Best Apps to Keep Track of Your Franchise Business

The use of digital technology has become so important in business today more than ever. It is a powerful tool that helps businesses reach out and connect more with their target audience. In addition, using the latest technology is an effective way for owners and managers to achieve their goals.

In running a franchise business or any business for that matter, experts recognize that the hardware is as important as the software. The computer, both desktop and laptop, plus the mobile devices such as the tablet and smartphones are vital in keeping files, creating reports and issuing receipts. The software applications also play a major role particularly in analyzing statistics and easing up the tasks of business owners.

Thanks to the numerous apps that have been developed, managers and owners are able to free up their time and focus on the more important aspects of running their business. We share some of the most useful here which you should definitely consider. They cover tasks such as keeping track of your budget and expenses as well as the time spent on tasks by your employees. [Read more...]

How to Put Your E-Business in Order

With the way some people rave about doing e-business today, one would be tempted to think it is just a breeze to handle one. Like traditional businesses, it will also require ample preparation and understanding to create a successful business operation online. The absence of physical location does not necessarily make it any easier to operate but an e-business can be put in order by following some sensible guidelines.

Start an E-Business

Plan your e-business. This means determining what kind of business you want to engage in, what you hope to achieve in it, and how you intend to profit from it. It is after all, a business. E-commerce is only one aspect of having an online business.

If you intend to make the products you intend to sell, there will be considerations about product planning, cost, development, and manufacturing. If not, you will have to attend to sourcing the products from the most reliable suppliers. Then there will of course be inventory management matters to attend to as well as marketing, sales, shipping, and payment details to set up. It really isn’t as easy as most people would want it to be but it can be managed.

Run the E-Business

A good start will not ensure a successful business. It has to be run efficiently and professionally and that can happen if everything is placed in its proper order. Order goes beyond physical arrangement as it will also involve systematized operation.

In the highly technical landscape of doing business today, a business’ working IT system is a crucial factor for smooth operation. This is even more so with e-businesses which heavily rely on online transactions by its very nature. Many companies use business management software such as Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP to effectively track resources and applications. It is very important for e-businesses to be on top of their data processing systems, both internally and externally.

The End Goal

The end goal of every business venture is to derive profit from the endeavor. This is applicable to e-businesses as well and can successfully be done by increasing efficiency in the business flow. Given the right management tools, order is more easily attained. It becomes possible for businesses to run smoothly with the least supervision and checking.

About the Author:

Melanie Hickman is a professional blogger that shares the latest information on software and applications that can help your business improve performance and productivity. She writes for Ecount Inc., which provides an ERP software that offers easy setup and customization capabilities.

4 Considerations When You Give Up Your Office Phone Line

2942 voip phone network office 1 300x210 4 Considerations When You Give Up Your Office Phone Line

With so many companies relying on mobile technology these days, it seems almost quaint to use an old-school landline to do business. Is it time to surrender tradition and embrace the alternatives to a landline?

There are many pros and cons to consider before your organization transitions to new technology. You will want to preserve the integrity of your brand’s contact methods, but you also want the ability to connect with new clients.

Here are four ways to make the shift away from an office line easier. [Read more...]

Using Webinars as an E-Marketing Tool

Studies have shown that webinars are an effective and cost efficient tool in reaching out to people. Small business owners and companies have recognized its importance and are now utilizing it for marketing and list building purposes.

Webinar as a marketing tool 300x170 Using Webinars as an E Marketing Tool

Image: techwench

While it’s true that the most popular social media platforms are doing a great job in helping businesses market their products and services, the webinar system has its own advantage over them. For one, it generates a low cost for every lead and a high level of engagement with target audience. Secondly, it is considered the second most effective method in terms of content marketing and thirdly, it promotes greater satisfaction among students thereby contributing to a higher study success rate.

Webinar vs Podcast

Compared to the podcast, the webinar has an edge in that it allows real time interaction with the attendees. This is efficient in clarifying certain issues clients and potential clients have about a particular product or service. Engagement is also assured in this method of communication. [Read more...]

The Journey of Amazon

Amazon is the oldest and largest online retailer in the US. It initially started life in the mid 90′s selling books but now sells a variety of products from DVD’s to toys and even furniture. Below is a graphical representation of their growth and success over the last 15 years.

Journey of Amazon infolabs The Journey of Amazon

Enjoy this great Infographic from our friends at Infographiclabs

AT&T Goes to Infinity and Beyond with New Social Recommendation Tool, Buzz.com

Screen shot 2010 04 21 at 5.45.09 AM1 489x275 AT&T Goes to Infinity and Beyond with New Social Recommendation Tool, Buzz.com

AT&T has launched its newest interactive product called Buzz.com. Interestingly, aside from the similarity with Google Buzz, it seems that both service might tend to overlap in terms of function and purpose. AT&T’s Buzz is a social recommendation site with a dash of local search function. It’s a new service for sharing local tips or “buzz” with your friends.

Similar to most social media sites, Buzz.com also taps into the growing social networks. Hence you can register using your Facebook credentials. So, once you register to Buzz.com using your Facebook profile, you don’t really need to build a new community of friends or sift through rants and raves from strangers.

