Cloud Business Apps

Ten Great Freemium Small Business Software

Rakesh Sharma
By
Published on 17 February 2012
Found in App Reviews Opinions & Concerns Tips & Lists


 

Free software for small businesses is great to get started. It provides them with the necessary tools to do their job and be productive at no extra costs. However, good software design is not cheap and costs money. Consequently, good software is not cheap.

So, how do you balance commercial considerations with budgetary constraints?

Enter the freemium model. This model is fast becoming the preferred method for business software distribution and retail.

Essentially, the freemium model is a combination of free and paid. This means that there are two versions of the software available to users: a basic free version (that may be a trial version) with no frills and a premium version with all the bells and whistles and customization.

And, what are the benefits, you ask? Some of them are listed below:

  • Free software: The basic version of the software is generally free and enables you to cut costs. This means you don’t need to worry about your budgets going overboard as you implement that great product.
  • Easy scalability: Once you have the basics in place, the freemium model enables you to scale your business with the resulting demand curve. This means that you can scale your software use as revenues increase or decrease. This means that, with increasing revenues, you can add complexity to your solution and/or increase the number of users.
  • Beta Testing: Freemium software allows you to beta test before you commit to a purchasing decision. This means if basic software versions does it for you, then you do not need to invest in premium versions. The result is that you save money and effort. And, in the end, you know exactly what you are going in for when you invest in software.

On that note, let’s look at some free software that might be of use to small businesses:

Zoho has simplified costly and complex CRM software by offering you three basic versions of their software. You can use the free version to track daily sales and leads, and perform basic customization. The professional edition is aimed at growing organizations and is a cut above their free version for sales activities and data storage. The enterprise edition is pretty much the works including enhanced customization and with added security and user management features bundled into the solution. View ZohoCRM.

Assistly is a cloud-based software based support system. It helps you track and manage customer support through multiple channels. You can download a free version of their software for a limited time period from their website. You can also upgrade after trying out their software. View Desk.com

The folks behind Mavenlink say it is an entirely new way for businesses and consultants to work together. In practical terms, this means that Mavenlink is a project collaboration software that enables you to share documents and files with each other. It is available in four flavors: free, expert, guru, and maven. Each flavor represents an increasing degree of user feature. View Mavenlink.

We call it project management but the folks behind AtTask call it a task management software. What’s more the solution has an array of well-known customers from Adobe to Nike to Apple. But, why don’t you check it out for yourself? They have four basic license types – Requester, Team Member, View-Only, and Full User and they offer a free trial version. View AtTask.

Insightly provides customer relationship and project management software to small businesses worldwide. More than 100,000 users in 100 countries leverage Insightly’s cloud-based application to manage customer transactions, interactions, leads, proposals, opportunities and projects from any device at any time. View Insightly

This software is one of the leading cloud-based help desk application and support ticketing system with built-in community and knowledge base features. It helps small businesses. It seamlessly integrates all of your support channels including email, web, chat, and social media A free trial version (with the option to upgrade) is available from their website. View Zendesk.

TribeHR integrates multiple aspects of Human Resources management: from Applicant tracking to performance and skills management. They call themselves “an engaging and social HR tool that frees up precious resources while helping employees feel good about about the work they do” The idea is to help any small business to  save time and effort by making sure that all HR functions are available in one place. They offer a free trial version to help you get started. View TribeHR.

Podio creates a “space” for you to share information, download apps, and interact with your colleagues. Sampler: you can add meeting notes, documents, and baby pictures (yes, you can do that!) . They also have a praise tool to send kudos to your team. What’s more, the solution integrates with social media. Sound interesting? Of course there is  free trial version. View Podio.

Freshdesk brings together into one help desk tool all your conversations with customers, be it over Email, phone, the web and chat or even conversations over social channels like Facebook and Twitter.

Xero is an online accounting-based software that enables you to manage and track your accounts from anywhere. They call themselves the “world’s easiest accounting software” and have a free trial version available ! View Xero.

You should always enjoy the free version of a software product before making a financial commitment. Welcome to the freemium world!




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  • http://twitter.com/_MichaelAllen Michael Allen

    The integration WORKetc brings to the table has considerable effects on workflows and overall efficiency, not to mention collaboration. It’s easy to jump between tasks no matter which (i.e. from a sales lead to a project to an invoice) and it’s also great for automating tasks.

    Referencing items in the system is unique in that few other apps have the ability to do this: item grouping across your business. What I mean by this is, entirely separate items can be grouped together for easier management, i.e. a project, a to-do, an event, a timesheet, and a quote. You can also set templates up for common project layouts and timesheet rates, the list goes on. The system is capable of saving a lot of time and money for freelancers and SMB!

  • Pingback: Ten Great Freemium Small Business Software – Web Based Apps, Cloud … « Fresh Small Business

  • http://twitter.com/_MichaelAllen Michael Allen

    The integration WORKetc brings to the table has considerable effects on workflows and overall efficiency, not to mention collaboration. It's easy to jump between tasks no matter which (i.e. from a sales lead to a project to an invoice) and it's also great for automating tasks.

