Trending December 2023 # The Ultimate Linux Starter Kit For Small Business # Suggested January 2024 # Top 19 Popular

You are reading the article The Ultimate Linux Starter Kit For Small Business updated in December 2023 on the website We hope that the information we have shared is helpful to you. If you find the content interesting and meaningful, please share it with your friends and continue to follow and support us for the latest updates. Suggested January 2024 The Ultimate Linux Starter Kit For Small Business

If Linux is running your business, consider investing in a course.

Today’s Linux distributions are a far cry from what they once were in terms of mainstream usability. The more popular ones, such as Ubuntu and Mint, are at least on a par with their Microsoft and Apple OS competitors. A little training can go a long way, however, particularly for users intimidated by something new. 

If you’ve already signed on for a commercial Linux distribution with paid support from the likes of Red Hat or Canonical, you’re probably already covered—or at least you likely have professional training available to you as an extra. Even if not, though, legions of Linux consultants are out there, as well as national and global firms such as New Horizons and the Linux Foundation itself. Online training options abound as well.

Ease the transition

Plenty of IT pros specialize in Linux.

You’ve chosen your Linux distro, customized the desktop, downloaded apps, and gotten the training you and your staff need. You’re ready to pull the plug on Windows, right? Not quite yet. Before you do that, take these few key steps.

First, if your switch to Linux means using different software than what your employees have been used to—Firefox, say, instead of Internet Explorer, get them started on that application while they’re still on Windows. Once they start using the new Linux setup, that piece will be more familiar.

It’s also a good idea to have a dedicated desktop PC available in the office with your new Linux setup running ahead of time. Let staff play around with it before they have to get real work done using the new tools. Finally, there’s no shame in coming up with a cheat sheet to help people remember key steps they need to get their work done.

Given how easy to use Linux has become, there’s a good chance you won’t need any support for a long time, particularly if you have some books to guide you. If and when the moment comes that you really need some outside help, however, you have several options.

Free: First and foremost, every major distro has an online community with excellent forums. It’s safe to say there’s someone out there with experience on any common issue you may encounter. Beyond just the distro-specific forums, however, are a range of sub-communities. chúng tôi for instance, offers discussions catered toward Linux newcomers, Linux in the enterprise, and more. Regional Linux User Groups (LUGs) offer another way to connect. Then, of course, a Web search can pull up answers.

For a price: If you must have someone to speak to when problems arise, paid support is offered by most of the big distros, including Red Hat and Ubuntu, either included or as an extra. Pay-as-you-go support plans are increasingly common as well. Then, too, there are legions of consultants. Start by searching for “Linux support” in your area. Finally, if you’re already paying a systems integrator or consultant for services in another aspect of computing, don’t be afraid to ask them the occasional Linux question.

Next page: Running the company? Here’s what you need for the server side…

You're reading The Ultimate Linux Starter Kit For Small Business

The 10 Best Small Business Crm Software

As a small business owner, you know that managing customer relationships is crucial for your success. That’s where Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software comes in handy. CRM software helps you streamline your sales, marketing, and customer service efforts by organizing and automating various tasks and processes.

When it comes to small businesses, finding the right CRM solution can be a game-changer. The right CRM software will not only help you manage your contacts and sales pipeline but also provide valuable insights into your customers’ behavior. This knowledge can be used to improve your marketing strategies, enhance customer satisfaction, and ultimately boost your revenue.

Keep reading to discover which CRM software suits your small business best!

Importance of CRM Software for Small Businesses

As a small business owner, you might be wondering why CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software is essential for your company. After all, you have a limited budget and resources to manage. However, investing in a good CRM system can be a game-changer for your business. Here’s why:

Time-saving and Efficiency Improved Customer Experience Enhanced Team Collaboration

CRM software encourages collaboration between different departments within your company by providing a centralized platform for sharing customer information. This means that everyone has access to the same data and can work together more effectively to meet customer needs.

Data-driven Decision Making

With a wealth of information at your fingertips, you can make informed decisions based on real-time data rather than relying on gut feelings or guesswork. This helps you identify trends, spot potential problems early on, and make strategic decisions that drive business growth.


As your business grows, so do the number of customers you need to manage. A good CRM system is designed to scale with your company’s needs without requiring significant additional investments in time or resources.

In conclusion, incorporating CRM software into your small business operations is crucial for streamlining processes, improving customer satisfaction, fostering collaboration among team members, making data-driven decisions, and ensuring scalability as your company grows. By choosing the right CRM solution from the list above that suits your specific needs and budget constraints, you’ll be well on your way to achieving long-term success.

