MOST USEFUL FREE WEB APPS FOR SMALL BUSINESS
Ninety percent of companies in the United States qualify as small businesses. Every day these business owners have to deal with common computing problems, such as tracking electronic documents, scheduling, accounting functions, managing contact lists, and reducing spam. Many expensive software products are available to help solve these problems, but they often have features small businesses don’t need. Open source software presents easy-to-implement solutions for free or at a fraction of the cost. Unfortunately, these solutions are relatively unknown to most small businesses. Let’s look at some great open source software that can help businesses solve these problems. All these Open Source Business Web Apps available for FREE with all ITsecura Web Hosting plans.
If you want to start selling things, it’s hard to beat selling them online. With over two billion global internet users, your online store can reach vastly more people than a local storefront could. You can run that store from the comforts of your home or office, without a lease or license in sight. All you’ll need is a tool to list your products, manage shopping carts, process orders, and customize everything with your branding. That’s what eCommerce platforms are for—and here are the best of those tools to get your online store launched.
1. PrestaShop: With native features for managing products, payments, shipping, and manufacturers, PrestaShop boasts a large number of add-on modules to allow you to add new features and customize your store. PrestaShop guides users through your product catalog intelligently and effortlessly, turning intrigued visitors into paying customers. Used by thousands of business organizations and entrepreneurs all over the world, Prestashop is one of the most popular online store starter solutions, boasting of extensive and robust features and integrations to help users build their online stores from scratch.The system is backed by a large community with over 800,000 members who are working to keep Prestashop exclusively dedicated to opens source e-commerce.
2. OpenCart: With the ability to manage multiple shops from one platform, OpenCart features the ability to set precise user permissions for single users and user groups while supporting a multitude of payment processors natively and through extensions. A robust e-commerce solution for Internet merchants with the ability to create their own online business and participate in e-commerce at a minimal cost. OpenCart is designed feature rich, easy to use, search engine friendly and with a visually appealing interface.
3. WooCommerce (WordPress plugin): WooCommerce is a free eCommerce plugin that allows you to sell anything, beautifully. Built to integrate seamlessly with WordPress CMS (Content Management System), WooCommerce is the world’s favorite eCommerce solution that gives both store owners and developers complete control. With endless flexibility and access to hundreds of free and premium WordPress extensions, WooCommerce now powers 30% of all online stores — more than any other platform.
4. Magento: Built specifically for developers and small businesses, Magento Community Edition is the counterpart to its more enterprise-focused sibling. It features an enormous marketplace that enables you to extend the platform to perform a wide variety of tasks. More than 240,000 merchants all over the world rely on Magento’s powerful eCommerce platform and tools that enable them to achieve their goals by attracting more potential customers, turn prospects into sales, and increase their sales. Flexible and reliable, this solution empowers you to exercise absolute control over your online sales channel. You can leverage your online store with Magento’s enterprise-level functionalities and tools. The platform expands and scales effortlessly and quickly with your business. It provides the functionalities you need as your business grows. Finally, you can take advantage of the deep integration with eBay.
5. OsCommerce: Is an online shop e-commerce solution that offers a wide range of out-of-the-box features that allows online stores to be setup fairly quickly with ease, and is available for free. Featuring a support forum with more than a quarter of a million users, osCommerce was one of the first open-source e-commerce solutions. It also features a live chat room where you can directly communicate with other users.
6. Zen Cart: Originally a fork of osCommerce, ZenCart differs in that it comes with a variety of templates for users to choose from right out of the box. Zen Cart truly is the art of e-commerce; free, user-friendly, open source shopping cart software. The ecommerce web site design program is being developed by group of like-minded shop owners, programmers, designers, and consultants that think ecommerce web design could be and should be done differently.
7. Drupal Commerce: Obviously built around the CMS (Content Management System) that bears its name, Drupal Commerce features a long list of third party extensions to support a variety of payment processors. This revolutionary software integrating commerce, content and community to create engaging Web experiences that bring e-retailers more traffic to drive more results. With Drupal Commerce, online retailers have a simple yet powerful platform and the flexibility to integrate a rich commerce experience anywhere within their environment. Drupal Commerce provides the structure you need to do eCommerce without any assumptions about how your business is done.
