We are now in the age of computers which makes the advancement in information and communication technology possible. In every field of human endeavors, computers are widely utilized. It is unthinkable to find any office including nongovernmental organizations, government offices, charity organization, social clubs and others that does not make use of computer in the management and running of the organization. Given the importance of computers in the world today, it is unthinkable to run any business no matter how small the business is without computers. In other words, computers have become important parts of businesses in the contemporary era. There are various aspects of small and medium businesses that are managed with computers.

Left on their own, computers will not offer much benefit to businesses. Various business software applications installed in computers make them more useful to the users. There are many software developing companies today and these companies are coming up with useful software application that will help business to run its activities very well. Various aspects of business transactions and activities are now automated. There is less reliance on paperwork. What ordinarily would take days or hours to be completed manually can now be done within seconds at the clicks of the mouse thanks to the use of these software application.

However, the problem most small and medium businesses are having is that they cannot afford some of these software applications because they are very costly. However, as it has been said above, there are many software developing companies and so there are myriads of software applications in the market today. There are some less affordable and even free-to-use software applications which small and medium businesses can make use of until when they have enough funds to acquire the expensive one. But these free-to-use software applications are limited in function when compared with the expensive one. You can still be managing them until you achieve some high level of financial stability. Here are some of these software applications.

LibreOffice

If you do not have enough money to acquire Microsoft Office, you should consider using LibreOffice. It has similar functionality with Microsoft Office. The good news is that it is compatible with Microsoft Office. You can use it to open Office files sent to you by other people. It also works well with Content Management Systems.

Thunderbird

Email has remained one of the most effective means of communication today. Some email clients are not available free of charge. For example, if you want to utilize Microsoft Outlook which is the most widely used, you have to spend about $95 which means a lot for some businesses. If you do not have any money to go for paid email clients, you can use Thunderbird. You will save that $95 and still be able to send large email files.

Lightning

Calendars are very essential for effective management of time which is highly valued in business. Microsoft Outlook has calendar that will help you to manage all your appointments, sales meetings, conferences and deadlines. But it is not available free of charge. You can use Lightning for the same function. With it, you can manage your schedule effectively.

Other software applications that you can use if you are on budget are:

·         TurboCash for accounting

·         OpenProj for project management

·         SugarCRM for CRM

·         7-Zip for file archive

·         Scribus for desktop publishing

·         Simple Invoices for invoicing

·         Dia for diagram creation