HubSpot CRM: Free, User-friendly, and Scalable

As a small business owner, you’re always looking for ways to streamline your processes and improve efficiency. One of the best tools to help you achieve this is HubSpot CRM. This customer relationship management (CRM) software stands out for its free, user-friendly, and scalable features that cater specifically to small businesses like yours.

Free: Yes, you read that right! HubSpot CRM offers a powerful suite of features at no cost. You can manage your contacts, track deals, and monitor sales activities without spending a dime. This makes it an ideal choice if you’re just starting out or operating on a tight budget.

User-friendly: HubSpot CRM is designed with simplicity in mind. Its intuitive interface means that even if you’re new to using CRM software, you’ll be able to navigate the platform with ease. Plus, there’s an extensive library of resources and tutorials available to help you get the most out of the software.

Salesforce Essentials: Comprehensive Features for Growing Businesses

As a small business owner, you’re always on the lookout for tools that can help you grow and streamline your operations. Salesforce Essentials is a CRM software designed specifically for small businesses like yours, offering a comprehensive set of features that cater to your unique needs.

User-Friendly Interface

Salesforce Essentials boasts an intuitive interface that’s easy to navigate, even for those who aren’t tech-savvy. This means you can quickly get started with managing your customer relationships without having to spend hours learning the ins and outs of the software.

Customizable Dashboards

One of the standout features of Salesforce Essentials is its customizable dashboards. You can create personalized views that display the data most relevant to your business goals, making it easier for you to track progress and make informed decisions.

Sales and Customer Support Integration

With Salesforce Essentials, you’ll be able to integrate sales and customer support processes seamlessly. This ensures that your team members have access to all the information they need when interacting with customers, helping them provide top-notch service while closing deals more efficiently.

Automation Capabilities

Time is a precious resource in any small business, which is why Salesforce Essentials offers automation capabilities to save you time on repetitive tasks. With features like automated follow-ups and lead scoring, you can focus on what truly matters – growing your business.

Scalability for Growth

As your business grows, so do your CRM needs. Salesforce Essentials has been designed with scalability in mind, allowing you to add more users and features as needed without any hassle.

Zoho CRM: Affordable and Customizable Solution

When it comes to finding a CRM software that’s both budget-friendly and highly adaptable to your business needs, Zoho CRM is an excellent choice. This powerful tool offers a wide range of features that cater to small businesses looking for an easy-to-use and cost-effective solution.

Key Features

Sales Force Automation: Zoho CRM automates essential sales tasks, like lead management, contact management, and deal tracking, so you can focus on closing deals instead of getting bogged down in administrative work.

Customization: With its drag-and-drop interface, you can easily customize Zoho CRM’s modules, fields, and layouts to match your unique business processes.

Omnichannel Communication: Stay connected with your customers across various platforms like email, phone calls, live chat, and social media – all from within the CRM.

Third-Party Integrations: Zoho CRM integrates seamlessly with popular business apps like G Suite, Microsoft Office 365, Mailchimp, and more.

Pricing Why Choose Zoho CRM?

If you’re searching for a budget-friendly yet powerful CRM solution that can grow alongside your small business needs, Zoho CRM is worth considering. Its customization options allow you to tailor the software to your specific requirements while keeping costs low. Plus, its robust feature set ensures that you have all the tools necessary to manage customer relationships effectively.

Freshsales: AI-driven Insights and Automation Capabilities

When looking for a CRM solution that leverages cutting-edge technology, Freshsales should be at the top of your list. This powerful small business CRM software harnesses the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to provide you with valuable insights and automation capabilities, making it easier for you to manage your sales process and customer relationships.

AI-driven Insights Automation Capabilities

One of the standout features of Freshsales is its robust automation capabilities. With its built-in workflow automation tools, you can streamline repetitive tasks such as sending follow-up emails or updating lead statuses. This not only saves time but also reduces the risk of human error in these crucial processes.

Additional Features

Apart from its AI-driven insights and automation capabilities, Freshsales offers a host of other features designed to make managing your small business’s sales process a breeze:

Visual sales pipeline management

Built-in phone and email integration

Customizable reports and dashboards

Integration with popular third-party apps

Pipedrive: Sales-focused CRM with Visual Pipeline Management

When it comes to managing your sales process effectively, Pipedrive stands out as a powerful CRM solution tailored for small businesses. This sales-focused CRM is designed to streamline your sales pipeline, helping you close deals faster and grow your business.

Visual Sales Pipeline

One of the key features that sets Pipedrive apart from other CRM platforms is its visual sales pipeline management. With an easy-to-understand interface, you can quickly view and track the progress of each deal in real-time. This allows you to identify bottlenecks, prioritize tasks, and make data-driven decisions to improve your sales process.

