Freebies

From the Bootstrapper blog, here’s a listing of 100 free resources called the Poor Entrepreneur’s Toolset.  The list includes productivity software, office software, accounting software, print and web design, marketing and sales, communication, instruction and management, customer service, and networking applications that you may find useful.

MYOB can’t personally vouch form most of them, but we have used a few and they’re quite good, especially for the price.  Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a free lunch, even on the Internet.  At the very least, most of these "freebies" will make you look at some ads.  Some may require free registration which may, or may not, get you on somebody’s mailing list.  Personally, we don’t have a problem with ad supported free tools, but you may.  If so, tread lightly.

BizPlan3–We’re big believers in having a detailed business plan.  This software will help you do that.  It installs Word templates on your computer which cover all the details of writing a plan along with a how-to manual.  You do have to register to get the unlock code, but BizPlan says "you won’t be added to any mailing list."

The "toolkit" includes several varieties of  office software.  Some, like OpenOffice and ThinkFree Office, are complete office suites.  Others, like Google Apps, are web based and not nearly as comprehensive.  On the other hand, Google Apps doesn’t take up any hard drive space on your computer and is fine for simple word processing and spreadsheet use.

In the category of print and web design, Nvu is a decent web design software, especially considering the price ($0.00).  MYOB has used the Avery Labels and Cards Kit for years and it is a very handy tool. 

Microsoft Live Office Basics
is Redmond’s entry in the free web hosting and email arena.  You get free domain registration for any URL you choose, free email, 500  mb of web storage, and a pretty good web design tool.  The catch is that you’re much married to Microsoft.   When you fill up the 500 mb of storage, you can buy more but if you decide you want to use another provider, switching your domain name can be a hassle.

One other link that you might want to check out is number 82.  I’ll bet you didn’t know that the Postal Service will send you free shipping cartons.  All you have to do is ask.  Any time you can get something "free"  from the government, I say say "go ahead."

If you find any of these links particularly helpful, or if you know of other freebies that you’d like to share, let us know.

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