Did you know that you can give away free software and make money out of it?

What else can you sell to your customers
How to increase your turnover by selling other services and products to your customers.
Imaging business is not about hardware anymore, you need to be creative to add more value to your customers.
How you do that ?  Here come 3 real examples you can use to get started:

Open source software:

What’s the business model of distributing open source software for free?
– Planing and advice. Help your client, You are the expert.
– Installing the software on site. Your filed service tech guys can do this.
– Configuring and setting up specific requirements. More work for your IT guys.
– Customization of reports. Make an standard product look like a custom made.
– Service support and maintenance. That means you can bill a monthly fee.
– Training. If you train, you become the expert and your customer’s best adviser.
– You host the software in your server (you can outsource that too) Another monthly fee.

What kind of open source software is available for free?
There is a lot of great software out there available with open source license. Some of them have a developer team behind, some of them are simply outdated. So, look for who’s behind the software development a if they have a business model that will hold it stable in the near future. With that said, if it works for you and you benefit from it, make sure you return some of that money back to the team.

Here is a list of software that we use in our company and simply do the job.

 1 – CRM software : VTiger
It’s a big database where you have all your customers and Leads contact details, tracking information about visits and many other things.
The VTiguer software it’s open source and free to use. Setting it up needs some tekkie skills, so you better get someone smart to set it up.
More:  https://www.vtiger.com/open-source/

2- Web manager: CMS Made symple
We manage all our websites from there and it works fine. When you install it, make sure that all pluggings match the last software version. It also requires some skill to set it up.
More:  http://www.cmsmadesimple.org

WordPress 
it’s also opensource and has lots users, templates and pluggings
More: http://codex.wordpress.org/New_To_WordPress_-_Where_to_Start

3 – Email / Gmail    
Yes, you can manager your company e-mails through Google / Gmail platform. You need to allow Google to manage emails though your domain ( like micompany.com )  It’s reliable because its run by Google, it’s low cost and it also requires some tricky IT knowledge so you IT team can supply this service to your customers and of course, charge for it.
More: https://www.gmail.com/intl/en/mail/help/work.html

Email productivity tricks: There are a bunch of rules, filters and tricks you can set or you can also train your customer employees to set, to be more effective and efficient at work.
More: http://learn.googleapps.com/tips-and-tricks/tips-and-tricks

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