Free Computer Software for Small Business Owners

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Free computer software for small business owners - make Your business more efficient, run smoother, and cut costs. As a small business owner, don't you just love FREE?

Free small business marketing tools on this page:

Other Valuable Resources:

Efficiency Tools for Small Business

Productivity Tools:

Google Docs Word Processing Software

As I may have intimated before, I like free stuff. Google Docs isn't going to replace your expensive word processing software but it's a great tool for when you're out of the office and you have online access. In other words, you don't have to buy a second copy of your expensive WP software to put on your laptop. Google Docs turns your browser into a word processor, a spreadsheet, or presentation development software, and stores those documents on the Web so they're accessible (and shareable) from anywhere. Download them onto your office computer when you feel like it. Also, you can pretty much assume that Google is going to take this a lot further and squeeze the bejeezus out of greedy Microsoft. Gee, I feel really bad about that...

Zoho Office Online Office Software

Zoho Office is another virtual office online software that does the same thing as Google but with a lot more applications including e-mail, project management, a wiki, a database creator, invoicing, Web conferencing, and other apps. now admittedly, they aren't as pwerful as the expensive applications you can buy from Micorsoft or Apple. But the price is right and they are great for out of the office use and if you're one of those people who barely scratches the surface of what those other applications use, this is the perfect system for you. And the price is right.

Highrise Contact Management System

I've tried the big fancy CRM systems and they're just too complicated for my taste. I get that they were probably designed for major corporations but I don't need all that. And Microsoft Outlook was never designed for that. So I found an online tool that's just right for keeping track of contacts, clients, potential clients, and tracking all my conversations with them.

Take a look at Highrise. It's online so you can access it from anywhere you have online access and it's simple to use. What's more, it synchronizes with most email systems. Highrise also lets you create a "case" for each project, associate contacts with each case, add notes and upload documents, share the case with colleagues, and add tasks for each person to perform. Highrise is free for two users and up to 250 contacts. Beyond that, you have to pay. But do you need more than that? Online Coference Call Service

For the time being, I'm a virtual company. There are a number of online meeting systems out there with all kinds of wiz-bang options if you want to spend the money. But for me, Free Conference Call does a great job.

I can pre-schedule a phone meeting for up to four hours long. I can invite up to 150 people. Free conference call sends a confirmation announcement to everyone I list. And it even adapts the meeting time to their time zone (a service they thankfully did for me recently when I scheduled a phone meeting with a client I didn't realize was in another time zone). They can even record the phone call for a measely $9 a month. However, for now, I just use their free service.

AbiWord Online Wrod Processing Program

Need a clean, simple word processing program that is free but probably does everything you use a word processing program for? Here's a surprisingly powerful and sophisticated free word processing program. And it works with all other word processor formats like Micorsoft Word or Word Perfect.


How about a free web-based service that will track your shipments when you place orders? The service will track and even map your shipments. all you do is forward email notifications to the site.

Biuzzword Online Word Processing program

here's another slick, elegant free online word processing program that is easy to use and full of handy features.

ThinkFree Online Productivity Suite

this is a full-blown productivity suite that you might consider the next time you have to upgrade your ridiculously expensive Microsoft Office. It hand'es word processing, spreadsheets and presentations. And it's compatible with Microsoft Office.

Star Office Productivity Suite

Looking for a free alternative to Microsoft Office that you can download onto all your computers? Try Star Office. It's an Open Source product that Sun Microsystems gives away and continuously develops for reasons I can't fathom but am grateful for. I think they just like sticking it to Microsoft.

FoxIt PDF Reader for Windows

If you've ever had problems with Adobe Reader, here's a much simpler and stable alternative that does pretty much everything Reader does. Except that it works better.


Artisteer - Drupal Theme Generator

Microsoft Office Live Small Business Online Business Management system

This online everything system offers a free website, email, document sharing, online collaboration and contact management. A great way to start a virtual firm. some of the other services are "pay" but the basic service is free.

Blist Online Database

simply a free online database tool for small business. Gives you access to the database anytime, anywhere, as long as you have Internet access.

MoffSoft Free Calc Free Downloadable Calculator

if you need a better calculator on your computer than the simple one that comnes with Microsoft Windows, here's an impressive free alternative that does a whole lot more.

File Sharing & Storage Tools:

4Shared Online Document Storage

You get 5GB of online storage space you can share with others or keep private. You determine privacy on a folder-by-floder basis.

Microsoft Office Live Workspace Powerful Free Online File Sharing Site

This is a great tool for small business to collaborate on projects between different employees or different firms. It even links directly to Microsoft Office so you can use your Mr. Softy applications to edit documents.

Get GoSolo - Toll-Free Number, Virtual Office, Communication Tools


DropBoks Online File Storage

Nothing fancy here. Just simple free online storage up to 1GB.

Bluestring Online File Storage

Another online storage system and this one lets you email links to people so they can access and download the fies. you can also put a link in your blog or web page so people can download images, photos, documents or whatever.

