FreeAnytime you can cut your costs and save a few dollars is a good time. Over the years, I have discovered a few online services or software as a service (SAS) that I use that doesn’t cost me anything or it costs very little – less than $10 per month.

The List: (most involve moving your business services into the cloud)

MailChimp –
Email / Newsletters – it is FREE for up to 2000 subscribers and up to 12,000 emails per month. That would serve probably 90% or more of small business. And even if you need more, their pricing is very affordable.

Google Apps –
I made the move to using Google Apps for my business and personal email service over a year ago and will likely never move away from it. The basic service costs only $5 per email and provides most people and small business owners more storage space for backups on Google Drive and Email storage than they will ever use.

Google Apps provide:

  • Google Drive : Online Cloud Storage – which you can setup on your laptop for automated backups.
  • Google Sites : which are mini website applications that you can use of an intranet or client reporting.
  • Google Mail : I consider Google’s email service to be the best in class.
  • Google Calendar : You can create multiple calendars and they are easily imported into websites.
  • Google Contacts and many others.
One thing about going Google is that your information is easily synched on each new Google phone you purchase.

Insight.ly –
This is a Google email plugin that provides a CRM (customer relationship management) system and even better — a Project Management System. I use the Project Management to keep track of client projects and tasks. The really nice thing is that it’s easy to setup and even plugs into Gmail so that client emails can be tagged – from the email – and turned into tasks without launching into the system. The tasks easily import into the Google Calendar also. They do have a paid upgrade system for more users, but the cost is more than affordable when my business grows to that point.

Boomerang for Gmail –
Another Gmail plugin that allows you to set reminders for emails that you send out, or reschedule an email to come back to the top of your inbox. You send out a proposal to a prospect and then set a reminder to pop up after 3 days so that you are reminded to recontact them if they don’t respond. There is a limited number of uses for FREE, but the cost is only $5 per month for unlimited.

Yesware for Gmail –
This one has a bit of overlap with Boomerang and I may decide on using only one of them, but the original functionality is to notify you when an email you sent has been opened. You send out an invoice or a proposal – it’s nice to know if they received it. Email isn’t 100% on delivery. Sometimes things just don’t get there or end up in Spam folders. Again, cost is only $5 per month for going over the allowed FREE uses.

Skype –
We all know this one, but if you travel overseas, it can save you quite a bit of money on phone calls by using your laptop or cell phone — and their video is usually very good.

 

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