Tech Tools for the Economical Entrepreneur - Part 3

We dedicated Part 1 to resources used to streamline accounting practices for small HR/Recruiting businesses (money matters).Part 2 highlighted advertising, communication and relationship management. Now, in Part 3, we will continue our quest to do more with less!

Email Management

Thunderbird is a “flexible, powerful, and lightweight” solution (used in conjunction with Firefox Browser. This system works well if you’re not inclined to a web based email like G-mail and want a look and feel more consistent with Microsoft Outlook. It works seamlessly with your existing web based email account.

Mailbox allows you to fly through your inbox on mobile and desktop. Quickly swipe messages to your archive or trash and scan entire conversations in a chat-like view. It's a whole new inbox. And yes, it's 100% free!

Google Mail, aka Gmail, when customized properly, can be a great tool for managing and organizing business email. When I show people a screen shot of my inbox (sample pictured), 9 times out of 10 they say, my inbox doesn’t look like that! When integrated with Google Calendar and a Task list, Gmail is a comprehensive and powerful tool (check out all the neat Labs, including my favorite, a 30 second recall/unsend feature). While all of this can be done with a standard free account, Google also has an Enterprise setup for small businesses (free trial).

There are countless free email options for businesses. Do an Internet search and read reviews to find the right product for you.  Always check to see if your target product offers a free-trial before purchasing!

Disclaimer: Try Now, Pay Later

While free solutions are usually less customizable with limited functionality and support, they can get you started and allow you test the software before subscribing to the service.

Be sure to note any and all restrictions in terms of free accounts and check compatibility with your computer and operating system.

File Management/File Sharing

For the past few years, you had to look no further than Dropbox and GoogleDocs. A standard free Dropbox account can support up to 2GB while a standard Google Docs account holds up to 5GB of files. If you’re looking for something more comprehensive or to support multiple users, consider Dropbox for Teams. They also have a $99 a year plan. Google Drive is the Small Business upgrade for the standard Google Docs.

Recently, Box has emerged as a strong contender with $5 monthly plan for small businesses. Mobile, Sync and Share Capabilities are available with all plan opt... SpiderOak also has a competitive pricing plan, and matches Box's $5/month pe...

People Management

Staffing is another challenge faced by small but growing businesses. Get Hired uses the latest technology, including streaming voice and video, to streamline the hiring process. Get Hired is 100% free and was founded by “serial entrepreneurs.”

SmartRecruiters offers a free, SaaS-based social recruiting platform for employers described as “hiring made easy.”

Recruiting Webinars is an amazing free resource to help you with your DIY recruiting efforts. Their recorded webinars page includes video of previous webinars. Topical presentations include How to Recruit Using Twitter. While their target audience is recruiting professionals, there is a wealth of information about social media and recruiting for those keen to learn more.

The fourth and final installment of Tech Tools for the Economical Entrepreneur will highlight additional no-cost/low cost tools for entrepreneurs in the areas of Training and Development, Website Creation, and Video Conferencing. If there are resources you've used that you don't see here, feel free to add to the comments.

Image Credit: BusinessNewsDaily

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Maisha Cannon is a Technical Sourcer/Recruiter committed to introducing employers to talent that will enhance and grow their businesses. Over the span of her 15 year career in Human Resources, Maisha has filled over 1,000 positions, and has coached hundreds of candidates on resume writing, interviewing skills, and career planning. She spends her limited free time wishing she were blogging more, engrossed in social media, and catching up on all the shows she's missed on DVR.

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