Zero Cost Tech Tools
Gosh, I love the internet. It's a wealth of information (maybe too much) on all things technical. Here's a resource that Diane Levin first mentioned her blog that I scooped up for you.
Zero Cost Business Tools
The website is called Bootstrapper.com It's filled with all kinds of articles and success stories for us poor entreprenuers.
In August, they featured a wide variety of zero-cost software from productivity to office suites to accounting to marketing and sales. No bad, huh. Of course, I suspect the really good stuff is under password-protection and can only be unlocked by giving up your email address. (The URL suggests Bootstrapper is a mini-site for businesscreditcards.com - don't be discouraged, just be careful)
Why Invest in Software?
Even though this stuff is without cost, it isn't free. You'll have to invest your time to learn how to use the software. So, don't just download everything.
If you're a solo entrepreneur, and most mediators are, it makes a lot of sense to invest in the type of automation that this software can offer. Your time is limited and precious. Spend it doing mediation marketing tasks that require your creativity and unique abilities like writing articles and connecting with peers. I find that my time tracking program combined with Quickbooks sends out invoices better than I ever could - on time without guilt!
Take some time to think about what is going to be user-friendly and easy for you. The most robust program won't do anything to help your mediation practice if you never use it. I learned that lesson when I tried to write articles using a speech recognition program. I still like the idea, but I realized the software required too much from me and stressed me out too much to be truly called a time-saver.
Get some help making tech choices until you feel more comfortable. CNET.com is a good resource. I also like Tucows.com as a shareware resource. Better yet, get advice from a guru. Sandy De Freitas, the Tech Coach for Coaches (and other folks, too) has a terrific blog filled with tips. Best of all, Sandy will be my guest for a teleseminar next week.
You can get tech recommendations live from Sandy on Friday, Sept. 28th at 1 p.m. EST. It's simple. Just register then send me an email with your burning question. Sandy will do her best to answer your questions all during our 60 minute teleseminar.
Pretty tech savvy? Hey, there's always more to learn. Scheduling conflict?
Register anyway. The audio will be delivered straight to your mailbox so you can listen when it's convenient for you.
Try. Fail. Learn. Grow!