Improving Your Business with Technology on a Budget

I love to find ways to increase productivity and revenue using technology. It is an exciting time in this area, as we see greater competition and exciting new innovations developed daily. This article will discuss some of my favorite online solutions that will both save you time and help increase your profit margins.


For less than $15 a month, you can manage the invoicing of up to 25 clients. This simple, yet powerful, online solution allows you to send invoices via email or by physical mail. One of my favorite features is the automatic recurring option, which in conjunction with your merchant account provides periodic billing and payment.

Click the tour button on their website to learn more, then try the free account.

Many small businesses use a simple Microsoft Excel sheet to manage their finances. There is a free alternative, called Calc that is compatible with Microsoft Excel.

Click the Calc link at the website to examine the features for yourself. Then click the download tab to get your free copy. Note, that OpenOffice also includes free replacements for Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Access and Microsoft Visio.


If you need any type of service, CraigsList is a great start. They have a huge community that is very responsive in general. Think of CriagsList as a global classifieds section where you can be directly connected with people who are able to service your needs.

Think of something you need done, but don’t have the time and post it on CraigsList.

If you prefer to have service providers compete for your business, then you want to try It is a service similar to CraigsList, but is more user friendly and it creates competition by using a bidding system. There is also an eBay style rating system that allows you to choose the service provider based on value rather than solely on price.

Register your business free at, so that you can be immediately notified by email when a client requests your services. Think of something you want to be competitively priced and post that request at


This service is especially useful for those who are traveling often. It allows you to call a toll free phone number and send a voice message, which is then converted to text and emailed. I find this service useful for sending out quick emails while driving, capturing random ideas and sending myself reminders.

Sign up at and click the “How to Jott” link at the top of the web page. (Google Apps)

I have been a long time fan of the free service. However, Google Apps allows you to have a email address versus For $50 a year, you get 25 Gigs of storage and access to several powerful communication applications such as instant messaging, website builder, online documents (and spreadsheets) and a calendar you can share with your team.

Go to and click the “Businesses and employees” link. Then click the “learn more” link. If you are not sure if Google Apps is for you, sign up for the 30 day free trial.


The one thing Google Apps is missing is a todo list. I recommend RememberTheMilk for that task because it most closely adapts to the popular Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity method by David Allen. It also helps that it integrates with your Google Calendar and you can setup todo items using Jott. If you use a PocketPC, then you will want to get the pro version which allows you to synchronize with your Pocket PC.

The service is free, so go ahead and sign up. After you sign up, I recommend you click the “offline” link at the top and install Google Gears so that you will be able to use the service even when you are not online.

This is a free 90 day program that provides self development guidance. It includes a robust community with over ten thousand members. The lessons learned here directly correlate to your productivity and overall success in your business.

Go to and view the introductory video on the front page.

What are some of the tools you use to improve your business with technology on a budget?

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