Computer & Online Security Tools:

VirusTotal Uploader Scans Email Attachments & Downloads for Free

Simply upload any email attachment or downloaded file to VirusTotal Uploader (under 10MB) and it will scan for viruses with 32 different scanning engines. Now that's a security check.

Avira Antivir Personal Edition Classic Free Antivirus Software

this free anti-virus software received a 99.6% catch rate from in the latest tests. That's pretty impressive. The only drawback is the occasional pop-up pushing you to get the paid version. That's a tiny price to pay for such impresive performance.

Comodo Firewall Pro Free Firewall Software

This is actually a better firewall than the one that comes with Windows XP. And the price is right. However, be careful with the security settings and if you're using the XP firewall and you're happy with it, perhaps you should just leave this alone.

TrueCrypt Encrypted Virtual Drive

I can tell you right now that I use this to encrypt all my passwords and store them. I have a lot of passwords I use for a lot of different sites. I used to just keep them in an Excel spreadsheet with a password until I told that to a couple of computer security guys I did some copywriting for and one laughed at me and the other almost had a heart attack in front of me. Now I know my passwords are secure and a hacker can't access them. Ever.

Secunia Personal Software Inspector Inspects Software for Security Holes

i've never even heard of a service like this but it sure makes sense. Secunia actually monitors all the software on your computer looking for security problems like out-of-date ActiveX controls and then searches online for securty patches. I can't believe this is free software. Must have for computer security.

McAfee Rootkit Detective Inspects Your Computer for RootKit Trojan Horses

My computer was recently attacked by a rootkit trojan horse and it literally destroyed my hard drive and every piece of software on it. I had to buy a new hard drive and reinstall all my software. Not fun. This tool will inspect your hard drive and send you reports on suspicious software. Just hit the Submit button and it will give you advice on what to do about what it found.

System Utilities & Backup Tools:

Zamzar Free Online File Conversion Tool

I run into files that need to be converted to another file type all the time. This is the free online tool to use. Deciphering Error Messages

My wife is the geek in the family. If I get error messages from my software, the first thing she does is go to this site and type in the message to see if anyone else has run into this and knows what it means.


Mozy Online Backup banner


iDrive Free Online Virtual Drive Data Backup

This free online data backup servie sets up a virtual drive on their server and lets you backup up to 2GB of data for free. For a small business, that's perfect.

CCleaner Free Computer Cleanup Utility

There are a lot of useless things that stay on your hard drive like temp files that Windows doesn't clean up or delete. i run CCleaner about once a week and it never fails to find several megabytes of junk to clean out of my computer. It really helps keep your computer running faster.

AppSnap Freeware Updater

If you're a small business owner like me and you have a lot of freeware on your computer, it's a chore to keep it updated because most freeware outfits aren't notifying you about any updates. Now there's a utility that will do just that. It scans all your freeware and then checks for updates. Is that cool or what?

Eusing Free Registry Cleaner

This is another maintenance utility I run every weekend to keep my registry healthy. Cleans outdated software registries that windows Uninstall misses. And that's a lot of stuff. You'll be amazed the first time you run it.


Maps & Directions Tools:

WeFi WiFi Hotspot Locator

This application will find WiFi hotspots and also triangulate WiFi users.

FreeMind Free Mind Mapping Software

If you are familiar with the mind-mapping concept, here is a software that will help you do it.

MizPee Clean Public Bathroom Locator

This is a fabulous tool for pregnant women or anyone with limited bladder capacity. You can actually review toilets on the site. And knowing where the nearest CLEAN toilet is can be a real nice security blanket.

Financial Tools:

Mint "One Page Preview" Financial Site

This site is really slick. My former bank used to offer a "one page" site where I could monitor all my bank accounts, investment accounts, bills, credit card accounts, etc. from one convenient page. Since they stopped offering that service, I've been looking for someone who would offer that service. I finally found one and it's a beauty. Check it out.

Communications Tools:


I use Skype for calling other people on the Skype system. It's free if they have the software. You simply need a headset with a microphone or just a microphone attached to your computer's soundcard to use it. You have to download the software to your machine, but your phone book and call histories reside on Skype's servers, accessible to any connected computer. To receive calls from non-Skypers, you must buy a SkypeIn number starting at $3 a month. To call landline or cell phones, you purchase SkypeOut minutes however, I simply use my cell phone for non-Skypers. With Skype you can set up free conference calls with as many as nine other people. However the quality varies depending on each person's Net connection. this is a great tool for people who have a virtual company.

Pamela for Skype

Pamela for Skype is an add-on that records incoming and outgoing calls (both users must know about the recording for it to be legal). The free version stops recording after 15 minutes. However, other versions offer unlimited recording, store voice and video mail, route calls, and do even more, for prices ranging from $13 to $37.


468X60 Powerful DB Bluebanner

SAM for Skype

SAM for Skype (Skype Answering Machine) is a simple answering machine for Skype. You simply download and install it. Approve it with your Skype, and you're done. It comes with a simple female answer recording or you can record your own WAV file and put it in the "C:\Program Files\SAM\greeting.wav" folder.

