Tech Tools for the Economical Entrepreneur - Part 4

Low and No Cost Resources for Small (HR/Recruiting) Businesses on a Budget

Part 4

Hopefully, that graphic to the right isn't making your head spin. The resources below are here to have the opposite effect, and help you navigate the entrepreneurial terrain with ease. And now, for the final installment.

Training and Development

Hire character.  Train skill.  ~Peter Schutz

Leadership and management training opportunities can be slim to none within a smaller organization. There are, however, ways to integrate training into your small business at no cost.

The Ken Blanchard Companies offer a nice selection of on-demand one-hour webinars on topics from Cultivating Employee Passion to Delivering Employee Feedback. Amazing content, and totally free.

Coursera provides high quality courses for free online from partner Universities. The self-paced course offerings in Economics, Finance & Business and Computing Technology are the real deal. Sign up is simple and classes are offered year round. Invest in U.

Udemy has become a favortie of mine. Over 3 million students agree that it's the place to go for online courses on Web developmentYogaGuitar lessons, or anything else.

Video Conferencing

Skype is free, but also has low-cost options that I have grown to treasure (I have used the Skype Online number for several years and pay roughly $7/month for unlimited calls and voice mail.) Skype has a free 7-day trial for its group calling feature. Skype for Business may also be a practical solution depending on your business scope.

GoTo Meeting has pricing plans depending on the need, with a $49/monthly cost for meetings of up to 15 attendees. Check out the 30-day free trial. WebEx offers a 14-day free trial and plans starting at $19/month.

Meeting Burner is a fully-featured, non-ad-supported webinar solution that offers a “free forever” account that is definitely worth exploring.

Web Site/Blog Creation

WordPress - 60 million users believe in this web software that can be used to create a beautiful website or blog. It is “both free and priceless at the same time.”

Tumblr – 55 million bloggers stand by it! Evaluate the pros and cons of Tumblr as a small business tool to see if it is right for your company.

Weebly – Their drag and drop interface is easy to use. It’s free to build/design, but costs to publish. Here is a breakdown on what each can do and a few more opinions on which program works best.

People: Your Most Valuable Resource

When you’re a one-man/woman operation, it’s easy to feel like the world is on your shoulders. Don’t forget the Internet has allowed entrepreneurs to connect and pool/share resources.

Become active in LinkedIn Groups for Small Business Owners and meet local colleagues through venues like Meetup. There are also social networking sites exclusively for small business owners like PartnerUp and more innovative DIY social networks. Help and resources abound, sometimes you just have to ask!

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.

I hope you've uncovered a new resource or two either here or in the comments of the previous installments. If there was an area that you were hoping to see resources for that was missed, please drop a comment below and I'd be happy to do the research.


Bonus Links

How Small Businesses are Using LinkedIn

Small Business Owners: Facebook wants YOU!

Yelp Small Business Ads – Not So Helpful?

Infographic: How Small Businesses Operate

Google Checkout: Overview

WordPress for Small Businesses

An Open Guide to Tumblr for Business

An Interview with Meeting Burner’s Founder

Cloud Based Management Tools

Image Credits:BusinessNewsDailyKeep Calm O Matic, UK

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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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