biz ladies 09: free software for business owners

today’s biz lady post is all about recession friendly resources- free resources, to be exact! allison storm is joining us again to share a HUGE collection of free software available to business owners online. whether you’re looking for email marketing, virus software, photo editing, or office software (or more), allison has got you covered! with times being tough it’s great to know how to save a few bucks by taking advantage of the free resources that exist on the web. thanks, allison!

CLICK HERE for the full post after the jump!

Free Software for Business Owners
By Alison Storm

In my last Biz Ladies post I shared a bunch of free online resources for business owners ranging from free shopping carts to free phone services. I’m happy to be back today to share more free stuff because I know we all love good freebies! How do I know so much about finding good deals? That’s what I write about for as well as other websites. This time for my D*S post I’m focusing on free software for business owners because after all, why pay for what you can get for free? Keep in mind that while I have personally tried some of these programs, I haven’t tried them all and they may not all be compatible with your computer so download them at your own risk.

Free Anti-Virus Software

Keep your computer protected with free anti-virus software. Check out this free version from AVG that promises not to slow your system down. Another freebie to try is this free downlaod from Avira. It’s easy to install so your PC can be protected in minutes.

Free Email Marketing

Email is a great way to keep in touch with your customers. Now you can set up an email marketing campaign for free with SendBlaster. It will help you gather email subscribers and deliver personalized emails to your emailing list. This is great for announcing sales, new products or news.

Free Stock Management

Want to keep track of what you’ve got in stock and what you need to replenish? You can do that for free with Stock It Easy. ZCI Computer Inventory System is another free option for tracking your stock.

Free Office Software

Get an entire office software suite for free from OpenOffice. You’ll get word processing, presentations, spreadsheets, databases and more all for free. It’s easy to download and easy to use. If you’re looking for a free web-based solution for sharing documents, presentations spread sheets and more, try Google Apps.

Free Document Management Software

Need to create PDFs? PrimoPDF promises to be the best way to do it for free. It will optimize your PDF for the version you need, whether it’s for printing, an ebook, or print. If you don’t have the need to create PDFs, but simply need to read them, then this free option from Adobe Reader is probably the way to go.

Free Time Tracking Software

Your time is a limited and precious resource. Track it with free software like Timesheets Light. The free version is quick to learn and easy to use. Up to three users can input data. Youc an also create reports and charts.

Free Printing Software

If you’re wondering whether to print brochures or other items in house, or spend money having them professionally printed, check out HP Print View. It’s a free download that will evaluate your print jobs to tell you where you can save money.

Free Photo Enhancement Software

Have a business where you need your photography to shine? Free photo enhancement software could help even if your photography isn’t the best. B/Works offers photo enhancement tools free of charge, but they’d appreciate a link on your website in return. Another one to try is CleanSkinFX. If you use people in your photography this software will help you to enhance their skin and hair in minutes. ColorCastFX will help you get rid of heavy shadows and improve the overall look of your photos.

Still hungry for freebies? You can follow me on Twitter because that’s what I’m usually tweeting about. Feel free to visit my website or drop me a line if you have any questions.

  1. Chessa! says:

    These are so useful. Thank you for helping our community of small business owners!

  2. Thank you for sharing these great sources and the information.

  3. Ashley says:

    This is awesome! Particularly the time-tracking and office stuff (for me).

  4. tyna says:

    Thanks for all of these amazing resources! Love the time tracking software – I can always use some help with that.

  5. Leiah says:

    Another great free image manipulation program is GIMP, the open-source version of Adobe Photoshop!

    I’ve used Photoshop AND Gimp, and Gimp is almost exactly like Photoshop and does all the great things PS does, but for free!

  6. Nathan says:

    Open Office is great. I have NeoOffice on my mac – its also free.

  7. Lucy says:

    This is soooo helpful!! Thank-you so much!

  8. this is very helpful! thanks for sharing!

  9. Zara says:

    Hey D*S! Sorry to post this here, but I’ve been trying to get in contact with you via e-mail. Would it be poss for someone to get back to me via please? Thanks!

    1. grace says:


      i dont have any emails from you- you can reach us at designsponge [at] gmail [dot] com


  10. Amanda says:

    Makes me wish I had a business so that I could take advantage of some of these GREAT freebies! What a wonderful, resourceful post!

  11. Anna says:

    Great information!
    Thank you!

  12. Frida says:

    Thanks for this! I would suggest Foxit Reader instead of Adobe for reading PDFs, it’s so much faster.

  13. Mothersvea says:

    well thank you allison!

  14. Mandy says:

    This is indeed very helpful, very nice!

    But have you also ever heard of SSuite Office software?

    They have a whole range of office and business software including invoicing and calendar diaries that are free for download.

  15. Shandell's says:

    Absolutely love this series, thank you for all of the great info.

  16. Thank you so much for this list. I will post it in our Seller’s Bootcamp at Any new business starting out can at least focus their resources elsewhere. Cheers, Christine

  17. Erin says:

    Such a great post with great links for small business owners! Thanks so much!

  18. Carlos says:

    Open Office can also natively export to PDF.

    I’d add Scribus for desktop publishing, if you need to design brochures or other printed materials.

    And while we’re at it, why not talk about a free (as in free beer, but also as in freedom) entire operating system: GNU/Linux?

    The Ubuntu flavor of Linux is very user friendly, and has a ton of useful free apps for managing projects, accounting, design, etc. and you don’t need antivirus.

    For email marketing, if you’re computer-savvy, or know someone who is, I’d recommend PHPList. It’s an online application, installed in your server, really powerful for managing email marketing campaigns.

  19. Emma Brode says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I have a small business and these free resources really save the day.

  20. dennis says:

    For time tracking you can also use Premember Light .
    It’s a new kind of time tracking tool that allows you to look back into time.
    Filling in your hours will become a lot easier with this tool.

  21. danielle Kriger says:

    thank you!


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