Four things no small business owner should pay extra for


Square credit card readers are a free way to process credit cards. Image: Flickr / ronaldlewis / CC-BY

Most small businesses face a few very big, potentially expensive challenges. With just a smartphone, however, there are several things that no small business owner should go without.

Business phone numbers

A separate number for your business can help you keep your business and personal lives separate and make you appear more professional the public. There are several tools that allow for more than one number to be run through a single phone. Services such as Google Voice allow you to piggyback a business phone number on a personal cell phone, eliminating the need to carry and track two phones.

Credit Card Processing

It used to be that credit card processing was expensive and required a lot of equipment. New services, such as Square, allow for credit card processing on a smartphone, without monthly fees. Square charges only a percentage of each sale and only when it is actually used. Square readers can be had for free when you sign up for the service, or at most Best Buy stores.

[In order to finance services that must be paid for, some entrepreneurs turn to installment loans.]

Screencast meetings

If you need a screencast meeting just a few times, a free trial of services such as Go2Meeting can work for you. If you plan on screencasting more often, however, then use a free program to turn your webcam into a screencast, and use services such as Skype or Google+ Hangouts to share your screen in a live meeting.

Office Programs

Microsoft Office is an industry standard program, but it is also expensive. Alternative office program OpenOffice is an open-source office program that, in many ways, is equivalent. OpenOffice also cleanly integrates with Google Documents, allowing you to easily share and collaborate on  office documents, without a need to pay for a Microsoft Office business license.


Business Pundit

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