Mashables’ 5 Essential Small Business Tools
The cost to start-up a business these days is lower then ever. As the needs for technology and communication sophistication keep increasing, the cost for these tools keeps dropping. At least to get started and prove your concept. Voice phone calls, and voice mail is free (once you pay for Internet access) with Google Voice and many other VOIP solutions. Video conferencing is free, with a little technical know how, using Skype and other services. The list goes on (I keep trying to keep an updated list, but the best in breed and abilities of each low cost service change so frequently).
One of the ways of determining some of the best of breed is to look at the many (many, many) end of year “best of” lists. These often consolidate and update the author’s finds from throughout the year.
Here are some cool types of tools for businesses looking for low cost (free on up) solutions to business communication and learning challenges. Cloud solutions are going mainstream. Even the GSA (goverment Services Administration) is using the cloud (they choose Google Apps and will save 50% of email costs in 5 years).
From the Mashable site http://insr.us/SeoDamian5Essential
The point is there are an incredible amount of tools available for free if you are a small business. Their objective is to follow the same strategy that Apple followed a generation or two ago. Sell for free or cheap when you really can not afford a solution. In exchange, let you be beta testers – you find the issues, you complain about the user interface imperfections, you come up with creative ways to use it then was envisioned. Then when you become the one in a hundred larger company and need more control and services as a larger organization or enterprise, then turn on the billing. In exchange, the software company does not have to deal with small invoices, small shipping, small customer service, small loss on each transaction. Only bill for a large enough amount that is profitable. That also means it is good enough to be valuable to pay for the services.
Comment on what are your favorite tools that you could not live without. Let us know what tools have you discovered this past year that you are keeping in your tool box for 2011.
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