Dear SMB Owner: Think You Don’t Need CRM Software to Maximize Sales?

This post isn’t a promotional for any single type or brand of “Customer Relationship Management” software. I just want to outline some of the benefits of using one for those of you who’re starting a business soon, or who may be on track to expand your new or established SMB in the near future.

Zoho CRM

I’m not going to recommend any specific software in this post. If you’ve tried CRM’s that are great – or ones that are garbage for that matter – please leave a comment after this article so everyone can benefit from your knowledge.

Benefits of Using a CRM for Your SMB:

Team compliance

How often do you find yourself in a situation where a team member is giving you the “I forgot excuse” when it comes to your sales or customer service process?…

Continue reading

Can’t Afford Mobile? 5 Tips to Help You Survive Without It

Customers expect to have information about your business – and your competitors – at their fingertips. If you’re not on mobile, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to gain customers.

Online store

Four out of five consumers use smartphones to shop, and 70 percent of mobile searches lead to online action within an hour.

Despite these staggering statistics, many CEOs are still hesitant to jump on the mobile bandwagon. But mobile is the future of business, and it won’t wait for you to catch up before it sweeps your competition right past you on a digital wave of connected clients.

Mobile Boosts Business

In nearly every area of commerce, a mobile presence can boost your business by providing:

  • More leads.
Continue reading

Your User’s Mouse is Trying to Tell You What’s Wrong With Your Site

Your website is a work of art. The design is clean and beautiful, the visuals fit perfectly with your brand, and the entire site is structured to quietly guide users where they need to go.

But there’s a problem: Users aren’t cooperating.

Browsing

Most of them seem to insist on using your site incorrectly. They’re not navigating to the right pages, no one is contacting you or filling out the forms, and most importantly, the number of people buying what you have to offer is much lower than it should be.

This is a trap many companies fall into: They put great effort in designing a website based on how the user is “supposed” to use it.…

Continue reading

Is Your Yahoo Email Account Secure?

Yahoo recently disclosed it asked an undisclosed number of its email customers to reset their passwords. The company discovered hackers had obtained a number of Yahoo email login credentials from a third-party database and then used the credentials to access Yahoo email accounts.

Yahoo! mail mobile

Yahoo has a history of being targeted for email-related attacks. Last year, a number of European Yahoo users reported their devices had been compromised by malicious ads displayed on Yahoo’s websites. In 2012, the hacktivist group D33Ds Co. stole 400,000 Yahoo usernames and passwords and posted the information online. If you have a Yahoo email account, install the best antivirus software for email security, which can scan attachments and warn you when those attachments are malicious.…

Continue reading

5 Tools to Manage Your Small Business More Effectively

Running a business, however small, is no walk in the park. With little or no staff, you would have to take care of the many challenges inherent in business management, which can include financing, marketing, managing deliverables and growing the business, among other things.

business apps

Like a plumber and his tools, it is imperative that you are equipped with spot-on business applications to grow your business, as allowing yourself to settle for software systems that get in the way of effective communication, data accuracy and reliability, client relationships and employee engagement are detrimental to success.

If you’re in the market for tools to help you manage your business more effectively, here are five you might want to take a look at:

Bitrix24

Bitrix24 is a free social intranet framework for small businesses comprised of a maximum of 12 team members.…

Continue reading

Why You Should Consider Hosted Small Business Forms

As an SMB CEO, you are required to find the best solutions offering you the best value for money, as resources are scarce these days.

When you are running a full-fledge business website, you need to give emphasis to one of the most important – yet often neglected – features of your website: Your online forms.

Online small business forms

Your online forms – particularly your contact forms – need to be crafted in such a way that it converts well. Increasing your contact form conversion rate should be your top-most priority.

When you design online forms, you essentially have two options: design and host on your own, or design and host using a third-party service.…

Continue reading

Apps for a Small Business’ Accounting Needs

Being in the accounting department of a small business doesn’t mean being tucked away in the back corner of the office hammering away on a Dell desktop running Windows XP and an old copy of QuickBooks. No sir, accounting can actually be fun thanks to the help of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, and some nifty apps as well as long awaited Mac accounting software.

small business owner using mobile accounting apps

The idea of putting accounting-related tasks into a mobile device might seem scary to some accounting pros. But the concept of being able to touch, swipe and manipulate numbers at the stroke of a finger can be pretty liberating.…

Continue reading

Broken Data Storage – How to Recover Your Data?

As winter storms strike North America, chances are good that disaster will strike right at the heart of your business.

Hopefully you have surge protection to safe-guard your IT equipment and storage devices…

Hopefully you back up your data so persistently that there’s no chance you won’t be able to do a fast and easy disaster recovery once the storm lifts…

broken hard drive

There’s a lot of things an SMB CEO needs to be hopeful about. If you are like most people, some lessons have to be learned the hard way, and you now find yourself in a position where you have to recover some uber-important data from a dead or otherwise discombobulated storage device – your laptop, PC, thumb drive, SD card, or main server.…

Continue reading

8 Essential Small Business Sales Apps for 2014

I just received a package delivered by one of the leading International shipping companies. The package needs to clear customs, and thus I obviously need to pay some fees. The company accepts collect-on-delivery (COD) payment, so I took that option. To my surprise, the delivery man requests the fees to be paid in hard cash – or a bank transfer before the delivery is made.

collecting payment using sales apps

I don’t know how about you, but as I rarely have cash at home this arrangement is, by any means, not that convenient for me. I thought, “Why on earth such big business don’t facilitate payment collection via credit cards/debit cards method?” Well, they will likely lose a client as, obviously, I have plenty of other choices of shipping companies that offer COD using wireless tools and apps – for my convenience.…

Continue reading

Easy Step by Step Approach to Make a WordPress Site for Your Small Business

Almost every small business owner is faced with the challenge of building a website to help develop and market their brand at some point. To those of us who’ve successfully built a few, or dozens of sites, it seems almost silly that anyone would anguish over such a task – it’s really not that difficult right?

small business website building

However, for those of you who haven’t, but desperately want to: you probably have a hundred different questions running through your head:

  • “Do I really have the time to mess around with this darned website thinga-myjiggy right now?”
  • “What if I do all this work – research, planning, executing, outsourcing, maintenance – and it doesn’t make me any money?”
  • “Should I just pay someone to take care of all this stuff?”
  • “What’s this hosting thing I keep reading about, and what the heck’s the difference between managed and unmanagedWindows or Linux?”
  • Maybe I need to enroll in some online courses – or learn more about HTML, PERL, and C++?
Continue reading