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Home Business Advertising

Work from home business entrepreneurs that have covered a lot of time and effort through their own online business, have had the widest opportunity for noting some of the most marvelous advertising successes, together with the more numerous painful failures.

It has been estimated that over eighty, some say ninety per cent, of all advertising is practically so much money wasted, simply because of the dense ignorance of the vast majority of working from home business entrepreneurs, when it comes to generating profitable advertising for their home sweet home business.

In any event, however, there is not a shadow of doubt that millions of dollars are yearly dissipated in home based business advertising with no more practical return than would result from dumping these vast sums of home business dollars into a giant bon-fire.

Many of the most successful advertisers, online business entrepreneurs who have accumulated vast fortunes by doing the right thing most of the times, emphatically declare that advertising is a gamble, even under the most favorable conditions.

They so not mean, of course, that it is doubtful as to real efficacy of the right sort of advertising, but that practically every advertiser is apt to commit a serious blunder now and then, and that it’s far from being an exact science.

Without argument at this time, facts have continuously demonstrated that the errors in judgment into which a thoroughly experienced advertiser will plunge will be those which no human expertness can avoid, since they must result from contact with unseen and unavoidable stumbling blocks.

These obstructions to continual success are to be located in the mysteries of an ever complicated growing menu of printed and online media circulation, web sites proliferation, and terms like organic traffic, viral traffic, conversion rates, opt ins, click through rate, average cost per click, etc, which may very well deceive any regular person. Less of a mystery and more of a clogged artery in reference to the obstruction of success results from the abundance of work from home scam artists, the inundation of home business opportunities ads promising to get rich overnight (that have not ever been tested nor proven), events which by themselves are more than capable of killing public interest, and of course the most deeply rooted of them all in the always present unpredictability of human nature.

As for certainty, it is known that with ability to prepare a good advertising campaign, plus sufficient business judgment, failures will be few and far between, and no more frequent than in any other business enterprise.

Of course, the shore of the stream is strewn with wrecks from every line of advertising endeavor, and mortal man will never be wholly immune from glaring disregard of fact and reason than any financially weak advertiser would be guilty of; but greater successes hide all discredit, while the one slight mistake of a weak beginner may end in blasted hopes and public dislike.

How important, therefore, that a practical advertising knowledge be obtained by those who aspire to greater achievement and wealth. This knowledge is crucial to those working from home entrepreneurs who are now circumscribed simply because they are ignorant as to forward and backward movements of the advertising lever that opens and shuts financial valves at just the right time and puts the pressure where it belongs, and without an appreciable loss of power.

Nevertheless it remains almost certain that every online business entrepreneur and advertising student will agree that while the home business dollars don’t come easy through this inexact science, even so a famous phrase has to be maintained in constant thought: a business with no sign, is a sign of no business.

This article has taken up the home business advertising analysis along lines wholly different from those employed by others, and with what success, I leave to others to say.

Copyright © F. Prida. All Rights reserved.

How to Save Potentially Thousands of Business Dollars Each Month – Telecom Expense Management

In today’s economy, it is essential to wring every penny of profit available into your company’s bottom line. Efficiency is the key. Unfortunately, sometimes that means reducing your workforce, but there are other ways to stay profitable without needing to become Mr. Scrooge and laying off people.

Tell Me How

As I said above, efficiency can be the key. One of the top 3 expenditures of most companies nowadays is their telecom usage. Your business might be different, but telecom is still a large part of your expenses. The technology we have today has allowed us conduct business better than ever before, but paying for that technology shouldn’t negate the positive effects, should it?

No

If you have more than a handful of wireless devices in your company, you know that each month the mailman drops a stack of telecom provider bills on your desk, most of which simply get paid without any scrutiny. It’s just easier to send a check to them than to attempt to decipher the bill. Don’t let the fact that 10-15% of all invoices contain errors, most of which are in favor of the vendor bother you.

Another problem is wireless devices. Who controls the acquisition? Do you just trust your employee to sashay into the local cell phone dealer and get the right equipment? Tell me you don’t! If so, have you ever thought about how many lost or damaged devices you are still paying for because the employee didn’t bother to tell anyone? Don’t. It could cause you to have nightmares.

