Lateral Economics has had occasion to compile a list of free, freemium and cheap services to help run your one person micro or several person small business. I post it here for your interest and because it may be useful to you. The latest service I discovered to my delight was Glympse which allowed me to watch as a friend, late for lunch drove from across town to join me. Kind of cool. There are other cool new apps too.
In any event, the resulting draft table (not yet proofed) is below the fold. Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to add in comments additional services we’ve not picked up that are new categories of service or better than those we’ve provided.
Also, I guess we should do one for apps on mobile platforms – and services delivered by both mobile and desktop. If you want to suggest any below, please do.
|Product||Description||Terms of freemium.|
|Gmail ,||Free email address and includes a free email server for your own domain.||Free storage up to 15GB. Pay $1.99 a month to increase storage to 100GB.|
|Calendar||For you and for appointments with others||Free for most purposes.|
|Hangouts||Messaging, voice and video. Can be used as an internal chat system accessible from all devices.||Free calls to most places in Canada and the U.S. A few destinations will cost one cent per minute.|
|Google Docs||Cloud-based word processing and spreadsheets for collaborative drafting and working on documents.||Access to the office suite is free.|
|Dropbox, Box and Google Drive||Free data storage and cloud-services for all employees to access work files.||Dropbox > 2GB storage
Box > 10GB of storage
Google Drive > 15GB of storage
|Survey Monkey||Create and send surveys to customers, potential customers, or conduct market research.||Free with a maximum of ten questions per survey, one hundred responses, and standard email support. Pricing starts at $24 a month for extra features.|
|Workflowy||Notebook for lists.||Create up to 500 items per month. For $4.99 a month you can get unlimited lists and backups and further customization.|
|Qualtrics||Software that helps to manage the customer experience, from insights to surveys—ideal for market research.||Trial accounts can only have one survey at any given time, only one hundred responses across all surveys, only ten outgoing emails, no custom code, and no project sharing among other things.|
|Freelancer||Global freelancing platforms. Find freelancers or lead generation for your business.||Rates depend on the freelancer found. Platform takes a 3% fee of each transaction.|
|Airtasker||A service that lets you outsource tasks. Is also used by businesses to secure work or clients.||Pay the rates you and your worker agrees to. Platform takes a 15% fee of each transaction.|
|Slant.co||Search for the best products and advice in various categories like “Best Calendar App For Android.”||Completely free to use it for its intended purpose.|
|Google Analytics||Analyze your websites traffic.||Measure website traffic in real-time up to ten million hits per month.|
|MailChimp||Online email marketing solution that lets you manage subscribers, send scheduled email blasts, and track results.||Send up to 12,000 emails to 2,000 subscribers a month for free.|
|Trello||Online project manager that specializes in visual collaboration.||Unlimited boards, members, lists, cards, checklists, attachments, etc. Basic integration with Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box. Attach files up to 10MB.|
|Skype||Free audio and video calls, and messaging.||Free audio and video calls with messaging and group video calls with up to twenty-five people. For $2.40 a month, get online meetings, messaging, calls, and video with up to 250 people.|
|Facebook Insights||Tracks people’s activity on your Facebook page. Provides demographic data and user engagement with the page.||Free service.|
|Slack||A messaging app for teams.||Includes free native apps, the ability to search and browse up to ten thousand of your most recent messages, ten service integrations, multi-team support and one-to-one calls.|
|Glympse||Offers a quick way for users to share their location in real-time.||Completely free.|
|Gusto||Streamlines employee-related administration work. Cloud-based software for payroll, workers’ compensation and health benefits, and taxation submission.||A free two-month trial is available. Afterwards, it’s $29.00 a month plus $6.00 per person.|
|Zendesk||A customer service software platform that offers a ton of services, ranging from email management to voice call hosting.||Offers a free trial; afterwards the cheapest plan is $5.00 per agent per month.|
|Zoho||Web-based office suite comprising spreadsheets, word processing, presentations, databases, project management, invoices, human resources management tools and customer relationship management resources.||Zoho Mail offers ad-free 5GB mailbox storage and doc storage. Zoho Recruit is free for one recruiter. All other Zoho platforms offer free trials but are paid services afterwards.
Google offers many of the same services with pricing cutting into free services at higher thresholds.
|RingCentral||Cloud-based phone system for businesses.||Has a thirty day free trial; afterwards, the standard plan is $24.99 a month per user.|
|HootSuite||Social media management system for brands.||HootSuite free includes three social profiles, basic analytics, basic message scheduling, two RSS feeds and access to basic app integration.|
|Shopify||E-commerce company that develops computer software for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems.||Offer a free trial, but must upgrade to continue using. The cheapest plan is $9.00 per month and offers usage on Facebook, point of sale, and through a Shopify Buy Button. The plan that allows you to use Shopify in an online store is $29.00 a month.|
|Optimizely||Makes customer-experience optimization software for companies. Provides business with A/B testing and multivariate testing.||The started plan is free and offers A/B testing, multivariate testing, instant rollout, and mobile developer tools.|
|HealthKit||Practice management software. Focused on health practices like doctors and psychologists, but used by personal trainers and other businesses that manage appointments with clients.||Platform is free for all comers but charges for credit card charging and text reminders to clients.|
|WhenIWork||Cloud-based employee work-scheduling software and time clock.||Thirty day free trial; afterwards, $29.00 a month for up to twenty users.|