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Let’s face it, your business may be based on a good model, you may offer the right product or service to the right people, you may have even expanded into an office space or a brick and mortar location. But no business can survive if it cannot meet the necessary deadlines, efficiently produce enough to meet demand, and maintain all of this in steady upward growth. What is essential to growth is productivity.
Productivity can make or break a business. And with a shoestring budget, like most small or newer businesses, your options may be limited. Here is a list of free software that could help your business survive and stay afloat.
Kolab.org is a free group collaboration server that allows for building a cooperative and unified communication and collaboration system. You can install it onto your existing server, or if you do not have your own, they provide a hosting service on MyKolab.org. With Kolab, you can share notes, email access, task management, calendar organization, news notifications, and calendar organization, as well as a larger list of other possibilities.
For your basic accounting needs, WaveApps.com could be of service. WaveApps is a simple and easy accounting service that offers unlimited expense tracking and invoicing. WaveApps is currently free for small businesses that have nine employees or less. You can connect your PayPal, bank accounts, and other sources of financial information to WaveApps and have all of your transactions automatically imported into the software.
For time and task management, RememberTheMilk.com, offers a free and easy choice. RememberTheMilk is a powerful and effective, yet surprisingly simple, software that can function as a multifaceted task manager, electronic calender, and a to-do list. With Gmail, Google, Twitter, and Evernote integration, this piece of software is a Swiss army knife for task management.
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A more unique option may be Bitrix24.com, which offers a social networking styled interface. Primarily aimed toward creating a simple format for communication, Bitrix24 offers tools for document sharing, time tracking, and task management all in one simple and intuitive environment. With features like Activity Stream, Conversations, Badges, Announcements, Integration with other social networking websites, and even has a “like” button option, Bitrix24 offers a unique experience compared to other similar services.
Yast is a simple and easy to use time tracking tool. Tracking time spent on projects can be crucial for productivity and staying on task, it is even more important if you bill by the hour. There are countless programs for time management, but one particular aspect that makes Yast stand out in comparison to its competition is its ability to easily share time tracking data. For those whose work is primarily located on the internet, this feature can be quite helpful. Keeping all of your billable hours tracked and accounted for as well as having the ability to easily share this with clients can make many of the headaches of running a small business disappear.
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The use of productivity increasing software can open new worlds of possibility for your business. It can potentially lead to an increase in revenue, and overall growth for your business. As with all other forms of software, these programs need to be investigated and tested before implementing them on a more company wide level. Given that the programs listed above are free for smaller businesses, they can easily be experimented with and examined for efficacy. This results in a low risk opportunity to explore options for your business, and see how increasing productivity can affect your business.
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