Customizable Stages and Fields

Pipedrive offers flexibility by allowing you to customize stages and fields according to your unique sales process. You can easily add or modify stages, create custom fields for deals, contacts, or organizations, and even set up multiple pipelines if needed.

Activity Reminders and Notifications

Never miss an important follow-up or meeting again with Pipedrive’s activity reminders and notifications. The platform ensures that you stay on top of your tasks by sending timely reminders via email or mobile notifications.

Integration with Popular Apps

Pipedrive seamlessly integrates with a wide range of popular apps such as Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), Microsoft Office 365, Trello, Slack, Mailchimp, and more. This enables you to streamline workflows across different tools while keeping all your data in sync.

Advanced Reporting and Analytics Pricing Plans Insightly: Project Management Integration and Relationship Tracking

When it comes to managing your small business, you need a CRM that can handle more than just customer interactions. That’s where Insightly comes into play. This powerful CRM software not only helps you manage your customer relationships but also integrates seamlessly with project management tools, making it an excellent choice for small businesses looking for a comprehensive solution.

Project Management Integration

One of the standout features of Insightly is its built-in project management capabilities. You can easily create and manage projects, tasks, and milestones directly within the CRM. This integration helps streamline your workflow by allowing you to track the progress of sales opportunities and customer interactions alongside your ongoing projects.

By keeping all your data in one place, Insightly ensures that everyone on your team has access to the information they need to make informed decisions. Plus, with real-time updates and notifications, you’ll always be aware of any changes or updates in project status.

Relationship Tracking

Another key feature of Insightly is its relationship tracking functionality. This allows you to build a comprehensive view of each customer by connecting their contact information with related projects, sales opportunities, emails, and other interactions.

With this 360-degree view of each customer, your team can better understand their needs and preferences. This insight enables you to tailor your approach and deliver personalized experiences that strengthen relationships and drive loyalty.

In addition to tracking relationships between customers and your business, Insightly also allows you to map connections between contacts themselves. This feature helps uncover potential networking or referral opportunities that could lead to new business growth.

Nimble: Social Media Integration and Contact Management

In today’s digital age, social media plays a crucial role in connecting with your customers and prospects. Nimble understands this and offers a CRM solution that seamlessly integrates social media platforms to help you manage contacts more efficiently.

Social Media Integration

Nimble’s social media integration allows you to connect your company’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram accounts directly to the CRM platform. This integration enables you to:

View your contacts’ social profiles and recent activity

Monitor brand mentions and relevant hashtags

Schedule and publish posts across multiple platforms

This comprehensive approach to social media management helps you stay on top of your customers’ needs, preferences, and pain points.

Contact Management

Efficient contact management is essential for small businesses looking to build strong relationships with their customers. Nimble offers a range of features designed to make managing contacts easier:

Unified Contact Records: Nimble consolidates contact information from various sources (email, social media, etc.) into a single record for each person. This ensures that you always have the most up-to-date information at your fingertips.

Contact Enrichment: Nimble automatically enriches contact profiles with publicly available data such as job titles, company details, and social profiles. This additional information can help you better understand your contacts’ background and interests.

Task Management & Reminders: Set tasks related to specific contacts or deals directly within the CRM platform. You can also set reminders for important dates like follow-ups or contract renewals.

Keap (formerly Infusionsoft): All-in-one Sales and Marketing Platform

When it comes to managing your sales and marketing efforts, Keap offers a comprehensive solution that’s perfect for small businesses. As an all-in-one platform, Keap combines CRM, email marketing, and automation tools, making it easier for you to manage your customer relationships and drive growth.

Key Features

Automation: Save time and streamline your business processes with Keap’s powerful automation capabilities. From sending personalized follow-up emails to managing tasks and appointments, Keap ensures nothing falls through the cracks.

E-commerce Integration: If you’re selling products or services online, Keap’s e-commerce integration makes it easy to manage orders and payments right within the platform. You can even set up automated billing and invoicing for recurring payments.

Mobile App: Stay connected on-the-go with the Keap mobile app. Access your contacts, appointments, tasks, and more from anywhere using your smartphone or tablet.


Keap offers three pricing tiers based on the features you need:

Keap Grow: Ideal for solopreneurs or small teams looking for basic CRM functionality.

Infusionsoft: Designed for established businesses requiring a complete sales and marketing solution.

Bitrix24: Collaboration Tools and Communication Features

When you’re running a small business, effective communication and collaboration are essential for success. That’s where Bitrix24 comes in, offering a powerful CRM solution with a strong focus on collaboration tools and communication features.