8. VirtueMart (Joomla extension): Offered as a Joomla CMS (Content Management System) extension, VirtueMart has been around for more than a decade and is the most used Joomla e-commerce solution. Built with the experience of more than 10 years VirtueMart 3 provides you with a powerful and comprehensive eCommerce solution. It can be run as a Shopping Cart, or in Catalog mode. We give you a flavour of the work we have done to provide you with one of the best open-source e-commerce solution around!
9. X-Cart: Released in 2000, XCart was the first open-source PHP e-commerce platform and remains in active development today. E-Commerce shopping cart X-Cart is an ideal platform for businesses looking to take their products and services online. It allows users to securely sell their products and services from their own servers. This robust piece of software boasts over 35,000 users in 111 countries, all of which earn an annual sales volume of over $2.5 billion.
10. CubeCart: CubeCart is a complete ecommerce shopping cart software solution. With CubeCart you can quickly setup a powerful online store to sell digital or tangible products to new and existing customers globally. Established in 2003 CubeCart is a hugely popular eCommerce solution enjoyed by tens of thousands of merchants globally.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
If your business is going to last, you know that you need a strategy for the future. You have targets for sales, business objectives, and profitability. But getting up-to-date, reliable information on your progress can be tricky. How do you translate the many streams of data coming in from sales, customer service, marketing, and social media monitoring into useful business information?
A CRM system can give you a clear overview of your customers. You can see everything in one place — a simple, customizable dashboard that can tell you a customer’s previous history with you, the status of their orders, any outstanding customer service issues, and more. CRMs manage customer information and track the history of customer interaction with your business. The goal is simple: Improve business relationships. A CRM system helps businesses stay connected to customers, streamline processes, and improve profitability. A CRM solution helps you focus on your organization’s relationships with individual people — including customers, service users, colleagues, or suppliers — throughout your lifecycle with them, including finding new customers, winning their business, and providing support and additional services throughout the relationship.
1. vTiger: Designed for small business, vTiger features integrated sales support, help desk and a holistic customer view that allows you to view marketing, sales, support and more on a per customer basis. It centralizes a database of customers and all of the information, about them. This means contact information, internal notes and documents, calendar events, deals, phone and email conversations, and more. It then contains a set of tools to build process and enable customers to flow smoothly through marketing, sales, and support, and to monitor each customer as they do so. Customer facing teams can then use Vtiger to learn about each customer, communicate with them, plan and manage their customer-facing work, and even automate repeated tasks.
2. SugarCRM: Is the world’s leading provider of commercial open source customer relationship management (CRM) software. Founded as an open source project in 2004, SugarCRM applications have been downloaded over five million times and currently serve over 500,000 users in 75 languages. SugarCRM enables businesses to create extraordinary customer relationships with the most empowering, adaptable and affordable CRM solution on the market. SugarCRM helping build a unique customer experience through great customer relationships.
3. SuiteCRM: Is a fork of SugarCRM, it also offering Joomla integration. SuiteCRM is designed to be a free and open source alternative to SugarCRM Professional Edition, it offers many of the same features and extensions that work with Community Edition will also work with SuiteCRM. With SuiteCRM, users can build business process models and create flexible, automated actions that can be activated to operate at any time. Users can also create sales pipeline models and design template customer quotes, regulate and control pricing strategies, maintain contract renewals and monitor the progress of leads. SuiteCRM offers business-unique self-service portals that enable users to deliver high quality and interactive support to their customers. Once a support request has been made, notifications are instantly delivered to service teams customers are instantly notified when the issues have been addressed and resolved. SuiteCRM is also an excellent alternative to SalesForce Professional and Microsoft Dynamics.
4. Zurmo: Zurmo CRM is a gamified CRM software solution that converts work into play. It is a fun, yet effective CRM tool. Likewise, Zurmo is an open source CRM application that combines project management, marketing automation, and sales software into a single solution. It uses gamification to engage and motivate users. This helps to increase user adoption which ensures successful CRM implementation. Zurmo is intuitive and easy to use, and needs no training. The interface is modern and fresh, and removes the boredom sales and marketing professionals associate with using a CRM tool. Unique because of its “gamified” nature, Zurmo offers incentives to complete “missions” and gives badges as users progress towards a goal.