    Referencing items in the system is unique in that few other apps have the ability to do this: item grouping across your business. What I mean by this is, entirely separate items can be grouped together for easier management, i.e. a project, a to-do, an event, a timesheet, and a quote. You can also set templates up for common project layouts and timesheet rates, the list goes on. The system is capable of saving a lot of time and money for freelancers and SMB!

  • http://www.surveytool.com/ Free Survey Software

    i read this article, this article very interesting and use full, It is really nice for me to see you and your great hard work again.Every piece of your work look excellent.Looking forward to learning more from you!

  • Sam Peralta

    A small business is really business which is usually secretly actually owned and as a result operated. This article quite interesting 10 freemium software for managing tasks that provides them with the necessary tools to do their job and be productive at no extra costs. Nice article.

  • Sam Peralta

    A small business is really business which is usually secretly actually owned and as a result operated. This article quite interesting 10 freemium software for managing tasks that provides them with the necessary tools to do their job and be productive at no extra costs. Nice article.

  • Kowaken Ghirmai

    Zoho is a great
    software. Used it before. Here's a new good new software try for free: http://www.remotia.com/

  • Pingback: Free software for small businesses | Small Business Online | Scoop.it

  • http://dereksilva.ca/ Derek Silva

    Quick comment: Apps that only have free trials available do not qualify as “freemium” products. A freemium product has a restricted, but free, level that allows you to try the service/product out without any time restrictions. Once you outgrow the free level, the vendor obviously hopes you’ll upgrade and start paying for it instead.

    • http://www.franchisematch.com/franchisematch/home.aspx Clint Shaff

      What’s good about is that it gives a chance for the vendor to test the product out, to see if they need it for their business. It’s good for those starting out, since it can give them a grasp of what the business needs. They can form their own idea to manage the growth of their business, once they gain enough experience.

      • http://dereksilva.ca/ Derek Silva

        Right, but a trial is a trial. It’s free for a short period of time, then it simply doesn’t work at all (in a typical orientation). The only “trial” product I know of that seems to work forever is WinZip.

  • http://dereksilva.ca/ Derek Silva

    Quick comment: Apps that only have free trials available do not qualify as “freemium” products. A freemium product has a restricted, but free, level that allows you to try the service/product out without any time restrictions. Once you outgrow the free level, the vendor obviously hopes you'll upgrade and start paying for it instead.

  • http://twitter.com/copperproject copperproject

    Since 2001, we’ve had a free trial period but never a free product (http://www.copperproject.com)

    Here’s why. By offering a free trial, this generates a huge sample set of data that we can use to improve the product. Sure there are differences in paid/non-paid opinions of our product, however we’ve found that ultimately the features that are MOST important to all of our customers are the ones that get free-trialers signing up. So the commercial factor of freemium software not only gives us the budget to continue development, it also acts as a litmus test for what’s working (or not working!). In addition, as a small and agile team because we don’t offer a free product, it keeps our support focus on paying customers.

    Works for us.

  • http://twitter.com/copperproject copperproject

    Since 2001, we've had a free trial period but never a free product (http://www.copperproject.com)

    Here's why. By offering a free trial, this generates a huge sample set of data that we can use to improve the product. Sure there are differences in paid/non-paid opinions of our product, however we've found that ultimately the features that are MOST important to all of our customers are the ones that get free-trialers signing up. So the commercial factor of freemium software not only gives us the budget to continue development, it also acts as a litmus test for what's working (or not working!). In addition, as a small and agile team because we don't offer a free product, it keeps our support focus on paying customers.

    Works for us.

  • http://www.endlessrise.com/ Resell SEO

    The word “freemium” would make some people think that there are a lot more functions that a program can give them, so they will be enticed to buy the real premium program. What’s got me thinking here is the level of restriction. Wouldn’t it be the same with the free trial stuff that lets you use the product for as long as you have it, but you won’t be able to get the REAL deal?

    -> Floyd Andrews

  • http://www.endlessrise.com/ Resell SEO

    The word “freemium” would make some people think that there are a lot more functions that a program can give them, so they will be enticed to buy the real premium program. What's got me thinking here is the level of restriction. Wouldn't it be the same with the free trial stuff that lets you use the product for as long as you have it, but you won't be able to get the REAL deal?

    -> Floyd Andrews

  • http://www.franchisematch.com/franchisematch/home.aspx Clint Shaff

    What's good about is that it gives a chance for the vendor to test the product out, to see if they need it for their business. It's good for those starting out, since it can give them a grasp of what the business needs. They can form their own idea to manage the growth of their business, once they gain enough experience.

  • http://dereksilva.ca/ Derek Silva

    Right, but a trial is a trial. It's free for a short period of time, then it simply doesn't work at all (in a typical orientation). The only “trial” product I know of that seems to work forever is WinZip.

  • http://www.premierbusinessesforsale.com/ Buy a Business Online

    Zoho CRM is the best tools in business for managing your business through online. by the use of this software, you could easily manage your customer’s concerns about your products.

  • http://www.premierbusinessesforsale.com/ Buy a Business Online

    Zoho CRM is the best tools in business for managing your business through online. by the use of this software, you could easily manage your customer's concerns about your products.

  • http://www.replicon.com/time-bill Project Tracking Software

    Does Zoho CRM have the free version even now? Because when I tried to use their free version it said it has a free trail for a certain period and not the complete free stuff.