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Practical Techie: Take advantage of free digital services and offline tools

Running a business takes tons of time. Especially when we factor in the extensive cyber needs of any modern enterprise. Slow bandwidth may become a nuisance and powerful connectivity gets expensive by the day.

However, several web services help manage key aspects of any digital business, even when not connected to the internet. Most of these go through regular telephone service.

USEFUL — Let’s start with free. VoxOx is a digital phone service, but on steroids. It even outperforms Skype in services. Its greatest attribute is that it automatically and comprehensively manages all the communications typical of a 21st-century business.

The platform coordinates mobile calls, commercial phone box, house, as well as the user’s emails and their instant messages. All electronic messaging through contacts supplied by the user, all in one place. VoxOx offers two hours of free telephony clean ads. From then on, you either pay for the service or continue for free, but with the ads included.

Free is also dotxls.com, a collection of Excel templates. documents and business templates galore.  All in English but they are very pro forma and translatable. Includes sales plans, marketing studies, or contracts. These documents are in different categories such as real estate, the arts, fashions, education, technology, finance, and law.  

It’s a database is hundreds of documents, instructional videos, and tutorials.  

RETAIL — If your digital business is in its infancy, you can turn to shoppingcart.com to set up your business online from scratch. It has several entrepreneurship tools such as portal design, marketing tools, inventory management, and launch strategies. The basic portal is free and if the business grows, you must subscribe to get more bandwidth.

Bplans.com services are also free of charge. It provides nine different types of business plans, expense and profit projections, and financing mechanisms. Its virtual calculators allow you to analyze financing, initial costs, return on investment, and currency conversion.

And, vendio.com is a platform that allows you to sell your products through multiple virtual channels for eCommerce, including Amazon, eBay, Apple Store, etc.

Upworks.com is a free virtual service to locate web designers, translators, programmers, graphic artists, and content producers.

UTILITY — This one, brokenlinkcheck.com checks if your business portal has broken links, something that angers visitors a lot.

A very useful in addition is clicky.com, a metric service. The basic is free and tells a digital entrepreneur how many people visit your portal, which articles or pages receive more clicks, where visitors locate each page, actions taken by the visitor within the portal, etc.

Clicky even warns if the portal goes offline, that is, if it disconnects from the web, no matter on which part of the world your server (host server) is located.

COMMUNICATION — Some websites also help you manage your business digital life when you are too busy to be connected to the internet or lose connectivity. Fonolo.com sends a customer directly to a sales representative for your company. This service prevents you from losing a budding sale due to a lack of immediate attention.

DocuSign.com handles the stamp of your signature electronically so that you can sign documents over the internet in a secure way. It is a service that is offered from the “cloud”, so you can access it from anywhere in the world.

If you are looking for a new logo, this tool, trademarkia.com, offers you possibilities. It has a huge database of logos, six million in total. Its usefulness is that you will see what is already registered and will not repeat what exists.

This one, used by thousands, is mailchimp.com. It helps you with templates for dynamic and elegant emails. It gives a new vibe to your routine messages. It is now in many languages.

The bidsketch.com website helps you make a well-organized business proposal, particularly when bidding for a contract. It’s good too if you want to establish a new business model for your company.

WATCH — Finally, if you need to spy on your competitors –legally, of course –SpyFu.com allows you to “see” the web marketing strategies of companies similar to yours. What it does is show places on the web where they advertise, or the ranking obtained by the competition among the search engines.

All of the above indicates that cyber help exists, without the need for a constant connection to the web. Just know where to look for that tool that will help keep the company agile and user-friendly.

Author Details
Author Rafael Matos is a veteran journalist, a professor of digital narratives and university mentor. He may be contacted at cccrafael@gmail.com.

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