5. Dolibarr: Is a rich open-source ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and CRM software that is perfect for small and medium businesses, small organizations, and freelancers that are looking for a simple ERP/CRM solution that they can configure and customize to bring in the features they need and none that they don’t. It matches your business management need, whether its sales, customer engagement, customer support, invoicing, accounting, inventory management, and more. Even if you are using other systems and software, Dolibarr is ready to integrate right off the bat, allowing you to perform all your critical business tasks smoothly even without the customization.
6. EspoCRM: Is a robust, feature-rich, and highly powerful CRM platform that can be implemented in various industries and by countless organizations. It is highly adaptable, easy to use, and can be configured easily so that it meets and addresses the needs of your business, even if they change from time to time. EspoCRM is an ideal CRM tool for players in the wholesale and retail trade, e-commerce, education, travel and tourism, banking and finance, customer service, healthcare, manufacturing, and real estate to name a few.
7. YetiForce: Is an open high-class CRM system that helps to manage relations with customers, suppliers, partners and staff. It’s an open, innovative and complex system that has become the key to efficient management within a company. YetiForce can be easily enriched with add-ons. You can also modify its code as needed and keep it to yourself – no need to show it to anyone. It was created so you could achieve the impossible with your business
8. EPESI: EPESI gives you an integrated CRM/ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) platform that grants you total control over your business processes, make your operations more seamless and efficient. Built with a modular design, EPESI BIM provides you with the flexibility and the versatility you need to easily adapt to your ever-changing business needs and requirements. EPESI lets you purchase additional module from their store, build your own modules from the ground up, or even let a third party developer create the modules you need to further extend EPESI’s functionality. Its CRM system offers a ton of advantages companies look for in a completely functional CRM. It enables you to put all your data on servers easily and then access the information whenever and wherever.
9. ChurchCRM: Is a free church management platform. Manage your congregation’s information, online and in person giving, groups, church, Sunday school attendance and much more.
Money might be (as Pink Floyd sang) a hit, but it’s also what keeps your business afloat. It’s essential that you keep good track of the money coming in and going out. If you own a small business and need an accounting program but don’t have a big budget, you may find that one of the accounting software programs listed below will meet your needs. These applications are alternatives to the traditional propriety accounting software programs, such as QuickBooks and Peachtree with which most small business owners are familiar. Pay the bills, create invoices and manage your assets.
1. Invoice Ninja: Invoice Ninja is a complete suite of apps, Invoice Ninja is the 1 open-source platform to create & email invoices & proposals, track payments history & expenses, and time billable tasks & projects for clients. With Invoice Ninja, you can easily build and send beautiful invoices from any device that has access to the web. Your clients can print your invoices, download them as PDF files, and even pay you online from within the system.
2. FrontAccounting: If Intuit’s QuickBooks is out of your price range, you should look into FrontAccounting, an open source, web-based accounting/ERP package that is a breeze to install. FrontAccounting is an accounting system for small companies. It is web based, simple, but powerful, multilingual and multicurrency system for the entire ERP chain.
3. Akaunting: Is an online and open source accounting software designed for small businesses and freelancers. It is built with modern technologies such as Laravel, Bootstrap, jQuery, RESTful API etc. Thanks to its modular structure, Akaunting provides an awesome App Store for users and developers. Manage your money. Get invoices paid. Track expenses. With ease!
Human Resource Management (HRM)
Where does the talent of your workforce meet with advanced technology? The answer is in a Human Resource Management (HRM) System. An HRM system, or HRM software, is designed to automate human resource business processes, transactions, payroll, and compliance. The purpose of HR management software is to combine different human resource and administration processes in a centralized location, from where the manager can also assign tasks, monitor and evaluate progress, and reward the best performers in the team. Basically, HR software takes you a step ahead in improving decision making.
1. OrangeHRM: Is a flexible and scalable HR management solution designed for the needs of companies of all sizes. The application is user friendly, globally accessible, and affordable. Businesses can benefit from this customizable platform to manage all aspects of the whole employment lifecycle. OrangeHRM’s full suite of modules for human capital management includes core HR, benefits administration, absence management, performance reviews, candidate recruiting, time and attendance, and more. This application can be deployed both in the cloud or on-premise. It can be utilized by companies in multiple industries including education, insurance, pharma, banking, real estate, and others. Each company can customize the app’s features for their unique needs and business practices. OrangeHRM’s interfaces are user friendly for both administrators as well as employees who can use the self-service module.
