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Intranets: A Powerful Solution for Small Business Owners

As a small business owner who works virtually to collaborate with team members, contractors and clients it is often necessary for me to send very large files or to share documents. While I try to keep up with the proliferation of bells and whistles that are currently available; there are times when I just can’t get a file through to someone. Inevitably it is always in what seems to be a “life or no invoice” type of situation when I am extremely crunched for time. There was the occasional moment when I would miss my corporate days…no, actually it was just their intranet that I missed. Why couldn’t I have one? How much would it cost?

The extremely techie may be tsking, wondering how a small business intranet owner could be ignorant of the availability of an intranet for the small virtual business owner. Others may be aware of intranet applications, but fearful of the pricing. Then there are those who were like me – completely in the dark about this wonderful vehicle for our businesses and suffering for it!

A fellow business owner that I often collaborate with added me to her intranet to make our work easier. That is when I discovered the beauty of HyperOffice. This is a glorious application that allows you to set up a virtual office with several users and a capacity for storage which you define. The options are endless and the office has a very sleek and professional look which will surely impress your collaboraters. Each user gets a private area and then can have access to a public or Group area. The administrator has the ability to define the permissions of each user. A Shared Calendar, Shared Contacts, Shared Task list, Shared Documents and an included email account for each user make this an excellent virtual space that will truly increase your productivity.

After being fascinated and fully impressed with HyperOffice and thinking that there was absolutely no way that this could get better…it did. While researching an economical database solution for a non-profit client I happened across eUnify This application has nearly all of the features of HyperOffice (there isn’t an included email account, and perhaps a few other differences) in addition to being a fully modifiable database solution. You can create one or several databases. The only limit is the space which is currently 1GB for me. There may even be an option to increase that space. What worked especially well for my client is the eForm that is included. This allows you to build a very attractive, customized form which you can place on your website that will dump directly into your database. Visitors can sign up for your newsletter, sign your petition or do whatever you like and it links right to your database. There are also several customizable report options that will enable you to make the best use of this info whether you are tracking leads, tracking donors or managing your current customers. eUnify has a selection of databases “ready to go” and the representatives are extremely patient with non-techies who need to customize a database. Having their consultants do it for you is also a very reasonably priced option.

So, the real question is…how much is such a miraculous and life-saving application going to cost you? That is the best news of all! Relatively very little. Both applications are extremely economical and worth every penny!

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