Streamlined Communication

Bitrix24 makes it easy for your team to stay connected with built-in tools like instant messaging, video conferencing, and email integration. You can even set up group chats or private conversations to discuss specific deals or client issues. By keeping all your communication in one place, you’ll save time and ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Collaborative Workspace

With Bitrix24, you can create a virtual workspace where your team can collaborate on projects, tasks, and documents. The platform offers file sharing capabilities and document management tools that make it easy to store, edit, and share important files with your colleagues. Plus, the task management feature allows you to assign tasks to team members, set deadlines, and track progress all within the CRM system.

Social Intranet Customizable CRM Pricing Options Less Annoying CRM: Simple Interface and Straightforward Pricing

When it comes to managing customer relationships, you might be looking for a CRM solution that’s easy to use and doesn’t break the bank. Look no further than Less Annoying CRM! This platform is designed specifically for small businesses, focusing on simplicity and affordability.

Simple Interface

One of the key selling points of Less Annoying CRM is its intuitive interface. You don’t need any technical expertise to navigate the platform, making it perfect for small business owners who want to spend more time growing their business and less time learning complicated software. The dashboard provides a clear overview of your contacts, tasks, and calendar events so you can stay organized and on top of your game.

Straightforward Pricing

Budget is often a primary concern for small businesses when choosing a CRM solution. With Less Annoying CRM, you won’t have to worry about hidden fees or complex pricing structures. They offer a flat monthly rate of $15 per user with no additional costs or long-term contracts. This means you can scale your team as needed without worrying about fluctuating expenses.

Key Features

Contact management: Keep all customer information in one place, making it easy to find what you need when you need it.

Task tracking: Assign tasks to team members and set deadlines to ensure everyone stays on track.

Calendar integration: Sync your calendar with the platform so you never miss an important meeting or event.

Collaboration tools: Share notes, tasks, and files with team members for seamless communication.


What is CRM software and why is it important for small businesses? CRM, or Customer Relationship Management software, is a type of tool that helps businesses manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle. The goal is to improve customer service relationships, retain customers, and drive sales growth. For small businesses, using a CRM can provide a unified platform to store all customer and prospect data, manage communication, track sales activities, and create reports. This helps the business to stay organized, make data-driven decisions, and provide personalized service, which are critical for growth and competitiveness.

How to choose the right CRM software for a small business? When choosing CRM software for a small business, you should consider the size of your business, your industry, the specific needs of your business, and your budget. A good CRM should be user-friendly, scalable, and customizable. It should also offer integration with other software that you already use in your business, like email marketing tools or accounting software. Check out reviews and get a trial version if possible before making a final decision.

Are there affordable CRM options for small businesses? Yes, there are many CRM options that are affordable for small businesses. Some CRM software providers offer free versions with basic features, which can be a good starting point for small businesses or startups. There are also CRM platforms that offer different pricing tiers based on the number of users or the features you need. It’s important to evaluate the value the software will bring to your business against its cost.

Can CRM software help in automating the tasks in a small business? Absolutely, one of the key benefits of CRM software is the ability to automate tasks. This can range from simple tasks such as sending automated email responses to more complex tasks like lead scoring and sales follow-ups. Automation can save a significant amount of time and reduce the chance of human error, allowing small businesses to focus more on strategic planning and customer service.

Is it difficult to implement CRM software in a small business? The difficulty of implementing CRM software can vary depending on the complexity of the software and the specific needs of your business. However, many CRM platforms are designed with user-friendly interfaces and provide support and training materials to help users get started. Moreover, some CRM providers offer professional services to assist with the setup and integration process. Starting with clear objectives and a well-planned strategy can also make the implementation process smoother.

Find Free Swot Templates For Your Small Business

Free SWOT templates

Most SWOT analyses are broken down into a 2 x 2 matrix, with one box for each of the four components. If you’re unsure how to start your analysis, here are eight free downloadable SWOT templates to guide you.

1. Bplans

Bplans offers its free SWOT analysis template as a downloadable PDF file. From this resource page, you can find instructions for filling out a SWOT analysis, what to use it for, and sample SWOT analyses for various industries and businesses, including online stores like Etsy shops and food establishments. These samples give you an idea of what a business-specific SWOT analysis should look like. 

2. BusinessBalls

On BusinessBalls, you’ll find several free downloadable SWOT tools available in Word and PDF formats. The website includes a detailed explanation of each SWOT component as well as a filled-out sample with numerous types of potential strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats your business might have.

3. Creately

Maybe you’ve wondered what a SWOT analysis would look like for some of the world’s biggest and best-known corporations. Creately has designed samples for companies like Google, Amazon and Nike on its SWOT analysis template page. You can also create and edit a blank template using Creately’s web-based SWOT software.

