Saturday, August 4, 2007

How Free Software can help your home office

With the use of technology, your home office can work like a Fortune 500 corporation. Here I just list a few things that I found were very useful for our customers (who are typically home office / small businesses like yourself):

Web Portal
Opportunities are endless. Some of these although obvious, still a lot of the small business do not really make good use of.
  • Create a corporate image. The good news is that home office and small businesses can also have good online images like the big guns in the industry.
  • Market products and services.
  • Sell products / services and receive payments online, 24 hours a day every day.
  • Provide valuable information and news about the company, industry etc. Easily update this information through the use of Content Management Systems (CMS).
  • Provide 24 hour customer support, including instant automated queries on order status.
Customer Relationshisp Management (CRM)
  • Maintain customer information.
  • Create marketing plans along with their budgets.
  • Create campaigns targetted to different categories of customers.
  • Manage leads, quotation, pre-sales, sales and post sales.
  • Customized offerings to customers based on their profile and history
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
  • Production / Services management depending on whether you are a products or a services company or both.
  • Project management including scheduling, budgeting related expenses etc.
  • Financial management including chart of accounts, accounts, taxes, general accounting, accounts payable, accounts receivable, bank statements, balance sheets, fixed assets etc.
Online Collaboration Tools
  • Online calendars to publish events, seminars and schedule appointments with customers, partners, suppliers etc.
  • Wiki as a way to share marketing plans, research, meeting minutes or any other document that may need to be shared or worked in collaboration with customer and partners.
Free Software to the rescue
Free Software's open architecture allows anyone to freely modify it to their specific needs. This vastly improves the ability for small organizations with limited resources to implement solutions customized to their business. The cost will vary according to the requirements of the organization. From a one time consulting fee for installation and customization to a monthly fee for continous development. For instance, for only $1500 a month TMM Software Systems develops, maintains, upgrades and hosts the software and web applications needed to run your business.

In the next few posts, I will review in greater details the actual software and the magic it can do for your business.

I have already seen small business, with very little investment, develop very successful job boards, real estate portals etc.

1 comment:

Evia Bennett said...

this is wonderful article! its valuable and useful for us.
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