Competitor: This article comes from Randy Mitchelson.
Entry Category: Best Ways to Earn and Save Money
Here’s something you might not know about a work at home business: There are a lot of powerful, free online tools that make running your business easier.
It is hard to believe, but it is true and I am living proof of it. The amount of smart and easy to use online services is staggering.
I could write a whole book on how to work at home more efficiently. Maybe I will someday. But for now, I give you 4 smart and free work at home online tools that you should use to help earn more money from a work at home job.
Communication with customers and vendors is a critical part of running any business, especially when you are home at work and do not have a store for customers to visit. Instant messaging has become one of the most powerful communication tools. Because our email inboxes get so full, instant messaging is a great way to address something – instantly – so that you can move on to the next task.
There are multiple instant messaging tools – AOL instant messenger was once the dominant player, then Microsoft came out with it’s version and now Google, Facebook and Yahoo have versions too.
So which one should you use? Don’t bother deciding. Just download a free version of Trillian which easily lets you do instant messaging on all these platforms simultaneously. There is a paid version of Trillian if you want some extra features, but the free version works good for most people.
2) Google Docs
One of the complaints I have heard most often from work at home moms and dads is the cost of buying software such as Microsoft Office which gives you Word, Excel, Powerpoint and loads of other tools. It costs hundreds of dollars.
Google has its own version of Microsoft Office called Google Docs. There is nothing to buy. Simply go to docs.google.com set-up a free account to create documents, spreadsheets and other presentation materials. All of your content is safely stored in Google Docs and you can email files, convert them to .pdfs, etc.
Best part is that you can share files with other people and even give them access to edit them if you are collaborating on a project. You have to try it out. Don’t forget, it’s free!
3) Online Banking
One of the necessary evils of a work at home job is you have to keep up with the accounting of your revenue and expenses so that you can properly report financial statements which affect your tax returns.
One free tool available form most banks is online banking. I couldn’t live without it. I pay 99% of my bills using online bill pay which saves me the cost and inconvenience of envelopes and stamps and writing checks.
In addition, through Bank of America’s system I can set-up electronic payments (even internationally) via wires and automatic debits. This added convenience costs a few dollars but it saves me from having to drive to the bank before it closes to get a transaction done.
Having my bank statements online makes for easy download into my accounting software so I don’t have to waste time typing in a lot of transactions.
The post office is old school. I bet Benjamin Franklin never envisioned the day when Americans working from home could login online to usps.com and print out their own mailing labels and postage.
The software tools on USPS.com are free to use. All you need to purchase is a little scale so you know the shipping weight and some sticker labels to print the postage on. These items are available for order on usps.com as well.
The shipping tools available online makes it so work at home moms and dads don’t have to drive to the post office to ship items they sell on eBay or whatever their business is. Not only is the software free but you get a discount on the shipping costs by doing it online at home.
Other Work At Home Tools That Make Money
There are several other tools that you must use if you work from home and have your own business. For example, read five of my favorite work tools that will make you money. It might be encouraging to learn about all these great services available to help work at home business owners but make no mistake – it takes hard work and dedication to earn income working from home.