For my allies in the war against poor marketing, bad design, and the gulf between customers and companies – I present this list of resources that techism uses and approves in order to get down to business. Have a better resource, suggestions, words of caution? Feel free to comment here.
Project Management: Duh, BaseCamp.
Invoicing: Freshbooks – integrates with BaseCamp and imports basecamp contacts and projects, is simple to use, attractive and easy to brand. It’s a great resource.
Phone: iPhone 3g – great phone for demonstrating device connectivity for websites, makes great conference calls, and demoing web technology online from a starbucks is a breeze. Add the freshbooks time tracker, basecamp application, and other productivity features – it’s a hard phone to beat for business use – there’s no other option if you are a mac user IMHO.
Phone #: GOOGLE VOICE!!! A FREE dedicated business line that goes anywhere you need it to. Techism’s 206 801 0433 phone number is powered by Google Voice (formerly ‘Grand Central’) This is a 100% FREE service that lets me get my voice mails online, set which number to ring through to, set custom answering messages for different clients, turn it off after business hours, etc. This is the best way to work out a central contact number for business matters. Put this on your cards and it can ring your cell phone but leave you free to change your cell phone number or plan any time you want. Put this on your site and don’t be afraid of having your home number up on a website.
I have used this since it emerged as a beta called “Grand Central” and it’s been a LIFE SAVER. I can turn it off on the weekends and leave a “techism is closed” message (if I ever decide to have a weekend). Clients contracted to me by Steerboard can get a “thank you for calling Joe at Steerboard” message. When I changed my cell number, I didn’t have to tell my clients or worry them over my changing contact info.
I don’t know if this will be free forever, it’s certainly worth paying for.
Fax: Packatel Fax Service – Fax # for around $5 a month. Faxes are emailed to me. Works great, no issues after a year of use. Is a bit basic, has no “inbox” or fancy management capability. It works.