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You Get What You Pay For???

I remember, growing up, my parents saying you get what you pay for and nothing is easy and nothing is free. While these sayings have some truth to them there are many contradictions today. For example, how much have you paid to do a Google search? Odds are, unless you also bought a bridge or some beachfront property in southern Florida online, you have not paid one red cent to do a Google search. You have seen ads that other people have paid for on Google so make no mistakeGoogle is getting paid. But for you to do the search is FREE. I bring this up to introduce some other free services that Google is providing to help you run a business, Google Apps. I am so impressed with Google Apps that I have moved 2 of my businesses over to it and have helped several client do the same. Google Apps is an online application suite where you can host and access your email, share calendars, blog, share contacts, and store files and documents that you don't even need MS Office to use. Sounds like a lot because it is. They offer 7GB of email and 10GB of file storage for FREE. If you pay $50 per person per year you get 25GB of files storage and Postini SPAM protection thrown in.

To try Google Apps you can search Google for "google apps" or just go tohttp://www.google.com/a

 

Other Free Stuff for Businesses

Ever hear of the term Open Source software? In the world that Bill Gates has promoted you have to pay (sometimes dearly) for all software you use. Microsoft Office is a good example. Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook are all programs that almost everyone uses, usually costing between $150 and $450 for each computer it is on. A lesser know back office suite of programs like this is called OpenOffice. You can download and use it for free here: http://www.openoffice.org/. It has many of the same features as MS Office but at no cost. Another source of free software to help run your business is SourceForge.net,http://sourceforge.net/go here and do a search for any kind of software you might need and you will find tons of options - for FREE. You can contribute to the software projects if you desire but the amount is up to you. Another nice thing about this open source software is you can get the software code and modify to meet your needs. Try doing that with Microsoft. I have used several of these open source softwares for my companies with huge success. One in particular is called VTiger. Vtiger is an open source CRM that you can load on any Windows or Linux computer. Then, very much like SalesForce.com, you can access it through your internet browser. You can take a look at and download VTiger here:http://sourceforge.net/projects/vtigercrm/

 

Free Web Hosting

 Godaddy.com - register your .com there for under $10 per year and you get free web hosting. Yes FREE. The only drawback is they put a banner above your website saying that it is hosted for free on Godaddy.com and has advertising for Godaddy. Still with the all of the open source packages they will load for you for free, you can put up a website, monitor and maintain it and maybe even make money from it for a whopping $10 per year out of your pocket. You don't even need to buy software to edit the web page. You can install Joomla or one of several other content management software (CMS) packages right from the admin console at Godaddy. I personally have about 12 of these sites now. If you want to get into web marketing with almost no startup capital go to http://www.godaddy.com

 

A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned

In this economy (which Obama can not turn around over night) we need to do business in a more efficient and cost effective way. Google and the folks that support SourceForge.net are helping the small business get off the ground and survive and hopefully THRIVE. For more information on the computer and IT support side of business go to http://alphadogit.net.

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