Tuesday, October 30, 2012

2:44 AM

With so many online tools that abound nowadays, choosing the right productivity tools for a business can come with some challenges, especially if you’re a small business owner without much capital to begin with. Good thing there are business productivity tools that are free or low-cost, just like the four below:


Gone are the days when a company’s intranet is only good for phone numbers and downloadable employee forms. Today, with the emergence of web 2.0 platforms, the intranet has gotten social as well. What more, social intranets have evolved to become more than just your usual intranet.

Absolutely free for small companies comprised of 12 employees or fewer, Bitrix24.com is a social intranet that comes packed with several essential business tools – fully functional CRM, project management, document and file sharing, workforce management, calendar, activity planner, just to name a few. Bitrix24 also is cloud-based, meaning, it can be accessed anywhere via your smartphone or your PC’s browser. For companies with more than 12 employees, Bitrix24 offers a subscription for unlimited users that starts at $99 per month.


If you’re in business for the first time, one of the initial things you have to work on is your brand name – business, product, service, website name. The name you choose should speak volumes about your business, in a way that would pique your target consumer’s interest. As well, the name should be unique and catchy, something that’s important in a marketplace that’s literally teeming with products and/or services similar to what you plan to offer. For some, this comes easy, especially if they have the knack for names. But for others, this can be a challenge. Branding agencies can help but at a hefty price tag – up to thousands of dollars.

A crowdsourcing platform that has been in business since 2007, PickyDomains.com is an online naming site that has a contributor pool of more than 50,000 registered members. And for just a small portion of the usual amount most branding agencies charge ($50 for a name/domain and $75 for a slogan), you can already start receiving suggestions. Simply register with the site, pay the required amount for the service you need and specify your naming qualifications. If none of the suggestions sent to you fit within your requirements, you’re entitled to a refund.


The thing about cheap airfare, they easily get sold out, so that if you’re too busy to stay glued to airlines’ sites to get hold of the cheapest ones, you’re likely to come up with nothing the moment you’ve got the time to check. Aside from the constant monitoring – airlines are no longer pitching their promos to price-comparison sites –you would have to scan through multiple sites to search and compare, a time-consuming exercise, to say the least.

JetRadar.com is a 100% free metasearch engine that looks through hundreds of airline, ticketing and flight sites for the cheapest plane fare offers, and makes sure the data is readily available to the public in a single web location.


Business process automation doesn’t exist for nothing. Businesses benefit from it – process streamlining, maximization of equipment and infrastructure, elimination of redundancies in staff positions, and best of all, cost reduction.

Comindware is intuitive automation software specifically designed for cross-functional groups and work teams, making workflow/process administration and issue tracking as simple as possible. With its ElasticData technology, you can formulate your workflow process anytime and make alterations where and when necessary without disrupting processes that are currently in place. Also, with Comindware’s Workflow Builder capability, you don’t need to be an IT or designing expert to visually design and modify your workflow process. All you need to do is drag and drop items in the dashboard. In a matter of minutes, your new/edited workflow process should be ready.

To find out if Comindware is the right fit for your business’ automation requirements, you may download it for free for 30 days. And when you’re ready to make it part of your business operations, depending on the number of licenses you purchase, discount rates vary.