Pidgin Combine Your IM Chats

I use Instant Messaging a lot with different contractors to keep track of what they are doing on a project. some had one IM and some used others and it was a pain having to keep switching from one to the other. no longer! This open source software will let you combine all your Instant Messaging softwares into one neat application. No more switching from one IM to another.

Pbwiki Create Your Own Wiki

Wikis are a great way for people to collaborate on a project. This free wiki software will let you set up your own.

Dopplr Combine and Compare Travel Itineraries

Dopplr lets travelers upload their itineraries so they can map out where everyone will be and when they'll be there so meetings can be set up.

Time Management Tools:

Voo2do Time Tracking To Do List

Voo2do lets you keep track of time spent on various projects.

TimeBridge Schedule Meetings Between People In Different Locations

I just downloaded TimeBridge. I haven't used it yet but it seems like just the thing to schedule meetings between several people. It allows people to choose between five different meeting times. And they don't have to be members of TimeBridge to use it.

Lightning Add a Calendar and To Do List to Thunderbird Email

If you use the Thunderbird email software, here's an opportunity to add a great new app to it for more functionality.

Video & Photo Tools:

Flypaper Create Flash Presentations

this site will help you create Flash-based slide-shows or multimedia presentations for training, resumes, or company presentations. It even has premade templates.

Photoscape Free Photo Editing Software

This tool offers a flie viewer, image editor, slide show creator screen capture and a whole lot more.

Miro Do-it-all Video Player

This player will play every video format you can think of.

URL Snooper Download Videos From Sites Like YouTube

Yep, this software will let you download any video you find on a video sharing site like YouTube and save it to your computer

Fixmymovie Repair Grainy Phone Videos

got a video you shot with a webcam, digital camera or cell phone but it's dark and grainy or hard to see? This site will help you clean it up and get it ready for the Internet.

FotoFlexer Free Online Photo Editing Site

you can do anything on this site that you can do with your expensive photo-editing software. Except this one costs less. A lot less. Can you say free?

Be Green Tools:

Make Me Sustainable Calculate and Cut Your Greenhouse Gas Emmisions

This site will calculate the greenhouse emissions of any activity you specifiy. You can also see on the site what other people in your geographic area are doing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

CO2 Saver

want to conserve energy and CO2 emisions with your computer? This free application will put your machine in hibernation mode when appropriate. Less energy used, less CO2 emissions; you've just helped the planet and cut your electric bill!

In The Future:

I will be adding other resources as I find them or they are recommended to me. If you use a service or software that would fit into one of these categories and you are thrilled with it, by all means contact me about it and I will add it to the appropriate list.

Other Valuable Resources:


If you have no resources at all to help people, [or you just have a static ‘buy my stuff’ website] this probably won’t work for you.)

Make and Share “How-To” videos. People are really getting into videos these days. While I’m not real big on them because I don’t have the patience to watch most of them (they often tend to be just sales pitches), once in a great while someone puts together a really valuable and helpful video and I’ll sit through it and take notes.

Video cameras are cheap, the software to edit the videos is cheap too and placing short ones on YouTube will get you some traffic. You can also embed them in your website, your blog entries, or your newsletters. Or do an email marketing campaign and send people to your YouTube videos.

Share photos on Flickr. Have you seen how many photo groups there are on Flickr? There’s one for almost everything you can think of.

Remodel homes in Lake Calhoun Minneapolis? Create a Flickr file of remodeling projects you’ve done and post it in the Lake Calhoun Minneapolis group.

Lastly, I suggest you try StumbleUpon. While there are plenty of social bookmarking sites such as Digg, Reddit,, etc., StumbleUpon is probably the easiest for a neophyte to start getting some traction.

Join groups related to your industry and add friends from those groups. Once you do that, as you add pages to StumbleUpon—including any content you are generating—other users will "stumble upon" what you've added. As those visitors give it the "thumbs up", your content is then shown to even more users.

This can happen pretty quickly and you don’t have to invest months on a promotional campaign like you would with or Digg. Again, however, if you don’t have any helpful content or articles on your website or don’t have a blog, this is all a moot point.

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Who’s your marketing competition? Las Vegas versus Disney World

I had an interesting conversation with the Vice President of a local web design firm this spring at a Twins game. I do some copy-writing and search engine optimization for their marketing and web design clients and they were kind enough to invite me to a company outing at the Metrodome (the Twins beat the Kansas City Royals 4-3).

Anyway, he told me he went to Las Vegas with his girlfriend to attend his sister’s wedding. The ceremony only lasted 12 minutes so they had plenty of time to go to shows. And they only gambled $10.

Although he had a good time watching the various Broadway shows they saw, he was, overall, very disappointed with the whole experience. He said Vegas was noisy and dirty. And everything except the food was really expensive. And he said that for what he spent, he could have done a cruise and a land pass at Disney World. The last thing he said was that although he’s glad he went, he’d never go back to Vegas. Read more...

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How to Dominate Your Competition Both Online and Offline.


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