2. Sentrifugo: is a powerful Human Resource Management System that can be easily configured to meet your organizational needs. Sentrifugo makes your organization’s HR process easier. It is packed with HR essential modules like Appraisal, Time Management, Leave Management, Employee Management, Analytics, Hiring/Recruitment, Background Check, Service Desk and much more. Sentrifugo furnishes a complete HRM solution facilitating a strategic and comprehensive approach to manage people and the workplace, thus enabling the employee(s) to contribute effectively and productively towards the organization’s goals. Sentrifugo is the only solution you’ll need for managing HR processes. It offers a host of adaptable features to meet the needs of both managers and employees.
If you have customers, you need customer support software. It’s that simple. You can only juggle so many emails and social media mentions on your own before you miss an important email and leave a customer high and dry. There will always be difficult questions to answer and dissatisfied customers to appease, but at least managing your support requests can be simplified. That’s where customer support and help desk apps come in. Designed to make it easy for you to better support your customers, these apps bring emails, tweets, chat messages and more into a customer support command center. There, you can sort through the messages, assign them to the correct team member, and make sure everyone gets a reply. These apps also help you build a knowledge base full of help documentation so your customers can find quick answers to common questions.
1. OsTicket: Is an open source customer support ticket management software. The app enables you to collect all incoming enquirers from phone calls, email, and web forms into one platform. Users can then filter tickets and route them to the right executive. They can utilize the auto-assigner and auto-responder to set repeated actions and workflows for certain ticket types. The customer support app provides dashboard reports and a customer self-service portal. osTicket provides an open source customer support and ticket management product for businesses of all sizes, particularly medium and small businesses. The app can be used to gather tickets and delegate custom fields to each ticket, creating a list of data linked with each ticket that can be shared on the knowledge base for clients. Users can create auto-response templates for incoming email tickets and use rich text HTML to add their videos, images, and logo to tickets. osTicket’s ticket filter tool allows users to define routing rules for tickets so that they are assigned to the right department and person. Tickets can also be reassigned if they are not sent to the right agent, and notes of all actions are stored in the ticket thread. Users can also define automatic actions for each ticket, such as a canned response. osTicket helps further to streamline operations as you can use the ticket locking tool to avoid agent collision.
2. Vision Helpdesk: Is an award winning help desk software. It’s an all-in-one customer support help desk platform that enables you to manage various channels like calls, chat, email, web forms, Facebook, and Twitter under a single roof. Vision Helpdesk offers three products:
A. Help Desk Software : Multi channel customer support ticketing help desk that allows you to manage various channels like E-MAIL, WEB-FORMS, TWITTER, FACEBOOK, CHATS, CALLS everything under a single roof.
B. Satellite / Multi Company Help Desk : Manage your multiple brands or different companies customer support at a centralized place, Setup different customer portal for each brand. Manage staff in different time zones and offer global customer support.
C. IT Service Desk : Service Desk software is enterprise level IT Help Desk that includes features from Help Desk and Satellite Help Desk additionally it offers ITIL / ITSM Modules – Incident, Problem, Change, Release, Contract, Financial Management, Service and Product Catalog, Vendor Management and more…
You will need a Valid License key to install and run Vision Helpdesk. Help Desk Software – Robust all-in-one multi-channel ticket management software that allows users to centralize all their customer conversations via phone, chat, email, web portal, Facebook, and Twitter. Satellite Help Desk – Helps to manage IT service desk functionality or customer support for businesses having multiple companies, products or brands at one place with a single centralized portal, and each brand or company can have its own branded client portal.
3. HelpDeskZ: Is a help desk solution for your business. It is easily integrated to your site and support requests can be created via email or web-based forms. It will give you a friendly interface for your site’s tickets management. You can create a wide knowledge base for your customers and with the opportunity to create Canned Responses for the most popular requests, you will improve your support system productivity. In resume, powerful, easy to use and reliable.
4. OpenSupports: Is an open source ticket system for giving support to your clients. It provides you with a better management of your users inquiries. The software has tools to manage the tickets, like departments, staff members, custom responses, multi-language support.