Vendors (bless their hearts) are out to make a buck like any business. If they can sell the most expensive service contract along with a device that has more whistles and bells than a NASA space shuttle, they will do it. Unfortunately, you are paying for the whistles and bells, but you aren’t realizing any benefit from them. If you could ensure that certain categories of employees could acquire only approved devices and contracts, you could save a bundle.

One other facet of telecom usage that can result in chaos is asset management. If you have no idea what equipment you have, or who has it, you might as well give up and just pay the monthly bills and hope they aren’t too far out of whack. It is critical to have an accurate and constantly updated inventory.

The Answer

One word. “Telecom Expense Management.” OK, that’s three words, but it is one important phrase. Telecom Expense Management (TEM) professionals have the skill, training and tools to comb though your telecom systems to find and eliminate waste. Some companies, such as H&R Block, save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year using the services of a TEM team. Obviously it isn’t a free service. TEM companies make it worth your while, though. Often they will charge a percentage of the savings they discover, so their incentive to make you telecom usage as lean and mean as possible is great. That way, everyone wins. Your company’s bottom line looks better, and the Telecom Expense Management company comes out smelling like a rose, too.

Contact a reputable TEM organization to find out more details about what they can do for your company.

How to Go About Choosing Software for Your Small Business

One of the biggest decisions a small business has to make is investing in the right software solutions. Technology is a key asset for any-sized business; day-to-day operations are dependent on it. In today’s competitive business landscape, it has become essential for small businesses to leverage technology – software solutions in particular – to maximize productivity and keep operational expenses low. Before start-ups can leverage technology, they must first purchase or acquire the right software solutions to meet the demands of their business. This task is not doubt an intensive one requiring time and effort. But it doesn’t have to drive you up the wall.

Fix your budget

As a small business, it’s natural that budget would be your first concern. You will need to decide what part of your total budget can be committed towards purchase of software. Will you be able to afford a large up-front payment or do you prefer to make monthly payments? Once you set your budget, you can explore sources of funding as well as payment arrangements.

Determine your needs

The solution to any business problem starts with identifying needs. What value will the certain software solution deliver to your business? What software is good-to-have but not entirely necessary for your line of work? These are some decisions you need to make. The software needs of a small freight trucking business may be different from that of a content marketing start-up. By understanding your priorities and examining the processes you currently have in place and expect to include in the future, you can chalk out a list of key requirements. As part of this process, you will also be identifying the key areas within your business where software solutions can be deployed.

Here is a look at some of the common areas of business where the use of software for daily operations becomes necessary:

Accounting: Accounting and book-keeping are rather mundane tasks that you’d rather have a software product to help you with! On a serious note, it is imperative that your small business tracks finances efficiently and without any errors. If you need a centralized accounting and bookkeeping system from which you can pull tax or expenses data quickly, a well-rated accounting software is the way to go.

Desktop accounting software for small businesses

1. AccountEdge Pro 2012

Pros: Fully-featured, easy to use, a good choice for multi-user support

Cons: Importing data from other programs is not easy

2. Intuit QuickBooks 2012

Pros: A good choice for accounting newbies, easy set-up, a convenient calendar view, allows sharing of custom report templates

Cons: A lack of inventory features, limited user support

Some online and SaaS (software as a service) accounting options

1. Freshbooks

Pros: Helps in document and project management, offers several add-ons

Cons: Little online help, can get expensive for multiple users (starts out free and goes up to $149 per month)

2. Outright

Pros: Available for free, easy interface

Cons: Does not support electronic tax payments or state tax tracking

3. Kashoo

Pros: Available free (allows a maximum of 20 transactions a month), excellent interface

Cons: Does not offer item-tracking or US payroll

Inventory management: If timely and efficient order fulfillment is the difference between gaining and losing customers, you will need assistance from a top-notch inventory management software. It will help you track and control inventory and handle orders, sales, purchases and deliveries.

