Being an Internet entrepreneur is becoming an option for more and more people. The opportunities are virtually endless (no pun intended), and provide you the flexibility to operate from wherever you’d like! There are a few accounts that can help you succeed, each which are free or have a freemium model where you can pay for additional usage as necessary. Here are 6 accounts that every Internet entrepreneur should have:
- Evernote: Evernote has been my best friend for a couple of years now. It’s the ultimate note keeping application. You can capture everything: typed notes, screenshots, save photos, and even audio. You can organize different notes into notebooks, synchronize them, and share them to collaborate. You also have the option of adding tags and printing your notes. I use Evernote because it’s available everywhere. It’s available for download on Windows and Mac, as well as Blackberry, iPhone and Android apps. You can also access your account online and install a Google Chrome extension for web clippings. I use Evernote for my freelance writing as well as research.
- Dropbox: Remember that file you have saved on your computer? Well you have access to a computer but not your computer. Here comes Dropbox. Dropbox allows you to save files in a folder in the cloud, making it available anywhere with Internet access. Similar to Evernote, Dropbox has apps for your operating system, your smart phone, and available online. You also have the option of sharing files and folders. I use Dropbox for files I know I’ll have to access away from home.
- Hootsuite: Internet entrepreneurs are expected to be social. With so many different social networks, how are you expected to keep up? Just use Hootsuite. Hootsuite is the ultimate social media dashboard, allowing you to access your Facebook profile, Facebook fan page, Twitter profiles and searches, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and even your MySpace profile if you still choose to log in. You can add team members to your accounts, keep track of who’s clicking on your short links, and schedule messages. If more access is what you need, download the mobile apps and browser extensions. I ensure I’m not having a social identity crisis by using Hootsuite.
- Skype: We’re living in the digital age, where you don’t need to be in the same room as someone to look at them face to face. Skype is one of the most popular video conferencing softwares out, and recently integrated with Facebook for video chatting. You can make phone calls, yes, even to landlines, and hold conference calls while showing others your screen. You also have the option of instant messaging if voice conversations aren’t your style.
- OpenOffice: Honestly, what struggling startup entrepreneur has the money for Microsoft Office? You don’t need it. OpenOffice offers open source software that includes text editors, spreadsheets, presentations and more just like your beloved Word, Excel and PowerPoint. You also have the option of saving in these formats, so none of your colleagues or clients can tell the difference.
- PayPal: Internet entrepreneurs still need to get paid. A PayPal account is the perfect way to send invoices, sell products and services, and collect your money. PayPal gives you the opportunity to operate just like a real business, by keeping great records, and opening up to your customers, providing them a safe and easy way to pay you for your time. You can open a PayPal account under your business name as well, to appear more professional.
If you have any of these programs, be sure to use them to your utmost advantage, as they can help any entrepreneur, Internet based or not. The free versions of these programs should suffice, but if you need more functionality, affordable options are available to you as well.