In January 2015, Target Canada announced that it was closing 133 stores, leaving more than 17,000 people jobless. This was a painful indication that no business, big or small, established or new, is completely immune to failure.
Establishing a business either as an entrepreneur or solopreneur is difficult, hectic and frustrating in the early stages. It is therefore prudent for entrepreneurs to identify resources, methods and tools that will save them a few dollars without compromising on productivity or the quality of their goods and services, in order to maintain a competitive edge. This is made possible by free business productivity tools that are easily and readily accessible to entrepreneurs. These are;
In this new era of instant messaging and using emails as opposed to older methods of communication, one would quickly assume that fax machines are outdated and irrelevant. A recent survey by LinkedIn as reported by Mashable proves the opposite and reports that fax machines will be significant to businesses until 2017.
GotFreeFax.com is a free online fax service that allows users to send a maximum of 2 faxes a day, each having a maximum of 3 pages. The service is however limited to only Canada and United States numbers. Once the start-up progresses and accrues enough profit to pay for fax services, one can invest in the premium pay-per-fax service at GotFreeFax.com.
For better communication and coordination among staff members, an easy-to-use social intranet tool is vital. Bitrix24.com offers exactly that, supporting businesses with 12 or less employees for free. The application, which requires minimal training, is a combination of several crucial work tools such as activity planner, project management, file sharing and CRM. Employees can access this service from anywhere using a Smartphone or computer since its cloud-based, further improving the productivity. Businesses with more than 12 employees should consider investing in an unlimited user upgrade that costs $99 per month.
An effective and accurate business accounting tool ensures that very minimal losses if any, are made. Formerly known as WaveAccounting.com, WaveApps.com, an accountant-approved accounting software, is specifically designed for non-accountants to offer unlimited expense tracking and invoicing. It is absolutely free for businesses with less than 10 employees. Reliable security measures have been implemented, giving users the freedom to securely connect to PayPal and bank accounts where all transactions are automatically imported into the software.
Great online presence and online marketing is effective and immensely successful when a business has a website that relays relevant information to potential clients and investors. Unfortunately, investing in complex or self-hosted sites is expensive for start-ups, requiring monthly or yearly payments.
Weebly.com is a free website creator that amateur website creators can use, significantly saving the business website design and hosting costs.
Entrepreneurs are known to always be on the move looking for new opportunities and consulting to understand the best market practices. This takes a lot of time which is sometimes wasted on sifting through emails to find important information. To increase productivity by reducing the time taken to sift through emails, mailbox , a mobile email management tool, allows businesspeople to prioritize emails based on importance. Recently, it has been integrated with Dropbox to facilitate quicker file attachment.