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    Monday, August 13, 2012

    Free and Low-Cost Online Resources Small Businesses Should Be Aware of

    To effectively run a business, plans and strategies should be put in place, strategies that promote efficiency and cost containment in every aspect of the business. One effective strategy to employ is utilizing free and low-cost tools that deliver basically the same results as their expensive counterparts.

    1. JetRadar.com

    If your business entails constant travel and you’re looking to save on costs, cheap airfare is the way to go, thanks to low-cost airlines and online ticket brokers. Unfortunately, the stiff competition in the airline industry has led many carriers to reserve their promotional offers into their own corporate sites and third-party sites they have exclusivity partnerships with. As a consequence, deal hunters are forced to go from one site to another until they find the cheapest possible airfare offer.

    JetRadar.com is a free metasearch engine that methodically searches through 700+ airline sites and several hundred travel and ticketing sites for the best and cheapest airfare deals available, and makes the collated data easy to get to in a single web address.

    2. Bitrix24.com

    Technological advancements are changing the efficiency landscape in ways more than one. Businesses are now better able to maximize their resources – equipment, manpower and financial reserves. But these technological advancements may not always be economically viable, especially for small businesses.

    Bitrix24.com is a cloud-based social enterprise platform that’s totally free for small businesses comprised of 12 members or less. Bitrix24 is a combination of several work tools like CRM for sales and transactions, project management, real-time streaming, file and document sharing, calendar and activity planner, intranet, to enumerate just a few – your all-in-one application in one convenient location, and all without installation. Also, Bitrix24 can be accessed anywhere you are in the world, anytime you need to via a smartphone or your computer’s browser. For companies with more than 12 members, an upgrade to unlimited users is available for a monthly subscription of $99.

    3. PickyDomains.com

    In business, a name is not just a name. A name assigned to a business, product or service entails branding and advertising consequences. Utmost consideration is therefore of paramount importance. If you find yourself stuck and unable to move forward in your brainstorming process, branding agencies are there to help you out. But beware, their services may cost more than you’re able to afford – up to thousands of dollars.

    PickyDomains.com is an online naming platform that utilizes the power of the Internet crowd to come up with names, domains and slogans that are appropriate, catchy, unique and easy-to-remember. The first of its kind, PickyDomains has been in this business since 2007 and to date has over 50,000 registered contributors hailing from different parts of the globe. To start receiving naming recommendations from this diverse group of people, become a client by registering with the site, pay the required $50 deposit for a domain or name (or $75 for a slogan) and list down your naming specifications. If none of the proposals that come your way are to your liking, the site has a money-back guarantee.

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