Run your business in the cloud for almost nothing? You bet you can. Here are my Top 20 small business web-based productivity tools. If you are a consultant or agency or a road warrior, chances are you’ll enjoy some or even all of these great time and money savers. They are all free or less than $20/mo and they had to be dead easy to use or they didn’t make the cut cause most small business people don’t have IT teams.
- CRM - contact and lead tracking, sales and contact management, sales pipeline management and forecasting, customer service and business management. Keep yourself organized! Free version available from www.freecrm.com, from $7/mo at www.sugarcrm.com
- Market Research – Google Alerts is a “must-have” clipping service. Set up your favorite key words and www.google.com/alerts finds and delivers articles about any subject of your choosing to your inbox every day. Watch for news and mentions of your own company, your customers and your competitors. Free
- Creative Design – Want a design for a new logo, brochure, website or business card? Go to either www.crowdspring.com, or www.99designs.com, upload your requirements, run a contest and pick your favourite. You pick the purse size, I’ve seen contests get dozens of great results for only a few hundred dollars. Read the rest of this entry »