Free inventory management software:

1. Pos Maid

Pros: Simple to build inventory database, automatic stock report generation, good customer service

Cons: none as far as small businesses go

2. inFlow Inventory

Pros: Easy to use, excellent linking of inventory with sales and purchase

Cons: Creation of custom documents is not as easy as it can be

Ecommerce software: If you are a B2B or B2C ecommerce business, you may want to invest in software applications that allow you to sell your offerings and conduct business online. The simplest shopping cart software, for instance, will serve as a real-world order form that allows convenient sale-purchase over the internet. There are different kinds of shopping cart software you can choose from, so you may want to consider the pros and cons of each before zeroing in on one. You have the option to buy or lease software; you can also choose open-source applications that have a strong developer community.

Popular open source ecommerce platforms:

1. Magento

Pros: Market leader, highly scalable, built-in SEO, free

Cons: Needs efficient and careful management (especially as your online store grows)

2. osCommerce

Pros: Easy to install and use, free, top-notch front-end features, simplified product management

Cons: Not easily customizable, frustrating back-end

3. Zen Cart

Pros: Free, excellent product/service management, several free and paid templates

Cons: Reporting is too basic, add-on integration is not easy

Social media management software: If your social media presence is an important sales driver and you don’t have the time or the resources to offer real-time responses, investing in social conversation software like Hootsuite and Sprout Social makes sense. On the other hand, if you want to be an active social media player by understanding the interests and spheres of influence of social media participants, social influencer software like Klout could be useful. For creating customized Facebook applications and promotions on YouTube and other social media channels, opt for social marketing software.

1. HootSuite

Pros: Easy to set up columns and search by list, hashtag, handle, etc; provides basic Facebook and Twitter analytics, easy to schedule tweets

Cons: Nothing to speak of, very handy for small businesses

2. VerticalResponse

Pros: Integrates email and social media very well, ideal for less tech-savvy business owners

Cons: More tech-savvy business owners may prefer something less basic

3. Sprout Social

Pros: Easy user interface, useful feedback

Cons: Small business plan is available for $39 per month and supports 20 profiles

Logistics software: If you need to handle multiple shipping partners for your online import-export business, you can add a good logistics software to the list. Do a bit of research to identify the best paid and open source logistics software in the market.

Data analysis software: If your work involves extracting, analyzing and manipulating data on a regular basis, a data analysis software can help. The software is also useful to handle massive amounts of data – you can accumulate and organize it easily, efficiently and quickly. Some of the big data pools you may need to handle in a well-organized manner include employee information, product information and customer information. The right CRM or HR software can help you accomplish this and stay on top of your business.

Project management software: Managing multiple projects takes more than just a highly-competent project manager; it requires clearly defined objectives and steps of action from planning to implementation. Project management software can provide a roadmap, help manage risks and define goals/work for every member of the project team.

Project management software can help with milestones, calendars, scheduling and tasks. It can also provide chat and forum support by enabling online communication between teams, vendors and freelancers.

Tips on choosing project management software:

  • It must fit your business and allow business systems to integrate
  • Must be flexible and scalable, supporting growth and multiple users
  • Must streamline operations and reduce costs
  • Buy a subscription to web-based project management software – you can pay by the month or year as opposed to an outright purchase.
  • Opt for business project management software packages that offer free 15-day or one month trials. This can help you make an informed decision

Is there a solution for your needs?

Depending on the niche you operate in, you will have to research to determine if there actually exists a software solution for your specific need(s). Even if there isn’t one that completely addresses your niche-specific requirement, can it be modified by the provider or even at your end? Do you have the means to get a custom software system/application designed from scratch? These are some of the questions that need answering.

Making an informed decision

The decision-making process must involve participation from not just you – the business owner – but also employees who will be using the product. A product rating system based on appropriate criteria can help you arrive at an informed choice. Some helpful tips in this regard are:

  • Opting for product demonstrations without identifying your requirements
  • Starting without a shortlist of products and adopting a “let’s see how we go” attitude
  • Testing the software product without a scenario
  • Getting swayed by any extra or added functionality that is not really a critical requirement

It goes without saying that you should give due attention to product ratings (from customer reviews), product support and vendor reputation before committing your small business dollars and time.