Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Free and low costs business tools for new start ups, entrepreneurs and consultants

I attended today the Montreal Tech Entrepreneur Breakfast Meetup at Boccacinos. It was absolutely packed full of talented and eager entrepreneurs of all ages from the tech industry. Some toying with the idea of quitting the 9 to 5 and making it on their own, and others, seasoned consultants.

We had a great conversation going on low cost and no cost resources available online for entrepreneurs looking to save. Inspired by this conversation, I took it upon myself to list some of the well known and lesser known freebies out there.

  • Free business cards - VistaPrint.ca offers 250 free business cards when you pay for shipping and handling.

  • Free faxing - MyFax.com the first month is free and then subscriptions start as low as $10 per month. Who needs to buy a fax machine, pay for a dedicated line and waste paper with a service like this?

  • Free email marketing - Campaigner.com offers a 30 day free trial and then also has subscriptions that start $10 per month. What a great way to stay in touch with your customers and grow your contact lists.

  • Free virtual receptionist - My1Voice.com has a 30 day free trial and then plans starting at $10 per month. It is a virtual receptionist service that relays your call to whatever number you want. On the go, have your calls routed to your cell phone. If you are home, have the number routed there. You can even control the hours at which you accept calls and have calls after hours go straight to voice mail. Did I mention voice mail is delivered to your email? No more voice mail nightmares!

  • Free office software - Google Docs does everything the costly Microsoft Office does - but free of charge, always! Spreadsheets, word processing and slide presentations are a breeze with no resource heavy software to install. Just work out of your browser.

  • Free scheduling manager - Google Calendar is a brilliant tool out there - again free - that you can use to sync up your business schedule, personal life, project maps and so on with the same ease you know with the Microsoft Outlook suite. As an added bonus, it can sync up with your mobile device without needing any special costly licenses.
Drop me a line if you know of other great FREE or low cost services out there that help make you look like a big company on a shoe string budget.

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