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Tech Savvy for Nov. 13, 2008

So you want to start a business…

by Dan Harper

HUERFANO- If the experts are to be believed, business startups need a fortune in seed capital.  If this was the case back at the turn of the century, small businesses wouldn′t have started, much less become the very thing that has made this country great.  This is the last of a five part series on technology in small business.  We′ll look at other ways technology can help a new business and some local sources for info or help.

    GotVmail (www.gotvmail.com).  GotVmail is a completely new way to use

your phone.  Imagine having a 1-800 number with more features than most Fortune 500 companies′ phone systems all using your existing home, office, or cell phone.  Take a call while at the lake with the kids, transfer it to sales in Denver.  Route another call to your partner in Detroit.  In addition to advanced routing, it has many other incredibly handy features.  The basic plan will run you $9.95 per month.

    Check out Vonage (www.vonage.com).  VoIP is a technology which uses the Internet to route phone calls at little to no cost, and Vonage is a VoIP service provider.  One plan has 1500 minutes outgoing, unlimited incoming calls, no long distance fees, and incredibly cheap international calls.  I can chat with relatives in New Zealand for 5 cents per minute.  Some of the other plans even offer free calls to the France, Italy, and the British isles.  The basic business plan runs $39.99 per month.

    Another phone service is Net10 (www.net10.com).  Prepaying gives you the ability to aggressively control costs.  It has excellent customer care, fantastic coverage in Huerfano County, no contracts, and no phone costs over $80.  While some organizations might be better served with an unlimited plan from a major provider, most need much less.  You pay ten cents per minute with no hidden fees.  A basic plan is $15 per month, and you′ll pay $23.60 to get it started with a basic phone.

    GoDaddy (www.godaddy.com).  These folks have some of the best service in the web industry.  If you need a domain name (www.yourbusiness.com) these are the people to see.  The owner, Bob Parsons (www.bobparsons.tv) is a veteran, Marine, entrepreneur, and CPA.  If that sounds like an interesting combination, it is, but his marketing advice is sound and free.  A domain name costs $9.95 per year.

    In Motion Hosting (www.inmotionhosting.com).  These folks are the best web hosting company I have found.  Their level of support is second to none.  A basic business package is $6.95 per month.

    The Huerfano County Chamber of Commerce (www.huerfanocountychamberofcommerce.com) at 400 Main St. is an excellent source for information and networking.  Located in the train depot with Colorado Workforce, they are also an excellent starting point if you need qualified employees.

    Your public library (www.spld.org).  Should you need to know anything, they have a book on the subject or can get one for you.  Need a quick answer?  They do research. Need a computer?  They have fast workstations available for use.  Need something printed, copied or faxed?  They do that too.