From PC World Magazine 7/13 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
Anyone who brags their business “runs itself” probably owes a great debt of gratitude to a small army of SW Apps & Web Services that tirelessly feed your system from behind the scenes. From creating & storing documents + staying on top of E-mail, to keeping the books * getting teams working together, it takes a lot of SW to run a business, or at least to run it well. But setting up your company isn’t as easy as just fishing apps out of a barrel. You want the best you can get, and at a price that isn’t through the roof. With capability & frugality firmly in mind, we rounded up 25 of our favorite SW tools & Web services that we deem the best for powering Startups & Small Businesses. Of course, not every business needs every type of program or service, but if your small business could use some help in any of the categories below, our alphabetic list will give you a pretty good shot at picking a winner.
ACCOUNTING SW: QuickBooks Pro The flowchart-based accounting of Intuit’s QuickBooks is as close to a “standard” in financial management as the small-business world has, and it’s arguably the easiest way for non-professionals to transfer their books from the filing cabinet to the computer, where they belong. Most actions, from cutting a check to billing a client, are just a click or two away from the start screen. ($200)
BACKUP & RECOVERY: Mozy (on down) You can (and should) regularly back up files to an external Hard Drive or NAS (network-attached storage) device in your office–but what if the whole place goes up in smoke? Hedge your bet with an Online Backup Service like Mozy, which automatically archives whatever you’d like across the Internet, safe & sound. Just select what you want backed up, and Mozy does the rest, either in bulk while you sleep, or in real time, as files are changed. ($5 per month for unlimited service)
BLOGGING TOOL: WordPress If your business still doesn’t have a Blog (one of the best ways around to provide up-to-date company & product news), you’re only about three years behind the curve. Hey, it’s not too late to catch up: WordPress installs in minutes (it even offers a free, hosted option on WordPress.com), and the platform is dazzlingly easy to use (the site’s home page carries an ad for “WordPress for Dummies”, but we doubt you’ll need to crack that volume). WordPress so simple, your team will be begging to contribute to the Blog instead of whining that it’s too hard. (free).
CALENDAR: Sunbird Mozilla’s Thunderbird (our E-mail pick) lacks a calendar, so most business users rely on the equally free Sunbird for scheduling. It’s a very straightforward application, with day, week, & month views, + even a publishing feature to enable sending your calendar to a Web site, should you wish to make it public. Get the Lightning plug-in to integrate Sunbird directly with Thunderbird. (free).
(Collaboration, CRM, Data-Base, E-Commerce, E-Mail & more in Premium Content)