There are some excellent cost effective one-stop solutions online for starting up a business that used to be in the exclusive realm of very pricey third party services. The ability to run a start-up with minimal monthly expense has never been easier if you know where to look and the benefits are obvious. Here we give you three online software packages which can empower your business.
Xero is being used widely and any business can simply sign up online. With over 600,000 subscribers this service is proving itself in the business world as a cost effective alternative to hiring accountants. If you have the discipline to use the software on a regular basis, it has some excellent functionality and will process your invoices, expense receipts and you can schedule payments. If used properly as you conduct business, your tax return will be a doddle. You can run this software for as little as £4.50 a month. www.xero.com/uk/
Office & Website
You can unify your phone, internet and cloud service with Office 365. Using the cloud, a service delivered over the internet, means your PC isn’t overwhelmed, security and backup is good and you can access your documents and work anywhere on any PC or mobile device. Updates to software are automatic and you can share work to edit amongst team members. Office 365 gives you your staple office applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher & Access as software as a service (SAAS). The software also means that you can make calls over the internet via VoIP, which saves money on phone bills. Finally – you can also build your business website with this package, which could mean significant savings in your budget. Gradwell, based in Bath, has fixed terms at £9.99 a month for Office 365, domain name and website builder. www.gradwell.com
MailChimp is the free to cheap option when it comes to E-Marketing software. The free service means you can have up to 2,000 subscribers and send 12,000 emails per month. It comes complete with comprehensive analytics when you deliver an e-mailshot. Anyone can get to grips with its functionality and as a service it gives a business a way to market to large groups of customers. www.mailchimp.com
Today you can run a professional business on a household budget with minimal staff, as long as you have an internet connection and a ‘can do’ attitude. For your first steps as an entrepreneur, these solutions may save you some of your capital for other areas of your business.