9 Free programs to help you plan your business

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Today’s corporate world is highly dependent on technology.  If you want to communicate and accomplish tasks swiftly, you need the right tools.  Many companies lease large quantities of technological hardware to stay up to date. 

In addition to the right hardware, you need the programs that will take your business to higher levels.  Programs such as these can be costly, but free alternatives are always emerging.  These are some of the most popular free online or web app programs for business. 

  1. Yammer
    Yammer is an online networking program similar to Facebook, but specifically geared toward group communication and project management in business.  With Yammer, you can assign roles and groups, keeping task information private or public. 
    Yammer also comes with an easily edited word, excel, and “notes” platform which makes document uploading, sharing and altering easy and efficient.  Yammer is user friendly and does not have a lot of fancy graphics, so you can easily access and utilize Yammer on your Smartphone, laptop, PC or tablet.
  2.  Fargo
    Fargo is a professional outlining tool, which connects to your dropbox account to automatically update and save your work.  It’s popular in the business world for outlining ideas, to do lists, and projects.  Many professionals also use the tool to lay out major press releases, training guides, and client or colleague communication.
  3.  Google Docs
    Google Documents is a popular free program for professionals.  You can access Google Docs from most devices, but a tablet, PC or laptop work best.  Google Documents allows you to share documents with multiple users, and allows each user invited to edit the document for easy and fast sharing.  You must have a google account to manage Google Documents, but anyone you invite can access and edit the documents.
  4. Planning Pod
    For the company that hosts or plans large events, this online software is easy to use and comes with a free trial to get you started.  Based on professional event planning software, Planning Pod is accessible from any device and helps organize professional level events, including trade shows, conferences, informational presentations, and large meetings or conventions.
  5. Boomerang
    Boomerang is a great web based application for CEOs or busy business professionals who work constantly.  This application is easiest to use on a PC, laptop, or tablet.  Boomerang allows you to schedule your emails so that they send at an optimum time. 
    So, if you’re working all hours of the night, or have international clients, you can draft the email you wish to send and schedule its release for an appropriate time.  This eliminates the need to revisit the same task multiple times, and allows you to work when you have the task fresh in your mind.
  6. Trello
    Trello is known as the free alternative to BaseCamp, and is a project management tool that allows executives or managers to monitor their employees’ progress.  Users of this program can assign tasks, update progress, and mark an assignment as completed.  You can also create extensive to do lists based on each project.  In addition, Trello has a fantastic blog which instructs users how to make the most of the program.
  7. MailChimp
    MailChimp is a free email blast tool, where you can design your own email template and send the email to multiple recipients.  This tool is very useful in marketing for smaller businesses, as it’s easy to use editor can help create professional emails for no cost. 
    You can store multiple lists according to which group you are targeting with your message.  Using a PC or laptop to design your emails is recommended, but MailChimp templates have viewing compatibility with smartphones, iphones, tablets and computers.
  8. GoTo Meeting
    GoTo Meeting is a free web conference tool for conference calls.  Many professionals use GoTo Meeting for conference calls, because you can hold as many meetings as you need to at no charge.  The software is compatible with Apple and PC devices, and can be accessed for attendance through laptop, PC, tablet, or smartphone.
  9.  TurboCash
    As the free alternative to QuickBooks, TurboCash helps smaller businesses with their accounting needs.  You can reconcile accounts and manage balances.  This is another program that is highly beneficial to professionals who work or have clientele internationally, since the program can be configured for different currencies.

Having access to the programs that will help your company grow and thrive can make all the difference in your company and your bottom line.  Companies large and small are now using free online programs and web apps to make their business more efficient.

Using free programs can mean the difference of thousands of dollars per year, and beginning with free programs can open the door for upgrades in the future.  Keep your employees equipped with the latest in technological hardware to make the most of these programs.

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Monday, March 21, 2016