5. HelpDEZk: Is a powerful software that manages requests/incidents. It has all the needed requirements to an efficient workflow management of all processes involved in service execution. This control is done for internal demands and also for outsourced services. HelpDEZk can be used at any company’s area, serving as a support to the shared service center concept, beyond the ability to log all the processes and maintain the request’s history, it can pass it through many approval levels. HelpDEZk can put together advanced managing resources with an extremely easy use. Simple and intuitive screens make the day-by-day easier for your team, speeding up the procedures and saving up a lot of time.
Has Time Ever Been Wasted Searching for a File? The answer to the question above is invariably “yes” for most businesses. By using a specific file management software program, you will be ensuring ultimate file protection and a streamlined process to access both your files and folders. Below is a list of several different advantages that this type of software management system will provide virtually any business:
Less time is wasted on searching for specific files, documents and folders. File management software will organize files to allow for quick accessibility.
Files will never be lost and can be found with relative ease. Important documents and files will be properly organized allowing them to be stored more securely.
Documents are more accessible through a file management software program, allowing for an easy file search.
Each user will have their own individual access to business related files. This aspect ensures that specific documents and files are continually secured with unlimited protection.
There is no longer a need for a paper filing system, as all company files can be stored within the management software.
1. ownCloud: Is a self-hosted file sync and share platform that provides easy access to data through a web-based interface and allows syncing clients. It provides a platform to securely view, share, and sync data across all devices, while keeping everything under the user’s full control. Its powerful open API makes the platform extensible for apps and plugins, allowing it to work with any type of storage. Users can securely store their data, including documents, pictures, contacts, calendar etc. at their data centers or servers as ownCLoud seamlessly integrates with the existing IT infrastructure. It also allows accessing existing data on FTP drive at work, Dropbox, NAS, and much more. The software provides a reliable platform to access all the important information from a single location. Users can seamlessly access their data whenever and wherever they are using the native Android and iOS apps, which can automatically upload pictures after they are taken. The desktop client allows syncing files at home by keeping selected folders synced between devices. Users can send password-protected public links to other people, allowing them to upload files. It also notifies users when file sharing takes place. Its collaboration features make it possible for users to edit documents at once, or to comment on pictures and make video calls. ownCloud serves Windows, Mac, Linux as well as native apps for Android and iOS, which makes it an ideal solution to be used on any device. Users can easily add external storage to their ownCloud via FTP, Dropbox, Swift, Amazon S3, Google Drive, OpenStack Object Storage, WebDAV, SMB/CIFS, local hard drives and more. Apps and data can be encrypted on local as well as on cloud storage, without the keys leaving the ownCloud server. However the keys can also be managed by an external key management tool if required. All data transfers are encrypted with HTTPS, based on the WebDAV standard. Calendars and contacts can be accessed and easily shared. Rich text documents can be edited in real-time, while users can also read PDFs, watch videos, see pictures, and much more. Collaborative editing allows up to five people to collaborate on document files from within the browser. The software comes with activity feed and notifications to keep users updated about their activities related to their data.
2. Nextcloud: Is on open source file sync and share software for everyone from individuals operating the free Nextcloud Server in the privacy of their own home, to large enterprises and service providers supported by the Nextcloud Enterprise Subscription. Nextcloud provides a safe, secure, and compliant file synchronization and sharing solution on servers that you control. You can share one or more files and folders on your computer, and synchronize them with your Nextcloud server. Place files in your local shared directories, and those files are immediately synchronized to the server and to other devices using the ownCloud / Nextcloud Desktop Sync Client, Android app, or iOS app.
1. Easy!Appointments: Is a highly customizable web application that allows your customers to book appointments with you via the web. Moreover, it provides the ability to sync your data with Google Calendar so you can use them with other services. It is an open source project and it will run smoothly with your existing website, because it can be installed in a single folder of the server and of course, both sites can share the same database.
2. SEO Panels: A complete open source SEO control panel for managing search engine optimization (SEO) of your websites. Seo Panel is a SEO toolkit includes latest hot SEO tools to increase and track the performance of your websites. Anyone can easily develop and install required plugins for their SEO panel.
2. Agora-Project: Create your own private space to share with your team : files & pictures, personal calendars & resource calendars, News Tasks & Gantt, forums, instant messaging, etc.
Choosing to use open-source software for your online business allows you to keep costs down and stay on the cutting edge while working with software that is almost always more transparent and often more secure than proprietary alternatives.
As always, please feel free to leave comments or ask questions.