Purchasing the software needed for a new business enterprise these days can be costly, and depending on the size and nature of the business, buying the multiple programs and licenses you need can make the difference between operating in the black or in the red. They no-cost or low-cost option of finding a useable free software solution on the web can take up as much time and manpower as it would have cost to buy a fully functional program as well. However, there are a few workable options for the business owner on a budget out there if you can find them. The goal of locating free software that can increase your business productivity without decreasing your bank account can be daunting, but it is possible. However, many of the free software programs out there are not as “free” as they might appear to be due to the absence of timely software updates and a lack of customer support. With these facts in mind, here is a look at a few of the better free software programs for business that are up and running today:
Ubuntu Linux is a good free operating system, especially when compared to the cost of multiple Windows licenses. The free Linux software selection is a bit different than the Windows offerings, but is generally considered quite user friendly thanks to the plethora of open-source enthusiasts who have worked to make Ubuntu work in the business environment.
LibreOffice is another decent free software office program for businesses that resembles Microsoft Office, but does have it differences. While the LibreOffice Impress function isn’t as workable as Microsoft Excel, its Writer app is quite good and will open DOCX files although there can be a few formatting issues when working with extremely large documents.
Another business oriented app worth checking out is the free version of Comodo Internet Security that provides anti-spyware, firewall, and antivirus capabilities. Comodo will also lock out unknown or untrustworthy files before they can damage your system as well.
For business email use, the free Zimbra Desktop program is a viable alternative to Microsoft Outlook and includes all of the basic email elements like a mail interface, a calendar, task lists and an offline mode too.
For business project management, the Freedcamp project-tracking tool is a decent free alternative to the sometimes expensive and more well-known Basecamp program. Freedcamp allows the creation and tracking of projects that you can assign to various users within your business and allows those users to track their time on specific tasks which can be extremely helpful when your business bills jobs by the hour.
For business owners needing to create a basic website, the free version of Weebly is a lot better than a parked domain page and allows the creation of simple sites hosted by Weebly that are built simply by dragging and dropping the needed page elements over a selection of preset templates. Some parts of the templates are locked, but you can edit sections with paragraphs, pictures, forms, and some of your own HTML as well.