Buzz.com also provides personalized local search based on the recommendations of people you know and trust. Again, another vital ingredient of a successful social recommendation site.

David Krantz, AT&T President and CEO Interactive said that Buzz.com was built on the strong foundation influnced by AT&T Interactive’s leadership and success in local search.

“By offering buzz.com alongside our other local search properties like YP.COM, we create opportunity to reach a broader – and growing user segment that relies on their community to make decisions. For favorited businesses, it means immediate recognition of a loyal customer and positive exposure among a network of friends,” said Mr. Krantz.

[Read more...]

Google Launches Apps Marketplace, Apps Store for Cloud Apps

Google has just rolled out a new online service, making it officially known that the company is serious about cloud computing and business applications. The new service – Google Apps Marketplace provides products and services including installable apps that integrate with Google Apps. These installable apps features single sign-on capability and Google’s universal navigation.  Some of these apps even integrate with domain data.

If you an enterprise network administrator utilizing Google’s many cloud server application or Google apps, the marketplace is a useful destination for finding new apps from both Google and third-party application developers. The marketplace shall serve as a one-stop-shop for all your enterprise apps need.

Currently, Google is in a deal with around 50 companies offering online business apps. And right after Google announced the Google Apps Marketplace, those companies started announcing their own applications which debut at the marketplace.

Of course, the number of companies joining this avenue is bound to grow leaps and bound. Give it a couple of days and I’m pretty sure third-party online apps developers will start jumping into the deep pit of Google’s marketing strategy.

In case you’re interested to know, some of the great apps which debut at the Google Marketplace include the following:

BatchBook Social CRM- BatchBook is a lightweight but powerful CRM that allows you to easily organize contacts, monitor social networks and track leads and deals.

Aviary Design Suite – Design tools and templates to create, modify and share images, logos, presentations, audio tracks, podcasts & more. Teams can collaborate on multimedia projects. Works directly in Google Docs!

myERP.com : Manage your business in the cloud – Free online business suite. Streamline your CRM, Sales, Projects, Purchasing, Inventory, A

EchoSign Electronic Signature for Google Apps – EchoSign.com, the web’s leading eSignature service, natively integrates with your Google Apps account, including Google docs, spreadsheets, etc. for instant on-line review, approval, and eSignatures.

Google Apps Marketplace seems to be a solid applications shop. Nothing fancy on the UI aspect. Just your usual plain Google theme.

Weather Channel Lets You Download its Android App from your TV

If you’ve watched the video attached to this post from start to finish, you’ve probably noticed the advertisement that flashed  out  starting from the 15 seconds time mark. Did you scan the barcode? If you did not ,well you just missed the chance of taking a crack on possibly one of the coolest way of downloading an app to your phone. To be specific about it – the Weather Channel app for your Android device.

Believe it or not, it actually works. After scanning the barcode using the Bar Code Scanner Android app,  your phone will be triggered to connect to the Android market to download the Weather Channel app.

And that’s for the Weather Channel app only. Can you imagine how effectively the Android can reach out to its targeted users if more Android apps will adopt the same advertising strategy?  You don’t have to do the numbers because we all know that perhaps majority of consumers still watch the weather segment of their favorite news programs on TV.

Soon enough, there might be a big chance that corporations will adopt this same method to reach out to their consumers directly as well. But in the meantime, let’s be contented with the fact that this might give the Android platform a boost in terms of popularity. This has to be done especially since the IDC predicted that the Android platform will the number two mobile OS by 2013.

Both the Bar Code Scanner app and the Weather Channel are free apps. Just visit the Android market from your phone’s apps screen.

 

Kevin Rose Demos Square Device that Turns your iPhone into a Credit Card Machine

I’ve hearing about Kevin Rose’s latest project called Square for quite some time now but only got the chance to really find out what’s it all about just now. Square is a small gadget/tool that works with iPhone and a corresponding app which will in turn allow you to accept credit card payments. Very much the same way that establishments used those credit card transaction machines.

It’s a pretty clever idea actually. Who would have thought that you can use your iPhone to accept credit card payments. You can just imagine how useful this would be if you’re in remote places where credit card machines don’t exist. With an iPhone running on 3G or Wi-Fi perhaps, small businesses can elect to use the iPhone instead of the usual credit card machine.

So, how does the Square gadget really works? It’s quite simple actually. You just plug in the device onto your iPhone using the headphone port. Then you need to launch the Square app on your iPhone, swipe your credit card on the Square device, wait for the app to process and then you can start entering the necessary transaction details.

What’s cool about this device is that you can actually sign the transaction by writing your signature on the iPhone screen and voila! Your credit card transaction will be proccessed.

Cool right? But wait, there’s more.  You can also email transaction receipts to your clients after processing the credit card payment. The Square tool will be coming out in a few months.

Via

Web IT and Business Trends in 2009

web os Web IT and Business Trends in 2009

Business strategist Dion Hinchcliffe presents an interesting (if rather buzzword-heavy) rundown of how the shift to the Web is changing IT and business. In particular, he cites five trends in that direction for 2009: [Read more...]