There is a lot of software that smaller businesses can use but not spend a lot of money buying and many times get for free. What’s amazing is that some of the software is produced by larger companies but is not widely publicized and only found if you know where to look. For example, Microsoft’s Business Connect Manager is free and goes with Outlook and makes Outlook more of a power tool for businesses who want to manage their contacts and sales.
Intuit has a customer manager which connects with Quickbooks to help you better manager your Quickbooks customers, vendors and other contacts.
The NY Times (quoting me) writes about this and writes Despite its usefulness, Constant Contact has signed up just 70,000 customers in the seven years since it began, a fraction of the more than 24 million small businesses in the United States.
The product is an example of many small-business applications that fly under the radar, widely unknown to larger businesses. Limited budgets and other priorities mean that a large variety of products do not receive enough attention.
Such products come from both small firms and multinational corporations. Few businesses are aware, for example, of Microsoft¬?s Business Contact Manager, which is bundled with the company¬?s Office Small Business Management Edition 2006.
Business Contact Manager is “?a lightweight customer relationship management system,”? said Cindy Bates, general manager of Microsoft’?s United States Small Business Unit. As a module within Outlook, the program helps businesses track the amount of time salespeople visit customers, apprise users of sales leads and turn orders into invoices.
Some software you should and simply just have to buy (Microsoft Office, Corel Word Perfect, etc) but others software is FREE or LOW cost and you should be using it to do MORE in your business.