4. MindTools

MindTools offers a SWOT worksheet that guides you through the process of filling out your analysis. This article lists a series of questions to answer for each component to help you determine what to put in each box.

For example, for strengths, you’re asked to determine: 

Areas where your business performs best

Special resources your business can offer its customers 

Advantages customers identify with your business over the competition

For weaknesses, you’re asked about:

Areas where your business can improve 

Where your competitors or customers might notice your business is falling short

This thorough, introspective look at your company may help you uncover things you didn’t previously consider.


SWOT analyses aren’t just for businesses. If you want to think strategically about your personal skills and development, try doing a personal SWOT analysis!

5. Priority Matrix

Priority Matrix, an app by Appfluence, provides a free SWOT template with a seven-step process that helps you complete your SWOT analysis. First, it instructs you to choose your objective and decide what area of your business you want the analysis to focus on. Then, you choose your “SWOT team,” the key team members who will be involved in any decision-making that happens following the analysis.

After listing items for each SWOT component (the following four steps), your last step is prioritizing the results and determining your next course of action. (You can also download the Priority Matrix app for iOS to help you create your analysis.)

6. SlideModel

SlideModel’s collection of free PowerPoint SWOT analysis templates can help get your message across in an eye-catching and engaging way. 

The first template is a basic, one-page template that lists items under each SWOT section. There are also two multislide, table-based templates: One is very simple and flat, while the other uses sleek graphics and a clean layout. Both use a master SWOT analysis as a cover or intro slide and then break down each section in the following slides.

Additionally, the concept-based SWOT analysis template uses shapes and colors to visually illustrate ideas, whereas the creative template allows the use of images, diagrams, and other objects.

7. Smartdraw

Smartdraw offers several professionally designed SWOT analysis diagrams for instant productivity. The templates work on any device, including mobile devices, Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. Smartdraw also offers free support through telephone or email.

Note that Smartdraw is only free for a seven-day trial and you must create an account to use the templates. You must buy Smartdraw to print, share or export them.

8. Superside

Designers at Superside have created more than 20 unique PowerPoint templates to help you conduct a thorough SWOT analysis. These free templates feature various designs and styles, giving you several options to customize how you choose to present your information. You can choose from an abundance of colors and themes to find the template that best fits your team and its style.

Key Takeaway

If your focus is analyzing the competition, consider using Porter’s Five Forces model. Using Porter’s Five Forces along with a SWOT analysis will help you understand where your organization fits in the industry landscape.

Homekit Weekly: New To Homekit? Here’s What Should Be In Your Homekit Starter Kit

Because my entire home is filled with HomeKit products, I often forget that some people are getting started with HomeKit and other smart home platforms, so I wanted to take some time this week to explain some basics of how to get started with HomeKit and what products should be your first purchases. Read on to learn more about HomeKit, and what items should be your first purchases in your Homekit starter kit.

HomeKit Weekly is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks, and everything to do with Apple’s smart home framework.

What is HomeKit?

Apple announced HomeKit in June 2014. It allows all home automation accessories/devices to work together in harmony with iOS. The API provides home automation developers to centralize all home automation without needing separate apps to access each device’s specific features. These devices include locks, lights, cameras, doors, thermostats, plugs, switches, and more.

In 2023, Apple introduced a new Home app that came with a modern look, relatively easy-to-use controls, and access to accessories and scenes from anywhere on iOS 10. Apple’s new built-in Home app arrived on the iPhone’s Home screen, plus you can access a ton of functions from the Lock screen or anywhere on iOS from the new Control Center once you have a HomeKit accessory set up.

In 2023, Apple released the HomePod. It was a way to interact with your connected home devices through Siri using a standalone device. In 2023, Apple announced that tvOS 14 would gain access to the Home app. iOS 14 is also bringing improvement to the Home app UI.

HomeKit allows for secure pairing with devices and the ability to control individual devices from a single application. It also makes it possible to group several home automation devices into scenes that allow for more natural control of any automation device in specific situations. One of the coolest features of HomeKit is the ability to control any home automation accessory with Siri based on specific commands or scenes previously configured with these devices.

HomeKit is similar to Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa in that it’s a platform in which to control all of your smart home devices.

What is a Home Hub?

A Home Hub is a product that allows you to access your HomeKit setup remotely. The current products that can be used as a HomeHub are a HomePod, Apple TV, or an iPad (would need to remain plugged into power).

