I understand that business starting out are trying to save money but this is one thing I think that holds many businesses back.
What I’m talking about is trying to use free or “discount” services to run their business.
Now before I get too far, there are cases where there are perfectly good free applications and by all means use them but when you are spending a lot of time trying to do something with a free application that a paid application does you have to stop and consider, it really is costing you something. Your Time!
I’ve seen many times where people will try to use various apps to create a graphic instead of just getting Photoshop or Photoshop elements and then wonder why they didn’t get the same results.
Again I understand if you are getting started you may not have it in your budget and you have to do with what you have. But please realize that your time is valuable too if you don’t have the tools available or have not learned how to utilize them consider outsourcing to see if that makes more sense of the time and money.
Some things you should consider before using a free or budget software are:
What am I not getting that the paid version has.
Is their instructions or documentation on how to use it.
Is it “trial ware” software that is free for X number of days and then loose it or pay.
Is it “ad ware” free software but you have to deal with ads or click sponsor links to use.
Is it “spy ware” software that has tracking in it that is added to your PC to monitor your usage.
A few free resources that are worth while:
docs.google.com – this is a MS Office alternative and works pretty well for word documents, spreadsheets and has the option for presentations though I’ve never tried it.
Sumopaint.com – this is a Photoshop alternative (although I still prefer Adobe Photoshop).
Pixlr.com – another Photoshop alternative
A few inexpensive resources for getting started:
ThatOneHosting – This is my own hosting company which offers various packages but for getting started I have a $5 package.
JustAskDomains – My Registrar reseller
The most important thing when getting started or even moving forward with your business is don’t cripple yourself by using tools and resources that won’t achieve your goals or takes more time to use them because they are “cheaper”. Your time is just as valuable.