Entrepreneurs juggle dozens of unique considerations when starting their own business endeavors. From securing the necessary funding to filling out endless paperwork, just the process of incorporation alone can be a stressful nightmare. Yet for most, the struggle is only beginning at this stage, and executing the next great idea is where true difficulty begins.
Heaps of unexpected costs and logistical challenges inevitably burden entrepreneurs and force these leaders to adapt. In situations where day-to-day processes can be simplified, jumping on opportunities is practically mandatory. Many business owners face a variety of excessive costs and complicated bureaucratic systems, and eliminating them where possible only makes sense.
The world of open source solutions is an excellent area where entrepreneurs can save money and simplify operations. So, let's take a look at five innovative open source solutions that can make an entrepreneur’s life so much easier.
It seems that open source software and solutions are available for everything these days, and Upverter is a prime example of how much open source diversity exists. Designed primarily as an electronics design tool, Upverter.com is an easy-to-use solution that can be controlled via nothing more than your web browser. Its functionality also allows for the generation of 3D renders of products, giving it additional functionality as an ECAD (electronic computer-aided design) solution.
While the most common uses of Upverter revolve around the creation of circuit boards and other complex gadgetry, many business can find use for it thanks to its flexible, open source design.
Some of the most commonly used software in the world, productivity software is an absolute necessity for entrepreneurs. Many businesses are roped into purchasing copies of solutions such as Microsoft Office, which can cost hundreds of dollars for a single-use business license. Rather than relying on such overpriced solutions, consider OpenOffice.
Providing all the same functions, OpenOffice allows for word processing, spreadsheet creation, presentation construction and other vital components you'll find in pricier alternatives. Free for individuals and businesses, it surely beats paying many times that much for the same overall functionality. Also, OpenOffice files are compatible with Microsoft Office and vice-versa.
Any entrepreneur or business that's reliant upon graphic design, photo editing and other forms of multimedia creation understands just how essential Photoshop is to the experience. Yet, many businesses overlook the comparable functionality found in GIMP, an open source alternative that is free for users.
Cross-compatible with Photoshop, users of GIMP prefer its lighter interface and identical standard functions. Given that Photoshop with various additions can easily exceed $1000 for a single license over time, businesses wanting to avoid higher costs and slower program operation should absolutely give GIMP a try.
While some businesses focus on building custom websites from scratch via expensive developers, this is increasingly not needed. With WordPress, virtually any website imaginable can be built from the ground up using open source modular solutions. With more than 50,000 WordPress plug-ins available and an easy-to-use interface, entrepreneurs can save tons of money on web design and development and build simpler, more efficient web interfaces at the same time.
WordPress is absolutely free to use, incredibly easy to install and intuitive in its control panel and design. Even inexperienced webmasters can put together a basic site in no time at all via WordPress.
Desktop and mobile hardware is a huge operating expense for entrepreneurs and businesses. Windows in particular can add as much as $200 to the cost of a desktop PC. However, businesses can reduce operating system costs by forgoing the use of Apple and Windows-based machines altogether and embracing a solution like Ubuntu.
Open source and low-cost for business use, Ubuntu comes with a minimal amount of software to ensure every device using it remains fast and efficient. Compatible with most programs and practically immune to viruses, maintenance costs will be considerably lower for entrepreneurs.
Open source solutions in the form of various programs and apps are paving the way for the future of entrepreneurial ambition. Whether they offer increased functionality, greater simplicity or lower overall costs, breaking from the herd and embracing open source alternatives can be a sure-fire way to set the tone of innovation for future business endeavors.