Productivity doesn't always mean cost-efficient. That's a given, and businesses understand that. To maximize their resources, businesses that have financial leverage shell out top dollar they know they can eventually recoup. Sadly, this cannot be the case for a lot of small businesses, unfunded startuppers and bootstrappers. Good thing there are free and/or low-cost online services that aim to level out the playing field between the big ones and the small ones, allowing the small ones the fighting chance they deserve. Here are three of them:
1. PickyDomains.com When launching a business, you know that a good brand name can work miracles. The same goes for a good domain. But in this crowded marketplace, both online and offline, the good names and domains almost always are already taken, making searching for that one name or domain that clicks and makes sense a never-ending journey. Branding agencies can help you cut that journey short in exchange for as much as thousands of dollars. But if you're a regular bootstrapper seeking to put your burn rate to a minimum, the branding agency route is definitely a no-no. PickyDomains.com is a crowdsourcing platform that aims to provide quality, catchy, unique, easy-to-remember and relevant domains, names or slogans to individuals and small businesses. In business since 2007, PickyDomaitns has a strong team of 50,000+ contributors registered to date. To become a client and start receiving suggestions, simply register with the site, pay the $50 upfront payment if it's a domain or name you need (a slogan is priced at $75) and submit your naming requirements. If none of the suggestions you get is of any use to you, you get a refund.
2. JetRadar.com Stiffer competition in the air travel industry has forced a lot of airlines to keep their promos to themselves through their own corporate sites or third-party sites they've chosen to partner with, instead of the usual practice of pitching them to price-comparison websites where their peers can literally snatch their potential customers away. This then results in end consumers being forced to go hopping from one flight and ticketing site to another, an already taxing journey even before the actual packing and traveling happens. JetRadar.com is a meta search engine that seeks to aggregate the best and cheapest airfares available online via 728 individual airlines and hundreds of ticketing and flight sites, and makes the data ready for easy access by the searching public in a single site. This dramatically cuts down the time and effort it usually takes to find the best and cheapest airfare promos.
3. Bitrix24.com A business that runs by the efficiency code is a business that's most likely employing advances in technology to improve its productivity. CRMs and corporate intranets are just two of these technological advancements that businesses employ today. Then again, these tools can be a real pain in the finances, especially for the small business owner. Bitrix24.com is a social intranet collaboration platform that's available for free for small businesses comprised of a maximum of 12 employees.
Bitrix24 combines disparate features like free intranet system, free CRM, free activity streaming and monitoring, free workforce management, free file sharing, free sales funnel, among others, in a single application. Cloud-based, it doesn't require any form of installation and can be accessed via a smartphone or a computer, allowing you access to your virtual workspace anywhere you are in the world. For just $99 a month, an upgrade to unlimited users is available.