I have multiple of these devices, and they work together in a primary/standby situation. If one product goes offline for any reason, one of these others will take over as the Home Hub. While a Home Hub isn’t required for HomeKit, it does dramatically improve the experience.

HomeKit Starter Kit

So what are the best products to get started with as you want to add HomeKit products? While I have almost every category in my house, I will run through a few different options based on affordability and ease of installation.

Switched Outlets

Switched outlets are the most basic of HomeKit products to get started with as your first HomeKit purchase. Switched outlets allow you to take anything that plugs into and convert it to HomeKit compatible. In my house, we use lamps instead of using overhead lights. I love the VOCOlinc smart plugs for this use case. What I like about the VOCOlinc smart outlet is how quickly I can set it up. You can go from unboxing to installing a final firmware update in less than five minutes.

Light bulbs

If you want to change out some overhead lights with HomeKit enabled bulbs, I recommend the Philips Hue Starter Kit. I’ve picked up a number of these bulbs over the years, and I even have some of their outdoor flood lights. I use Hue bulbs with HomeKit automation to set them at a certain % of brightness in the morning as my motion sensors detect motion first thing in the morning.

Smart locks

No smart home product has impressed my wife more than the August Smart Lock. Since installing it late last year, it’s become something we’ve used every single day. I love how it will auto-unlock as we walk up to the door, and it’ll auto-lock after we leave. It was essential while I was having my hardwood floors refinished (water damage during a tornado in April) while we were on vacation. Every morning, I’d unlock the doors before the workers arrived, and I locked it after they left in the evening. Installation takes less than twenty minutes. I am using the 3rd generation August lock, but I’d pick the 4th generation if I were purchasing it today. It provides the same functionality but with a smaller form factor, negating the need for a bridge to access through the August app remotely.

Motion sensors

A HomeKit enabled motion sensor allows you to create useful automations based on activity in the house. An example of this would be to turn on a living room lamp is motion is detected in the living room. Another will be to set a Hue bulb to 30% if motion is caught between the houses of 5:00 AM and 7:00 AM. If you have the Philips Hue bridge, I recommend the Hue motion sensor. If you don’t, then I would recommend either the Eve motion sensor or the Fibaro motion sensor

Final thoughts on HomeKit starter kit

These categories are what I recommend if you are just getting started with HomeKit. Adding automations to your lights, outlets, and locks provide a high return on investment and are all easy to install. Once you complete these projects, you might want to progress to HomeKit cameras and HomeKit thermostats

Past HomeKit Weekly articles

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

8 Best Email Providers For Small Business In 2023

For any small business, investing in resources is a huge deal. When choosing an email host, you want the best value for the price you’re investing in. Different factors, including the price, storage, security, and additional features, determine if an email host is the best fit for you.

Having that said, different businesses have different priorities. For instance, a service-oriented business would prefer an intelligent phishing filter over more extensive cloud storage. This article lists eight of the best email hosts you could choose from if you’re a small business owner. 

Keep reading to know which of these services best fits your needs, and jumpstart your business today!

Although there may be a slight difference in preferences, a few factors remain prerequisites when looking for an email. The most significant limitation for a small business is the cost factor. You would want to choose a service that would give you the best result for your investment.

Storage is yet another bare necessity. You would want enough storage to fit your business-related files and documents on your email host. The size may, however, differ according to the nature of your business.

When investing, you must be sure about how secure the service is. You will use their service to store and forward sensitive information that you would not want a third party to access. Similarly, you would like to stay safe from spam and phishing bots that would impose a more significant security threat to your business.

Lastly, you must see if the additional features, such as free domain, customer support, and fluid interface, meet your enterprise needs.

We have gathered eight email hosts you would want to consider while looking for an email service for your small business. We have introduced each email according to its price, storage space, security level, and additional features it offers.

Price : $6/per month or user

Storage: 30GB

Security: Strong

Google Workspace has become a household name in terms of email hosting. With one of the best user experiences, most users are drawn to it because its interface is similar to the free version of Gmail. This makes it easier for the users to adjust to the hosting.

The basic business plan for Google Workspace starts from $6/per month with a total storage of 30GB on Google Drive. The service is highly reliable and has impressive security features like smart spam filters and even a physical security key for when you try to log in to your account.

Using Google Workspace, you can choose a custom email address using Google Workspace to make yourself stand out. You can synchronize your account with other Google services to collaborate with your team. Additionally, it has features such as smart compose that helps you write emails and check your grammar.

Google Workspace is, however, a luxury email hosting service. Many small businesses may be unable to afford to spend $6 a month on email hosting alone. You can also only send an attachment of 25MB with the email. Anything that exceeds the limit gets stored on your GDrive. Similarly, customer support for Google Workspace could be better than other hosting services available.

