The Top Tech Tools Your Business Should Be Taking Advantage of in 2014

Editors Note: This is a guest article contributed by Tiffany Ericsson.

We get it, you’re on a budget. And even though you’ve likely been told you need to spend money to make money, you’d prefer to save your funds for future needs, instead of following this advice.

Small businesses do have some fixed costs like permits, lease or rent payments, or at least a big phone/data plan if it’s mobile. If you have employees, you’ll have payroll/benefit costs as well. But much of your funds are discretionary, so go ahead and get creative in your quest for useful apps and free business tools. People will be impressed by your efficient business, and even more by your frugality.

Card Munch

Card Munch combines modern social networking and old-school ‘here’s-my-card’ networking. Now, when someone hands you their business card, the program scans it using your free LinkedIn account as a new contact. Sure, you can do this yourself, but if a program does it for you for fast and free, even better. PC Mag said it currently works only for iPhone devices, but is more reliable than traditional OCR scanners.

LibreOffice

Since we’ve already got you imagining free substitutes for Office, take a look at LibreOffice, which PC Pitstop columnist Bob Rankin calls one of Office’s best alternatives. LibreOffice includes a word processor, spreadsheet, database manager, drawing program and more. You also can open many types of documents, and if you’re into development, you can add your own enhancements to the open-source program.

Google Wallet

It’s becoming more and more possible that someday Google will go the way of Terminator’s Skynet and take over the world’s electronic grid. But until then, we can at least benefit from their creative and innovative products. Google Wallet lets you securely send money to other Wallet account holders, and if someone returns the favor, you can spend it instantly at participating stores – unlike Paypal that takes a couple of days and includes service charges. Plus, stores also often offer discounts that you can redeem right from your smart phone. This service also lets you easily make a purchase if you see “Buy with Google” on online offers.

Quickbooks

How does free business accounting software sound? If you say “yes please,” then you’ll enjoy QuickBooks from Intuit. The software helps automate your business with more than just simple calculators, ledgers and spreadsheets. You can easily create invoices, estimates and 58 other document types. It also syncs with your bank account, so you can get real-time updates of your income and expenses. Plus it helps get everything ready come tax time.

Microsoft Remote Desktop

We agree you can do so much with your tablet. But sometimes you do need the umph of a PC, even if it’s just more storage for documents, certain programs or a zippier processor. Microsoft Remote Desktop, a free app for Droid or iPhone, lets you pull up your PC-based desktop on your phone or tablet for easy file browsing and program management. Tom’s Guide, a tech blog, calls it one of the 40 best free Droid apps of 2013.

Free-Consult

About The Author: Tiffany Ericsson

This article was written by Tiffany Ericsson. Tiffany develops educational apps for elementary-age children. She’s also a crock pot cooking whiz.

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Posted: February 19, 2014