Open source business software a cheap alternative!


Most people have never heard the term open source  and very few people are taking advantage of it.

What exactly is open source?

Open source software is a multitude of small business and personal software that is designed and offered to the public  free of charge.   It is distributed under the terms of the General Public License (GPL) and therefore anyone who uses it does not need to purchase a license to install or use it.

This type of software is often created by a multitude of users who saw a need for the software but were not willing to pay for its usage or simply could not afford to do so.  Many computer users believe that certain software should be free to use.  They argue that some software is necessary for a computer to be of any real value to anyone.  Things like document creating software, accounting software and even operating system (o/s) software.  Without an O/S your computer will not do anything.  Thus, the idea of creating open source software creation was born.

Open source is a great alternative for small business owners who cannot afford to pay for software because there are many open source software made specifically for small business.

It is almost unbelievable how much an enterprise (business) software can cost these days.  Photo and graphic manipulation software is somewhere in the thousand dollar range for new and updated versions.

If that was not already pricey, most often a business must pay for each user license.  Some come with limited users and some only have a one user license.

What good is a software for one person if you have ten people in your office?   The fact is; you cannot even share the software that you in fact had to purchase.

This concept never really made sense to me, but this is the accepted practice in the computer software industry.

I, being one of the users who refuse to pay for any computer software, use open source software whenever possible. I am quite happy and have found most of them to be of equal or higher quality than many of the mainstream software packages available.

Open source software is not only free, it is convenient as well.

Has it ever happened that you need to use a particular software for one project but you do not want to purchase it?   Open source offers convenience and flexibility.

You can download it, install it and then remove it once you are finished using it.  Why would you pay for a software you plan on using only one time?  This is a much better alternative.

Some of the software that I use and just simply cannot live without:

  • O/S commerce -A completely  free online shop program that has  features like order history, shopping carts,  product reviews and secure transactions.  It also has several free add-on features, such as,  complete website design templates.
  • Open Office – Similar to Microsoft Word this software is a complete document creating suite.  It is compatible with Word and also has database, spreadsheet and presentation software in the package.  Tip:  it is an ideal software for student homework.
  • Turbo Cash 7 is a complete accounting software package.  This is a great alternative for small businesses that do not have much accounting to be done.  Outsourcing companies like SG partners can easily adapt to its functionality and you can save tons of money on both your accounting and accounting software needs.  Now that makes sense!

There are other software that are free to use other than open source, such as,  AVG virus software. There is a slight difference.  Open source is a fully functional software package, while many free use software may limit usage in some way.

As an example; AVG is a complete Internet protection suite software but it offers only  the virus software portion of it for free.  You need to purchase the software to use its full functionality like firewall and email fraud protection.

Whatever choice you make, free is free, and any money you save is money you will  have earned.  To save even more, do not forget to outsource jobs that you only need done on a part time basis. Why pay a full time employee for a part time job?

Read the SG Partners Inc. blog frequently to  help guide you in the right direction when it comes to accounting outsourcing,  human relations and money saving tips.