QuickBook Pro by Intuit is an acclaimed financial accounting software. Made especially for small to mid-size businesses, this software has great features for common accounting functions like accounts receivables, accounts payables, financial reporting and credit card management. If you have still not used QuickBooks Pro, then its time you used it right away, as this software can give your business the following five benefits:
1. Better money management
The software has uniquely designed features that can enable your business to manage your money in a better fashion. You can enter due dates and payment details for all your recurring bills. When your bills are due, you can directly print out a check from QuickBooks. This software records all your transactions and has the option of linking your banking accounts too. Since you can view all your financial records on a single screen, you can discard the use of paper bank statements.
2. Keep a track of expense billing
If you run a business, then you would need to keep a track of your expenses which have to be later billed to clients. Small and large expenditures like mileage, purchases, meals or international travel can now be easily recorded into QuickBooks Pro. You can also go a step further and save each expense according to the job or customer and enjoy the benefit of not having to manually reconcile your expenses.
3. Quick sales invoicing
By using QuickBooks Pro, you can save plenty of time as receipts or invoices can be quickly created at the click of a button. You can bill clients in large batches or individually and even email the invoices. This is a handy feature to employ, especially when you have to bill a several customers for the same service. Continue reading →
Apart from your company’s internal resources and current industry factors, there are many other macro-economic elements that can have a strong impact on your company. Just before you step into a new business venture or prior to launching a new product, you will need to evaluate these factors in order to find out how they can have an impact on your success. One such tool used to analyze and assess external macro economic factors that are closely related to a specific situation is known as PEST analysis.
PEST stands for Political, Economic, Social and Technological analysis and is primarily used to assess the Political, Economic, Social and Technological factors in relation to your current business situation. By conducting a PEST analysis, you can find out how such factors will affect the activities and performance of your business in the long run. Many times, PEST analysis is used along with analysis tools like Porter’s five forces and SWOT analysis to gain a better understanding about external/internal factors.
The factors involved in PEST analysis
Political: Legal factors and government regulations are evaluated in terms of their ability to affect your trade markets or business environments. Issues such as, tax guidelines, employment laws, political stability, safety regulations and trade regulations are addressed.
Economic: By analyzing this factor, your business can find out the economic issues that may impact your company. Commonly evaluated economic factors include interest rates, economic growth, inflation, business cycle and unemployment policies.
Social: By taking into account social factors, a business can evaluate its market by understanding more about the lifestyle attitude, level of education, cultural limitations and customer demographics. Your business can determine how to shape consumer needs and how to bring these needs to the market.
Technological: This analysis can help your company get to know how negatively or positively a product/service can be impacted by technology. The role of the internet, lifecycle of technologies, advancements and the spending on technology research are some of the popularly assessed technological factors.
Most companies are pretty sure about the importance of web design in brand building, but are often confused about which words to use, when it comes to bringing their business to life. Words are powerful and have the power to either engage or disengage the visitors that visit your website. The most successful brands, such as, Apple and Volkswagen have got it right by matching their words to their visuals, thereby creating a strong voice.
With the emergence and growing popularity of social media, like Facebook, Twitter, Instant Messaging and Online Chat, companies need to tap into the power of words in order to stay competitive. The way your products or services are described can turn a casual visitor to your website into a buyer.
5 ways to build up your brand with words
One of the best ways to establish the right tone of voice in your web content is to think of your brand as a person – What is the kind of conversations that your customers are having?
Write your content in such a way that it captures the attention of your audience immediately. Research has shown that you have about three seconds for online web content, within which you need to capture the attention of your reader. Before posting any content online, make sure that you assess your content to see if it is captivating, right from the start.
Do not over complicate the message that you want to convey to your customers – Before you pen down the content, ensure that you differentiate between the genuine USPs that will convince a customer to buy and the things that you find interesting.
Ensure that your writing focuses on the benefits of your services/products and not on the features. Features and specifications have their place, but customers are usually driven to buy a product/service because of the key advantages that it offers.
Last but not the least, remember to edit, edit and then edit some more before your post your content. Once the content is online, revisit the page and check if your words match your visuals. At times, your message can be muffled by excess words. Less is more when it comes to great content.
If you own a business, then you will know the importance of content. It is the content on your web, blog or marketing material that gets you customers and makes your firm stand out from the crowd. Does your business have a solid content marketing strategy to go by in 2014? If not, then it’s time you came up with one, as a good content marketing strategy can take your business to a whole new level. Here are five must-haves for your 2014 content marketing plan:
1. Work on your website
When was the last time that you had a look at your business website? Is your website bringing in the right traffic? Update your website and make sure that it is doing the job. If you are planning on creating a new website or wish to refresh your existing site, use the following steps to transform your site:
Ensure that your content is targeted towards your target market
Audit the site content on your website and look for opportunities/gaps
Transfer your website to a content management system like Hubspot, which is user-friendly
Optimize your content for search engines and visitors
2. Start writing a business blog
If you don’t have a business blog, then it’s time to start one right away. With regular blogging, you can improve search engine rankings and gain added credibility with your prospects and customers. Writing a business blog is a great way to share expertise, remain relevant and offer helpful information to prospective customers. Make sure that your blog includes:
A SEO keyword strategy
Strategic topics based on your services/products
Social sharing capabilities
Regular posts, preferably weekly
A call to action (CTA) at the end of every post
3. Broadcast your posts on social media
Sharing your posts on social media is a must-do for businesses of today. No matter the type of business that you are in, there is a channel today that you can use to promote your content. Social media is a great way to make a connection with your target market, build solid relationships and attract new visitors. Here is how you can make the most of social media: Continue reading →
Did you know that bookkeeping is very much like going to the dentist- you don’t want to really take the time out to do it, but if you continue to neglect the issue, you know it can lead to serious repercussions in the future. This is where outsourcing can make a big difference for business owners. With outsourcing, you can easily outsource your bookkeeping to a team of qualified accountants for an affordable price.
