When we start a business we know that the costs become enormous and, in most cases, ended up putting our own money without seeing any profit during the first months. Although there are costs that can not miss, such as income, payment for expert SEO services or purchase of goods, there are some others that we avoid using tools that allow us to use them for free. .
And is that today we can no longer afford to start a business without using any technological tool because we run the risk of disappearing . For example, many small businesses do not even have a definite establishment, are growing thanks to the potential found in social networks;others, however small they may be, they have fully functional accounting programs that help them simplify some routine tasks. Do not forget to check out this interesting post to rescue an old computer and use it in SMEs.
It is therefore essential that you know some software alternatives that willnot cost you a dime and can help you maximize your business.
1. Point of sale: LemonPOS
If you have a business where you offer products or services is very helpful to tell a POS system (commonly called POS “point of sale” or POS “point of sale” ). This type of software facilitates transactions between businesses and customers, increase employee efficiency and automates report generation and other processes.
LemonPOS is an open source software POS that uses MySQL for connection to databases, this type of client / server structure allows, if we have branches of our business or company, we can run the program from there and can connect to the central database of the matrix. It has a very simple and friendly interface that achieves any user can use it .
LemonPOS consists of two applications: Lemon , dedicated exclusively to the sales function, and Squeeze , which is the application you use to manage products (add, delete, change prices, add discounts, etc.) that will be in Lemon. Currently this software is only available for Linux, but it is expected that in the future the Windows version is now available.
2. Finance / Accounting: GnuCash
GnuCash is a financial system that initially was created to provide user support staff, but gradually has become a focused small and medium enterprises ( “SMEs”) solution. It can be installed on Linux, Windows and Mac OSX operating systems, and already has an application in Google Play . GnuCash is excellent for carrying small business accounting , scheduling transactions, generate custom reports, budget management, among others.
3. Billing: Codeka
Codeka is an application to control billing and activities related to store an SME. Among its main features include: management with customers and suppliers, management articles and families or categories, management of receipts and payments, creating barcodes for identifying products and also has a terminal point of sale (POS ).
4. ERP Adempiere
Known as ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems, enterprise resource planning are associated with processes involving products and / or services of a company such as accounting, production, inventory, payments, invoicing and distribution systems.
ADempiere is precisely an ERP open source software developed in Spain to provide “Enterprise Resource Planning, Management and Customer Relationship supply chain management” (ERP, CRM and SCM).The features offered ADempiere make it the best candidate to fit the specific needs of users.
5. CRM: SugarCRM
The CRM is software for managing the relationship with customers , ie, one that supports the management of relations with customers, sales and marketing. Users who have small businesses strongly recommendSugarCRM because it can help you build stable relationships with your customers and increase your sales. It can be installed on mobile devices, it adapts to your needs and tastes. It is an open source software (though not necessarily free) which offers five types of issues, including a free.
6. Agenda, calendars and task lists
To have organized your activities and use the time, it is useful to have tools like electronic agendas to keep out payment dates, appointments with clients or outstanding finish.
Among the solutions that we offer are applications like Todoist ,Wunderlist or Evernote . The latter lets you find, in one place, links to resources that can help you develop new sales strategies in your business (web pages, tutorials, sketches, purchasing tickets, etc.), also has support for mobile devices .
Todoist and Wunderlist are those applications that we avoid having post-its stuck everywhere. We easily recall the tasks to be performed through notifications and allow to have organized all activities related to your business through modern calendars. None of these applications is open source, but all are excellent and can be used for free without almost any limitation on their characteristics.
7. Marketing and Advertising
In addition to tools for managing the activities of the business, it is also useful to have tools that help us develop the corporate image of the company (logo, slogan, etc.) creating ads, flyers, and some other resources to give more seriously the matter.
For creating logos we can use a tool like InkScape , program code open for editing vector graphics , much like Adobe Illustrator. Its interface is very simple, so you can easily create freehand drawings, manipulate objects and make beautiful designs for your products.
Designs created in Inkscape may well be busy to create and distribute flyers in your social networks, to give the personal touch to your Facebook page or insert advertising on the website of your business. For this we use a layout software called Scribus , which has the same features as InDesign, for creating publications with professional touch.
8. Parcels Office
A word processor and a spreadsheet are essential tools in the daily lifeof any business as they serve to create from a sign to major earnings reports. But do not worry, we know how expensive it is to buy a license and limited performance you can have your computer, so we offer the following solutions.
Although the largest within the office software is Microsoft Office, there are other solutions to create documents with the same characteristics; among them are LibreOffice and Open Office , who already have a good time helping us in this task. The new guy between these old is Kingsoft Office , software Chinese origin whose interface is almost identical to Microsoft Office and promises much.
9. Email Management
Among the software options that you can install on your PC to keep in touch with customers and suppliers have email clients like Thunderbirdand Geary . Although you can also choose to look at everything from the web via Gmail or Outlook .
Having an email account that identifies your business or company will allow you to keep in one place everything related to it, without mixing with your personal emails. It also helps to give more presence and formality.
10. Internet Browser
Although we are not businessmen, we all have this tool so useful for almost anything. But for a business it is essential to have installed one of the two browsers we recommend below. The main advantage is that they are free and cross-platform, so you can use from your computer or your favorite mobile device.
Firefox is a powerful Internet browser that will help you keep up with your social networks and the web of your business because of their great speed and simplicity . However Google Chrome (or Chromium free alternative) has many more applications and add- ons that can help you take advantage of the navigation to the full. For example, Google Similar Pagescan help you find similar pages to which you are seeing and thus find sites that sell the same products that you and designing sales strategies to make your business the number one in the search results.