Unlike big corporations, small and medium-sized enterprises don’t have unlimited tech innovation funds. That’s why they’re often not always able to buy expensive business software. Instead, they need to take alternative paths towards business automation.
Since business software market is very competitive, small businesses are benefiting from decreasing software prices, software-as-a-service concept and a large number of free and open-source programs. In this article, we’ll present you with free and affordable business software solutions, which can improve your business and speed up your company’s development.
Word processing software is fundamental for many different businesses. If you want to skip MS Office 365’s monthly subscription, you should choose the number one open-source word processing solution. LibreOffice allows you to:
- Write documents with LibreOffice Writer;
- Create and fill in spreadsheets with LibreOffice Calc;
- Create presentations with LibreOffice Impress;
- Draw vector graphics and flowcharts with LibreOffice Draw;
- Create and structure databases with LibreOffice Base;
- Create and edit math formulas with LibreOffice Math;
All this is free of course and you can also obtain many free extensions that will equip your LibreOffice pack with some additional features. There are also thousands of free document templates, written in 110 different languages. LibreOffice uses OpenDocument file format (‘.odf’), but it also recognizes regular MS Office ‘.doc’ format and file formats from other major Office packs.
This open source accounting platform is ideal for small business entrepreneurs and companies that employ from 2 to 9 workers. Unlike regular accounting programs, Wave can’t be upgraded, so what you see is what you get. The program is funded by the ads shown to the users.
Invoicing and payroll features are integrated into the platform and you can connect them with your bank if you want to conduct these processes in real time. Since Wave Accounting is a bare bones platform, you’ll probably need some accounting advice, especially if you don’t have any prior experience in this field. There are many companies that are willing to offer professional accounting services for small business entrepreneurs before they get a hold of the new software.
Small businesses often need to outsource their work and hire skillful freelancers. Trello collaboration platform will enable you to get a hold of your business operation and stay in close contact with all freelancers you’re cooperating with. Trello is based on the Kanban scheduling concept, developed by Toyota’s engineers. It uses cards, which represent individual assignments.
Trello is not an open-source app, but it offers a free pack, which includes:
- Unlimited number of boards, cards and lists;
- One Power Up per board;
- Interactions with DropBox and Drive;
- Attachments up to 10 MB;
Premium version, called Business Class can be bought for $9.99 per month.
The app is integrated with AdWords, so if you are running this type of online marketing campaign, you can track its landing page quality and conversion for various goals. Goals might include sales, lead generation, file downloads, page views, etc.
Google Analytics is used by several Fortune 500 companies and by thousands of small business entrepreneurs who want to analyze their website’s performance. Several market share analysis stated that this tool is used by more than 49% of top 1,000,000 websites, according to Alexa rating.
Software development companies that follow open-source and freemium concepts, enabled small business entrepreneurs to run their operations more efficiently and to automate a huge number of boring and demanding tasks. If your business success relies on honest and hard-working software developers, you should at least partially repay all the great things they’ve done for you, by giving them donations or by buying a premium version, once your company starts growing.