How to start or run your business for free

Cover In the January issue of Entrepreneur Magazine (see the cover to the left) available at your local news stand or online you will find my thoughts on how social media tools can help a start up or existing business and often times…for free.

There's quite an impressive list of resources whether you're trying to manage file storage, host content or boost your web presence.

If you've been a reader here for a while, you'll recognize some of the tools like ooVoo, Jott and Google Alerts.  But I promise you…there are plenty of new discoveries to be made.

I'd love you to take a peek at the article (page 42-45) and then come back here to let me know what you think. 

In the meantime…what web 2.0 tool has been the most effective for your business?

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8 comments on “How to start or run your business for free

  1. Thanks for pointing out this article, Drew. I had never taken the time to think about how many free tools I use to run and grown my freelance copywriting business — or how much these services would have cost before Web 2.0 came along.

    The article led me to take a quick inventory of all the “freebies” I am getting, including: StatCounter for Web stats, free invoicing software Express Invoice, Web site hosting from Google using Page Creator, video conferencing from Skype, YouSendIt for sending large files and e-newsletter distribution from MailChimp.

    Whew! It’s quite a list, and I’m sure there will be more after I take a look at the tools listed in the article.

  2. Will Welborn says:

    I use many google apps including gmail, docs, calendar, analytics, blogger, reader, forms (in docs). I know some people see google as too generic, but they make it very easy to work with different apps.

    Also love otherinbox.com for managing emails from suppliers, newsletters, online purchases. Stuff I want to receive but only need to look at on my schedule. Very easy to set up and manage.

    And one that is almost free is FastStone Capture. Great for clipping image and text for blogging and email.

  3. Megan,

    5 years ago, we would all have been ga-ga over all the free offerings. But today, I think many of us take them for granted.

    But business people new to the web 2.0 world are still discovering what we’re now pretty blase about.

    Glad you liked the article. I’ve never heard of Express Invoice before. Do they give you accounting software to keep track of those invoices too?

    Drew

  4. Will,

    You’ll get no dogging for your dedication to Google from me. I think they are brilliant. They know their audience and build products and services tailored to that audience.

    Who can argue with that plan?

    I hadn’t heard of FastStone Capture. Will have to check that out!

    Drew

  5. Drew,

    You really should look into FastStone Capture, it’s a great tool; however mine expired, so it was not free.

    Also, regarding Google Mail (gmail). I’ve used Gmail for a couple years now, managing several email address accounts – it’s great.

    In addition to it’s “simple” form you can add tools directly into Gmail to enhance things like signatures. Here is the website for Wisestamp adder for gmail. http://www.wisestamp.com

  6. Brett Duncan says:

    OK, just bought the issue, and it’s definitely work the $5, just for this article. I must admit, I’m probably a virgin to 75% of the sites.

    One that’s not crucial to my business but that I do use a lot is Picnik, a free photo-editing service. It’s come in very handy for quick picture editing.

  7. Brett,

    I’m glad you found the article of value. Tell me a bit more about Picnik. Is it browser based? Do you need to have skills to use it?

    Drew

  8. Pam Branch says:

    Drew,

    This info is lost on another computer, can you send me a digital file if you have it?

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