Price : $1.24/per month or per user

Storage: 2GB

Security: Weak

Namecheap has been growing quite popular due to its cheap price options. With the basic plan starting from $1.24/month, it has become one of the best budget-friendly email hosts. The total storage space available on the basic plan is 5GB, with additional space in bigger plans.

Although Namecheap has spam filters, there are better ones in the market. It does offer Two-factor authentication, but it is only available on an online email client. This could leave your account vulnerable to hacking.

Namecheap offers free domain names to match your email address. This could be a smart way to represent your business in front of your clients.

Price : $3/per month or user

Storage: 2GB

Security: Strong

Fastmail has been growing quite popular among users recently. The service mostly prioritizes the privacy and security of the users and their information. Plans for Fastmail start from $3/month, and they provide 2GB worth of storage space in the plan with an email attachment limit of 70MB. You could upgrade to a better plan if you want more storage space.

Fastmail prides itself on being reliable with its knowledgeable customer support team. Let’s be honest; anyone would prefer talking to a human with a fundamental understanding of your problem than an automated voice message. If you run into an issue, rest assured you will have a customer support officer helping you out with the matter.

The main reason why users prefer using Fastmail is because of its privacy and security options. Fastmail has a strict privacy policy that keeps your data secure within its servers so you can store sensitive data and not worry about it getting leaked. Similarly, it supports two-factor authentication and has app-specific passwords for email clients that do not support 2FA.

The downside to FastMail is that they do not sell domain names. Although you can link your pre-purchased domain name with the hosting services, you will have to manually connect your domain with Fastmail.

Price: $3/per month or user

Storage: 1TB

Security: Strong

Microsoft 365 is yet another household name when it comes to email hosting. The basic business plan for Microsoft 365 starts from $3/month. The total storage space the email hosting service provides is massive, with 50GB mailbox storage and 1TB space on OneDrive, their cloud storage. You could even send attachments up to 150MB using Microsoft 365!

Microsoft 365 offers 24-hour tech support, so if you run into any issue, you can have your problem addressed as soon as possible. With standard secure storage space, its AI smartly filters out any spam, virus, or phishing links from appearing on your email.

Most users are already familiar with the personal or customer version of Microsoft 365, so making the switch to Microsoft 365 is swift. Microsoft 365 is extremely user-friendly, and you can collaborate with your team using the online version of MS Word, Excel, and Teams. With the basic package, you could host online meetings with up to 300 users!

Price: $1/per month or user

Storage: 5GB

Security: Strong

ZOHO mails is another option if you’re looking for a budget-friendly email hosting service. With the basic plan starting for only $1, you also get to host emails for free for up to 5 users. The service offers storage space of 5GB with additional storage in bigger plans. Additionally, it has a high attachment size limit of 250 MB.

ZOHO offers good security features. The emails you send through ZOHO are encrypted on both ends. The mailing service itself secures the decryption key. You can even send confidential information with a SecurePass code. Additionally,  ZOHO claims not to use your data in data mining. So, you can store personal information in the service.

You also get access to collaboration tools such as Writer and Sheets from the ZOHO Office Suite in the higher plans of ZOHO mail. All these features make the hosting email service a good option for small businesses.

There are, however, many limitations to ZOHO. Unlike other services, they don’t offer a free domain. The small storage space of 5GB might not be enough if your business grows. The basic package of the service does not offer as many features as the higher plans cost more.

Price: $4.95/per month or user

Storage: 25GB

Security: Average

Dreamhost is a great email hosting service for growing small businesses. With a starting price of $4.95/month, you can save 63% on a yearly plan at $2.95/month. Additionally, Dreamhost offers a storage space of 25GB per user.

The email hosting service filters potential threats from your mail, including spam, viruses, and phishing. This will protect you from potential security vulnerabilities.

You should use this email hosting service if your business has a higher staff count, as you can create several email addresses for your employees. Dreamhost offers a free domain for a year and includes a WordPress site builder that does not require any code. You can also synchronize your email across your devices and applications.

However, the price increases exorbitantly in a year to $12.99/month. Dreamhost also falls short on office suite applications that other services offer. You will also have to pay for the domain after the first year of registration.

Price: $3.19/per month or user

Storage: 1TB

Security: Strong

Turbify is an email hosting service for businesses formerly known as Yahoo Small Business. The base-level plan for Turbify starts from $3.19/month, but the prices go down per mailbox as you add more employees to the plan. With the same plan, you get 1TB worth of email space, so if you’re a service-oriented company, this would be something you would want to consider.

