In a word, the Internet is INCREDIBLE. Never in history has information been so readily available, easily accessed, broad in scope, and much of it, free. For home business and small business owners, try these free software applications: Open Office suite, templates for a variety of business programs and processes, creative tools such as Gimp (an open source version of Photoshop), Picasa (Google’s photo editing software), and even computer operating systems, notably Linux. Granted, the learning curve of some is a little steep, but the price – FREE – and compatibility with existing hardware and software easily outweighs the downsides.
Aside from the free and valuable information available, other free tools include email and Instant Messenger services – AOL, Yahoo, Google, Skype, et al. – chatrooms, discussion boards, and various business oriented groups scattered across the cyber universe. Want to get opinions about a new product or service? Try to conduct a free poll on www.SurveyMonkey.com. Questions about writing a business plan? Try the small business administration at www.sba.gov. Need a helping hand with marketing or stuck in a rut? The volunteers (retired business owners) at www.score.org are often willing to help.
Have something to say about a topic or want to display a new product? Use a blog: WordPress.com – the blog host you are reading now – is free too, and can provide instant updates to your product offerings. Blogger, tumblr, Xanga, and Twitter, are other popular blog hosts and all are free! Want to display your pictures and see what is popular? Try flickr or tumblr. Videos? How about YouTube? Free and free again.
Want to market your product? Try these distribution channels: Etsy, eBay, Facebook, and various blogs and websites. Minor charges apply for these services, but very small compared to owing a brick and mortar store. Want to market through a website? Take a look at Consumer Reports highest rated web hosts for a good comparison of services.
The Internet has opened the global marketplace to all producers and providers. Do business from anywhere, at any time, to people and other organizations across the planet. Embrace the technology, educate yourself by learning the terms and trends, and discover the hidden wonders that can make a huge difference in your business.
By Dion D Shaw
Dion D Shaw is the founder and owner of Hompreneurs
Homepreneurs. New Day. New Opportunities.
Homepreneurs does not endorse nor have any relationships with any of the services listed. Homepreneurs receives no compensation or consideration for its suggestions. Homepreneurs strongly urges all interested parties to conduct research and accepts no responsibility for any losses incurred.
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