Top 6 Open Source Software for Entrepreneurs for Productivity Hacks

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Open Source Software

Open-source software is best. It lets anyone customize it according to personal needs and use it for free for lifelong. A few open-source software is so great that owners of that software would have earned a lot if they didn’t make it open source! 

Today, I have selected a few open-source software, especially for entrepreneurs. By swapping this software with the software you are currently using, you can achieve higher productivity and higher company growth. You can even customize this software according to your requirements without spending anything. So, without any further due, let’s proceed. 

A startup is spending a lot of its reserved money in acquiring different tools. Well, I don’t know about the other tools, but I have the free alternative of paid Microsoft Office tool! 

Microsoft Office is no doubt the best tool for documentation and presentation purposes. But the major drawback with it is its price. If you choose its business plan which you have to choose as a startup, it costs you $12.50 user/month.

In contrast, LibreOffice which is equipped with all the features the same as Microsoft Office costs you free. LibreOffice includes applications for text documents, databases, spreadsheets, and presentations. All applications of LibreOffice are compatible with the file format of Microsoft office. Moreover, LibreOffice is supported by huge community of contributors who regularly flourish it with new templates and other resources.    

Whether you are a service providing startup or product providing startup, you always need an image editor that is free and sufficient enough to allow designers to craft pixel-perfect design and allow you to increase the sales through that design.  

 GIMP is the best alternative to Adobe Photoshop. It is powerful, flexible, open-source and packed with groundbreaking tools. It owns features similar to Adobe Photoshop and you can get it without opening your wallet. Like Adobe Photoshop, GIMP which was first launched in 1996, supports layer and dozen customizable filters and effects. It comes with many pre-installed user-developed plugins for editing images faster. 

If your needs are not complex, you can opt for a lighter open-source image editing software, Paint.Net. 

Gmail has been enjoying exceptional success. But features of Gmail are far away from the features of some web-based email clients. One such email client is Roundcube. 

Roundcube is the open-source and modern webmail client, providing freedom and completely different approach to managing the emails. It can be installed easily on LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySql, and PHP). The following are some rare features of Roundcube. 

  • It supports 70 languages. 
  • It supports canned responses and spells checking. 
  • It comes with a comprehensive search tool. 
  • Int. Domain names 
  • Shared folders 
  • Full-featured address book 
  • Extensible using the Plug-in API 
  • Supports for the external SMTP server, and Access Control List 
  • Built-in caching for fast access 
  • Custom skin options 
  • IMAP folder management 

A collaboration software or team chat software is the most fundamental need of completing any task before the deadline. It is the most significant tool for achieving high productivity. But the major problem with collaboration software is its heavy pricing model. They charge based on the user number which sometimes exceeds $20 per month per user. 

However, an open-source and free chat tool, Let’s Chat comes to rescue here. It is a modern approach to team chat and released under an MIT license. It is written on top of the popular Node.js platform. If you are familiar with popular team chat software like Slack, Let’s chat supports all important features – image, embeds, @mentions, file uploads and time logging.  It can also integrate with your existing LDAP authentication server. Meaning, you can use the same login you are using to log in any tools across your company. Moreover, its API support features enable you to connect it with other tools which eventually increase the productivity of your staff. 

If you are running your company in a modern way, then there is a very high chance that you are owning a website. And if you are owning the website, you must have integrated Google Analytic with it to know the nature of every user visit on it and to collect some important data. 

Though there is nothing wrong with Google Analytics, having an open-source web analytics tool that you can customize according to your need and which offers more features, is far better than investing in Google Analytics.   

Matomo is the best alternative for Google Analytics. It is free, open-source and as reliable as Google Analytics. Its features include metrics on the number of user visits on your site, data on where they come from, how long they stay on your site, from which page they leave your site and the tacking ability of search engine referrals. It also exhibits a number of reports and it allows you to customize the dashboard to view your desires metrics on the home screen. 

Matomo supports 65 content management, e-commerce and online forum systems, including WordPress, Magneto, and Joomla. All you need to do is, placing a small code to a page of your site and Matomo starts keeping an eagle eye on the visitors visiting your site. Data collected from this analytic tool helps you to plan out business strategy and online presence in a very effective way. 

“Data is the new oil!”

Regardless of the type of your company and business, the success of it highly depends on the data. The user data and usage data you collect is generally unstructured. But by applying some data processing and data mining techniques on it, you can find the relationships between the attributes of data, such as, X number of people who bought the milk, bought the cookies too. These relationships tell you a lot about user behaviour and many more. With this learning, you can make some data-driven decisions which eventually increase the sales of your company.  

But the problem with data is, it requires data processing which is costly. However, by using Apache Hadoop like open-source data storing and processing framework, you can achieve the goal without investing a lot. Apache Hadoop is the most popular data processing tool when it comes to big data processing. It is flexible and supports large size of data. But, to actualize the data processing and data mining with Apache Hadoop, you need to hire data scientists as it requires technical knowledge to execute.

One of the major taxi service providers, Uber, is satisfying most of the client requests using structured data. It verifies the payment using data, it verifies the users using data, it allocates the driver using data, and even it calculates the fare using data.    

In the nutshell: 

Being an entrepreneur and running a startup is a tough job and it becomes tougher when your startup is being the victim of less productivity and less reserved cash. In such an unsettled situation, a small goof-up can lead your startup to a dead end. But there is still hope. By using the open-source software, you can achieve higher productivity without spending anything as it is free, customizable and it works the way you want it to work. (But that does not mean, only a startup which is fighting for cash and productivity should use these tools. These tools are for every entrepreneur who is living with the illusion that only paid software can make his company productive!)    

About the Author

 Vishal Virani is a Founder and CEO of Coruscate Solutions, a leading taxi app development company. He enjoys writing about the vital role of mobile apps for different industries, custom web development, and the latest technology trends.