, and what’s more, it offers all these functions on a nice-looking interface in a format that’s user-friendly and effective, to boot.

Unforgiven Organizer

Again, this one’s akin to Microsoft’s Outlook Calendar, but free. It allows you to manage yearly, monthly, weekly and daily tasks based on how often they occur (or don’t). The Contacts Manager this software features is fantastic because it links with e-mail client, Internet browser and Windows telephony, and the more aspects of your business software that links up, of course, the better.

CitrusWare

A great piece of free software, Citrusware offers two fantastically useful functions:

  1. Proposal Writer – this creates and prints your business proposals, making them look very professional while making you and your business look pretty good in the process.
  2. Invoicer – this creates and prints invoices, and users can even add and save sales items to the software for repeat use in the future, and also apply credits or debits and extra charges for things like labor or postage, for example.

And… Find a telecommunications company that doesn’t charge a bridging fee for conference call.

Whatever the size of your business, you’ll need to be able to communicate with your customers and business associates. If you regularly need to meet with or call three or more people, the cheapest and best way of doing this is using a conference call service. And while many do charge for connecting the phone lines together (known as a ‘bridging fee’), there are a few who don’t. This can bring the cost of monthly conference call bills down by hundreds, even thousands of dollars every month for some companies.

There you have it. A few free (and cheap) alternative tools to help your business grow without having to invest a ton of money. Because let’s face it, the more money you’re able to save and use for other things, the faster your business will grow, and the more profit you’ll make.

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