At Motherhood Incorporated, we try to everything we can electronically. Without exception, all of our billing is sent via email or efax, an online service that allows you to receive faxes for free. Now I get free faxes in my email and, since I rarely fax out, it’s a good deal.
A lot of times, I have to make conference calls. I use a service called Free Conference. Everyone calls into a line in South Dakota (so your callers need to have unlimited long distance and you do, too), but it’s a great savings to have the free conference call service and, if you want to post your call on the web, you can have it recorded for a small fee and it comes to you all ready to post. This is great for meetings so people who missed can catch up.
I also like to use Log Me In. This is another free service. You can set up your home computer with all your files to be accessed through a bunch of codes so you can bring your laptop with you wherever you go and, as long as you leave your home computer connected to the Internet, you can get whatever you need whenever you want it. Sometimes I am up in be working late and night and I am so lazy I just hook into my office downstairs and get what I need. On freezing nights, that’s a good thing!
In terms of low-cost options, I use Vonage for my phone because they are so inexpensive and since we have cable internet already; for a few dollars a month I can call pretty much anywhere in the world. I also get email notifications of my voice mails – I click and read them online, which makes having a lot of equipment obsolete.
I use 123 Print to get my printing done. At $4.95 for my business cards, they can’t be beat. (Well, maybe you have a better one and if so, post it here so we all know about it!) They have nice stuff, and if you can match your stationery to your website.
Speaking of websites: I went to www.monstertemplate.com and picked out a template for a whopping $55, and took it to this guy Somnath – firstname.lastname@example.org (he’s in India and a really great guy – loves chatting with Americans about India and vice versa) – and he set up my site. (Tell him you met Sandra online because I promised him I would help him meet women! Kidding!) You can get a smashing site up for a total of about $300 as long as your write the stuff and provide your own photos.