Do you struggle with creating graphics for your products? Or just spend an arm and a leg and pay someone else to do it? I'm in both of these camps. Sometimes I'll give it a shot myself, but I typically end up having someone else do it. That can get a bit frustrating and expensive. So a lot of small business owners and solopros will spring for Adobe Photoshop (ouch! over $600), or use Gimp, the free alternative (huge learning curve). But no more. Now there's a better, easy solution. A … [Read more...]
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There are a lot of choices when it comes to tools for your small business and the really cool thing is that, thanks to technology, new tools are being created every day. That makes it much easier for you and me -- it allows us to maximize our business operations and squeeze every penny we can out of our cash flow.
I'm very thankful to have had the opportunity to review several products and services for small business owners. What may serve you well depends on the type of business you own. But there are some absolute "must haves" that will make any business run better. Here they are.
>>>> QuickBooks Accounting Software - There is no reason in this day and age for you to be handling your small business accounting manually or even in spreadsheets. QuickBooks software is super simple to use and will allow you to spend your time doing critical activities like marketing your business.
>>>> Skype for Business - These days, every business is international. With the interwebs, you can do business with a customer up the street today and someone in Australia tomorrow. That means you need a way to communicate with anyone around the world. Skype will help you do that -- very inexpensively!
>>>> Online Fax Service it's not necessary to have a fax machine anymore, but your business will need faxing capabilities. Using an online fax service won't cost you but a tiny bit and will provide a ton of convenience.
So there you go! I use all of the products / services I recommended above and just love them. Enjoy reading my other product reviews below. And don't forget to sign up to get my weekly small business tips.
It's no secret that the interwebs are built on information. And the thing that's really cool about that is people are looking for all sorts of information -- they could be setting up a new business, trying to learn more about a product, figuring out how to learn a new skill or any number of millions of things. That's where you come in. :) Chances are, you've bought an information product or two (I don't even want to tell you how many I've bought in the last 10 years!) and if you think … [Read more...]
So you set up your business, got your email lists humming along, cranked up your wordpress blog, set up your Facebook profile and business page, and made sure you were able to claim your branded twitter handle. Whew! Makes me tired just writing that. :) The truth is, in addition to all the regular stuff you have to do to move your business forward, with social media things are much more hectic. Until now. … [Read more...]
When I was doing research for my book, Small Business Cash Flow, I asked small business owners how they were keeping track of the financials in their companies. The answer was pretty surprising -- about 50% didn't use software of any kind. They either did it manually (yes, pen and paper!) or used some type of spreadsheet. I truly don't understand why someone would do that when they could use software like QuickBooks to make their life easier and save them time to do important things like … [Read more...]
I don't know about you, but I like easy, reliable and affordable services for my business. And when I can save a few bucks, that means more gets added to my bottom line. That's one of the reasons I use Skype as my business phone service. A lot of people think Skype is just this free service that anyone can use to connect via voice or video over the internet. It definitely is that, but it's also much more. Skype is a full fledged VOIP phone service. You can actually get a phone number that … [Read more...]
Yep. It happened. I've been buying most of the stuff I own online for at least five years now. I am cautious about who I do business with and where I buy, but I buy something online every week and have never had any problems -- until last week. It was an old, established account that got my money (so to speak) and it was my own fault that it happened. Let me first say I absolutely believe it is safe to buy online. I actually think it's more of a danger to hand over your credit card to a … [Read more...]
I know you've heard of Amazon.com, but am not sure you've heard of their online -- in the clouds -- storage service called Amazon S3 (S3 = Simple Storage Service). Originally built for those wonderful tech geeks and developers among us who create very cool programs and applications to make our life simpler, Amazon S3 is not just for geeks anymore. … [Read more...]
I am so excited! I have a box full of computer headsets. None of which I like. They are either uncomfortable, or I can't hear, or people can't hear me, or, or, or... Until now. I've had getting a new computer headset on my "I want it" list for a while and am just not really good at shopping around. I'm not big on "in person" shopping at all and often there are so many choices online, it's tough to make a decision. Plus I like to hear about other people's experience with techno-gadgets before … [Read more...]
I've used an online fax service since 2007 and have been totally happy with it. If you're looking to ditch your fax machine and "go green" with faxes, it might be worthwhile to take a look at my online fax review. Recently Nextiva contacted me and asked if I'd take a look at their service. … [Read more...]
One of the things you don't want to have to worry about spending a bunch of time on in your business is keeping track of your financial transactions. But knowing your cash flow is critical to the health of your small business, so how do you find the balance? … [Read more...]