– Neil Patel is a serial entrepreneur who blogs about business at Quick Sprout and is the co-founder of KISSmetrics. This article originally appeared here. The views expressed are his own. –

Being an entrepreneur obviously isn’t easy, which is why most people shy away from trying to be one. Before you throw out the idea of becoming an entrepreneur, make sure you check out the following free services and programs:

Microsoft Biz Spark

Whether you love or hate Microsoft, as an entrepreneur, you’ll need their software. For example, I always find myself using Excel, Word and PowerPoint. There really isn’t a day that goes by in which I’m not using one of those applications.

In the beginning, you may not buy all of the Microsoft products you need as money will probably be a bit tight, but luckily for you, Microsoft gives all entrepreneurs their software for free through their BizSpark program. There aren’t any strings attached and they literally just hand you all the software you need for free. They even let you use their cloud program, Azure, for free for 750 hours.

The best part about BizSpark is that once you get your startup launched, through their media relationships with sites like Mashable and Techmeme, they’ll help you get your business out to millions of people at no cost.