The email hosting company has amazing security features, including smart spam filters and email encryption. This will keep you safe from malicious emails and reduce the chances of your emails being leaked by a third party.

Turbify also offers a free domain with your purchase. This way, you can stand out in front of your customers. The experience is equally as smooth on mobile applications, so you don’t have to open your desktop every time you wish to view something. Additionally, Turbify includes document handling, content displays, and calendars in its packages.

To state the obvious, Turbify could be expensive for small business owners. Although the prices eventually go down when you add more employees, it could still be too much for some. As the service is newly introduced, adjusting to the interface might take some time.

Price: $1.37/per month or user

Storage: 200GB

Security: Strong

Yandex is yet another email hosting service that is reliable and easy on the pocket. The basic plan for Yandex 360 starts from $1.37/month. It offers a massive storage space of 200GB! You can attach up to 25MB worth of files while sending emails. Anything that exceeds this limit will be stored on Disk, the cloud storage service included with the Yandex 360 subscription. 

You also get a free domain with your purchase and additional collaboration tools such as disk, messenger, documents, sender, notes, and many more. These tools will help you collaborate with your team to create different documents, communicate, or keep meeting minutes. 

Yandex also provides around-the-clock customer support and states that they reply within 3 hours of the complaint being registered. However, as Yandex is not as popularised, you may have issues using the service in the beginning.

Microsoft Rolls Out New Small Business Server Options

Microsoft has announced new server software that it said provides small and medium businesses with enterprise-quality capabilities while helping them to save money, increase productivity and grow their businesses.

While designed specifically for small and midsized companies, Windows Small Business Server 2008 (SBS 2008) and Windows Essential Business Server 2008 (EBS 2008) include Microsoft’s high-end server technologies delivered in a way that smaller companies can make the most of them.

“Around the world, small and midsize businesses are the engine that drives economic growth and opportunity,” Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, said in a company statement. “To help these businesses succeed, Microsoft has focused on creating integrated, affordable server solutions that are optimized to meet the needs of companies with limited IT resources. Small Business Server and Essential Business Server deliver a comprehensive set of capabilities that will help small and midsize business thrive and grow.”

Designed for small companies with up to 75 people/computers, SBS 2008 server software integrates a variety of Windows functions to help small businesses better secure data and increase employee productivity regardless of location.

Based on Windows Server 2008 Standard technology, SBS 2008 incorporates

Exchange Server 2007 Standard Edition for messaging and collaboration

SharePoint Services 3.0 for online collaboration workspace and productivity tools

Forefront Security for Exchange Server to handle e-mail security

Windows Server Update Services 3.0 for network updates and protection

Windows Live OneCare for Server to manage viruses, hackers and other digital threats

Microsoft Office Live Small Business to help take your business online

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Standard for Small Business, a database available in the Premium edition

Microsoft designed EBS 2008 for midsized companies with up to 300 people or computers. It’s meant to simplify and automate common IT tasks, and a unified administration console gives IT managers more control over an integrated network infrastructure.

Windows Essential Business Server 2008 also incorporates the applications found in SBS 2008, and Microsoft said it provides the following features:

Significant costs savings compared to buying stand-alone products.

Remote access, anti-spam, antivirus protection and improved messaging technologies improve productivity both in and away from the office

An integrated setup saves time and reduces installation steps from days to hours Simplified licensing with a single server license and Client Access for all included products.

Steven VanRoekel, senior director of the Windows Server product group, noted that both server products help small and mid-sized companies compete in tough economic times.

Microsoft’s partners play a significant role in the new server options both how the products were developed and in how they’ll be consumed. Worldwide, Microsoft partners number 400,000 strong, of which 20,000 are trained small-business specialists.

“Because of the vast experience partners bring to the table, we have been working with them very closely, especially our Small Business Specialists, even before we began developing these solutions, to better understand customers’ needs,” VanRoekel said in a written statement. “Now that these products are on the market, partners have another great set of products to help solve the challenges their SMB customers face today.”

The company said that Dell, HP and IBM will offer hardware configurations that have been optimized for running SBS 2008. HP, IBM and Intel will offer blade servers designed and priced for midsized companies. The more common rack-and-tower server configurations will also be available in a range of sizes from companies such as IBM, Dell, HP and Sun Microsystems.

On the software side, Microsoft’s ISVs (independent software vendors) will support both SBS 2008 and EBS 2008 with a variety of applications ranging from backup and recovery, security, business management, systems management and more.

This article was first published on chúng tôi

Update the detailed information about The Ultimate Linux Starter Kit For Small Business on the website. We hope the article's content will meet your needs, and we will regularly update the information to provide you with the fastest and most accurate information. Have a great day!