In fact, outsourcing bookkeeping offers a multitude of advantages when compared with in-house bookkeeping. Here are seven awesome benefits that your business can enjoy by outsourcing bookkeeping:
Free up more time: By getting someone else to manage your books, you can free up hours of valuable time, which can be put into taking care of your company’s core business. Conducting your bookkeeping in-house can lead to a conflict of interest and shift your focus away from the important day-to-day activities of your business. Bookkeeping, which is a time-intensive task, is best outsourced, so that you can squeeze in more time for your company.
Save on cost: By outsourcing bookkeeping operations to an external service provider, you can save on the money that you would otherwise have to spend on hiring a full-time or part-time accountant. Hiring an in-house accountant also means that you have to pay employee benefits. You will also have to bear lost productivity costs that come along with hiring bookkeepers onto your payroll. By outsourcing bookkeeping, you will only have to pay for what you need – you will not have to pay for anything more.
Get access to expertise: Outsourcing bookkeeping is a great way to have access to full-time bookkeeping knowledge on your team without having to pay for it round-the-clock. By getting your books balanced by the hands of skilled accountants who understand accounting best practices and how to accurately perform bookkeeping, you job will become easier and effective. Continue reading →
If you are keen on running a successful business, then you need to learn more about your competitors, your customers and your industry. The best way to understand your market is to use market research. With the aid of market research, you can analyze data to help you decipher which services or products are in demand and how to get more competitive in the market. Apart from this, market research can also give you valuable insight on how to:
Minimize your business risks
Identify upcoming and current problems in your industry
If you are the manager of a small or medium sized business, you will know the pressures that come with running a business. Business meetings, conferences, luncheons and off-site trips can keep you in and out of the office and country. With the gears of business never slowing down, how do you keep a track of things? Now, you can keep a tab on your day-to-day events even on the go, with the following five handy easy-to-use mobile apps. All you need is your tablet or Smartphone and you are good to go:
Read important reports /presentations on the go
You receive a customer presentation or an important report on your Smartphone, but you can’t get a good look at it until you reach the office. What do you do? In such situations, you can take the help of box.net. This handy app can open PDFs, documents and media on your phone. Moreover, it also allows on-phone collaboration. The best thing about this app, is that you can monitor changes, assign edits and make changes on the go. Other great apps that can help you read your reports, include, GoodReader, Dropbox, iWork, Roambi, Quickoffice and Documents To Go.
At your workplace, there may be several occasions when you may be using an audio recording to capture what is being spoken during a board meeting, discussion, interview or brainstorming session. Such audio recordings can make sure that your records stay up-to-date, but they will be of very little use if they remain in the audio format. Converting your audio recordings into text, through transcription can help you document your information for making easy references and for future utilization.
Rather than get your personal secretary or other staff members to transcribe for your firm, you can outsource transcription services to a service provider who has skilled transcribers and access to the latest transcription software and technology. Moreover, you can also avail transcription services in specific areas like business transcription, meeting transcription, conference transcription and even interview transcription.
If your business wants to offers services and products that are well targeted and focused, then what you need is Market Research. By basing your business decisions on thorough market research, you can successfully reduce risk and pay dividends.
Market research is the process of collecting, evaluating and interpreting information about a new product/service to be offered, the current market scenario and the potential consumers for the product/service. Market research can highlight the requirements, characteristics, spending habits and location of your target audience. Market research can also keep you aware of the leading competitors that you would have to face.
Effective market research is important, as it can help your business understand what type of service/product to introduce into the market. It can also help your organization measure if you have been able to satisfy customer requirements and if the delivery, packaging or product itself needs to be altered. Armed with such information, your company can come up with a practical marketing plan or evaluate the success of your existing plans.
Recent research surveys have proven that business market research can be pivotal in determining the success of a company. Has your company given market research a thought? Without effective market research, your firm will know nothing about the latest market trends, the buying habits of your consumers, demographics, economic shifts or even the business strategies of your competitors.
However, if you do invest on market research, you can see that it can bring in a world of difference to your business. You and your managers will be able to single out problems, spot new business opportunities, make calculated decisions, get ideas for new products and even strike up a good rapport with your consumers. All this and more can be achieved with market research.
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