Having the right technology at your disposal will help you to build a successful business. Because of their name recognition and broad advertising reach, major tech corporations like Microsoft and Google may be the first thought for businesses big and small looking for the right software to meet their needs. These products may not actually be the best choice, however.
Especially for small businesses with limited staff and often even more limited budgets, open-source software may be a perfect solution. Here, nine Young Entrepreneur Council members list some of the specific reasons why open-source software may be able to help small businesses in ways major tech companies never can.
9 Reasons Why Open-Source Software Is Better for Small Businesses
- You don’t need lots of money to get started.
- It’s built for integration.
- You can add the features you want.
- You can save more of your resources.
- It provides opportunities for innovation.
- You get quicker fixes.
- You aren’t locked into a long-term commitment.
- It’s more customizable.
- It promotes the sharing of ideas.
1. You Don’t Need Lots of Money to Get Started
Open-source software allows small businesses with limited budgets to get started. You can often find many of the same features that costly alternatives offer with open-source applications. WordPress, for example, allows anyone to start a blog or website without spending any money, aside from web hosting and domain fees. Similarly, you can find open-source solutions for many other important business tasks. —Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting
2. It’s Built for Integration
Microsoft and Google are public companies interested in increasing shareholder value. Open-source software is free, offering both flexibility and powerful integration capacity. For entrepreneurs with small budgets, having the ability to use software for free and integrate it with so many other tools to streamline processes and get more done for less money is a game-changer. —Jonathan Prichard, MattressInsider.com
3. You Can Add the Features You Want
The best thing about open-source software is that it allows you to add the features that you want. Big giants like Microsoft or Google don’t necessarily offer you this option. That’s where open-source solutions beat many of the well-known giants in the software industry. —Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
4. You Can Save More of Your Resources
Open-source software allows businesses to sustain innovations in mature software markets. This results in prolonging the life of software assets and saving customers money. When you work smarter, you’re able to save your resources and use them wisely for your business. —Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
5. It Provides Opportunities for Innovation
Companies that love innovation should also love open-source enterprise software. If a company decides that an open-source product isn’t the perfect fit for its needs, it can experiment with the source code to find a solution that’s perfectly tailored for its operations. This innovative environment allows open-source software to flourish. —Amine Rahal, IronMonk Solutions
6. You Get Quicker Fixes
You’ll find that bugs don’t cause serious problems because of the quick-fix nature of open-source software. Tech behemoths aren’t nimble enough to solve the same problems quickly. —Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS
7. You Aren’t Locked Into a Long-Term Commitment
The Silicon Valley giants will always charge a premium for proprietary software that requires long-term commitment to their ecosystem. These companies offer product suites that require (or are optimized for) conformity with all the other offerings in the suite. Open-source software is free from these constraints and can be interchanged with other software that small businesses can exploit. —Tyler Gallagher, Regal Assets
8. It’s More Customizable
Open-source software is useful for small businesses because of its customization abilities. Small businesses need to stand out from their competitors, and open-source allows for that through changing themes, integrations, options and more. Using coding, you can change any element of your website to better appeal to customers and improve your conversion rate. —Jared Atchison, WPForms
9. It Promotes the Sharing of Ideas
The importance of open-source software lies in the fact that it can help spread technological information that builds new businesses. Entrepreneurs can develop ideas or product add-ons that lead to new businesses, whereas anything developed by tech giants remains locked up and inaccessible. With open-source work, new ideas flourish and constant growth occurs, which helps more people. —Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner