Tag: tools

Best Small Business Apps: 35 Must-Have Tools #business #ethics

#small business tools


Best Small Business Apps: 35 Must-Have Tools

As a small business owner, you need the right tools to help manage all the demands of that responsibility, from high-level strategic goals to the day-to-day operations.

Finding the right ones can create a chaotic process of trial and error. And with dozens of other things on your plate, I’m sure you’d rather spend your time accomplishing other things.

That’s why I wanted to put together this resource list.

I’ve broken down the tools into categories based on the type of assistance you’ll need. And as an added bonus: Each of the tools mentioned here will integrate directly into the FreshBooks platform, making it easier than ever to get the functionality and personalized workflow you need.

For a more in-depth look at how each of these tools can integrate into our platform and help your business grow, please visit our add-ons page .

Customer Support

Businesses die or thrive based on their level of customer support. It’s no wonder why you need a tool to make sure you never miss a beat with this part of the business.

Keep track of support tickets, questions and general communication with these great tools.

  • ZenDesk A customer support that also features self-service solutions for your customers.
  • HappyFox Practical help desk and customer support software solution.
  • Freshdesk Streamlined customer support software to make your customers happy.
  • ClickDesk A combination of solutions to help you manage customer interactions.

Expense Tracking

Small business owners can’t get by without keeping track of expenses. It’s a vital albeit often laborious part of running a business.

Having tools to assist you with the process of expense tracking can relieve some of the stress associated with it. Whether you need to keep track of miles, receipts or general expenses, make sure to check out these tools.

  • MileIQ A smart mileage tracker for business owners on the go.
  • Receipt Bank Removes the need for manual data entry by extracting key information.
  • Xpenditure Handles business expenses from receipts to accounting.
  • Automatic Hardware that connects your car to the rest of your digital life.


Managing relationships with customers and leads could mean the difference between explosive growth and steady decline. A good CRM helps you remember everything, from what you discussed in your last meeting to the names of your biggest customer’s children.

Use one of these great solutions to help you keep track of all the people in your life. It’ll help make them feel special, and it’ll help you knock the socks off of everyone at the next networking event.

  • Agile CRM Intelligent automation and marketing tools for an optimal CRM.
  • Batchbook Make sure every task gets done and every lead is followed up with.
  • Capsule A simple, effective and flexible CRM solution for small businesses.
  • Relenta Maximize every opportunity and get more done in less time.
  • Solve360 A modern CRM solution to help you manage what’s important.
  • You Don’t Need a CRM! Helps sales teams track and close leads without wasting time.

Connector Tools

I don’t know about you, but I love streamlining my day as much as possible.

And that’s why I love connector tools so much. They’re great for connecting the tools I use everyday to one another, which saves me tons of time throughout the week.

If you love efficiency, you’ll definitely want to check out some of these solutions.

  • Zapier Connect the apps you use everyday and automate tasks to get more done.
  • itDuzzit Save time by syncing data across cloud applications.
  • OneSaas Automatically share data between multiple apps you use everyday.
  • IFTTT Another app to help sync apps and automate your daily tasks.

Project Management

Keeping track of projects from start to finish ensures you don’t miss an important step along the way. And online project management tools assist you with this process.

Don’t find yourself embarrassed and missing an element of your project every again. Use one of these tools to keep track throughout the entire project.

  • Podio Organize and connect everything you work with.
  • Basecamp Keep your team on the same page and work together to finish projects.
  • Autotask A complete IT business management solution.
  • ClientSpot Organize clients, projects and deadlines into one simple system.


While word-of-mouth and referrals are great, most business will need a strong marketing strategy to generate leads on a regular basis. From content marketing to email marketing. each piece of the puzzle is vitally important.

Equip yourself with tools like these to get the most out of your next campaign.

  • Mailchimp A simple email marketing solution for small businesses.
  • ActiveCampaign An all-in-one marketing platform to help you grow your business.
  • Benchmark Easily manage email marketing campaigns.
  • Hubspot Inbound marketing and sales management solution.

Generating Leads

A small business couldn’t exist without a constant stream of leads and sales. If you’re not using the right tools, you’ll never be able to reach your fullest potential in this area.

This section can help you with everything from the initial live chat to sending over a proposal for services. If you’re looking for a way to streamline your sales process and reach your goal numbers, look no further:

  • Bidsketch Create professional client proposals in minutes.
  • Wufoo Easily build and manage your online forms.
  • Quote Roller All-in-one CPQ, proposal and contract management software.
  • Live Chat A live chat solution to reach out to potential customers in real time.
  • Proposify A simple, streamlined way to deliver winning proposals to potential clients.
  • 123ContactForm Build user-friendly online forms that get results.
  • Acuity Scheduling Automate your client bookings, cancellations, reminders.

Workforce Management

Small businesses with a mobile workforce need tools to track and manage customers and technicians. In fact, handling service requests can mean the difference between success and failure for these types of companies.

These tools will make sure you get the job done in an efficient, thorough manner.

  • GeoOp An easy-to-use, low-cost job management service.
  • Blue Folder Streamlined service management software for mobile teams.

The right tools can take your small business to the next level, and I hope this list helps you find the right ones for your company. If you found this post helpful, please take a moment to share it so other small business owners can benefit from it too.

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Small Business Financial Tools: Free Startup Budget Template and Guide #business #images

#small business startup


Essential Small Business Financial Tools: Free Startup Budget Template and Guide

Creating a startup budget is one of the most important tasks a new business owner will undertake. A startup budget serves as a roadmap for the business. It can help you understand where the business is going and whether you’re on the right path. The cost of starting a company varies widely, so it is critical to create an accurate and realistic startup budget specifically tailored to your business.

There are many reasons to create a startup budget. The main reasons are to figure out how much money you have, how much you will spend, and how much revenue you will need to meet your business goals. A startup budget is usually a key component of your business plan and is useful when applying for a loan or pitching to investors. It explains how your business will spend its resources to reach its goals.

Business owners should always refer to their budget before making important business expenditures. This helps to make sure they can afford to spend the money. Decisions such as purchasing new machinery or whether to expand operations should only be made after checking to make sure it fits into your budget. You can adjust your budget as needed over time, but make sure to stick to those changes.

Determining a business startup costs is critical to ensure enough cash is available to begin business operations on time and within the allotted budget. A startup budget usually covers the period leading up to the commencement of operations. It should only include costs that are necessary to start the business. Use this budget to be on the lookout for areas where you can save money .

Startup costs typically fall within two categories: monthly costs and one-time costs.

Monthly costs cover expenses that are incurred each month on a recurring basis. such as employee salaries, lease payments and utilities. One-time costs are expenses that are incurred only once during the startup period. Examples of one-time costs include the purchase of a building, computer equipment and consultant fees.

This startup budget template can be downloaded and used for any type of business. It should be customized to include the specific cost items that apply to the company.

To fill out this spreadsheet, determine the number of months the startup period will cover. Next, enter the applicable costs into their respective cells. The total amounts will automatically populate based on the embedded formulas. Once completed, you will be able to view an itemized list of your business’ startup costs. An example startup budget is also included to help guide you through the process.

Starting a business can be difficult and overwhelming. By taking the time to create an accurate startup budget now, you can give your business the best chance of succeeding in the future.

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Online Stock Trading and Stock Trading Tools #how #to #finance #a #business

#stock market websites


Scottrade Client Website for Online Trading

Scottrade received the highest numerical score in the J. D. Power 2016 Self-Directed Investor Satisfaction Study, based on 4,242 responses measuring 13 firms and the experiences and perceptions of investors who use self-directed investment firms, surveyed in January 2016. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com .

Authorized account login and access indicates customer’s consent to the Brokerage Account Agreement. Such consent is effective at all times when using this site.

Unauthorized access is prohibited.

Scottrade, Inc. and Scottrade Bank are separate but affiliated companies and are wholly owned subsidiaries of Scottrade Financial Services, Inc. Brokerage products and services offered by Scottrade, Inc. – Member FINRA and SIPC. Deposit products and services offered by Scottrade Bank, Member FDIC .

Brokerage products are not insured by the FDIC — are not deposits or other obligations of the bank and are not guaranteed by the bank — are subject to investment risks, including possible loss of the principal invested.

All investing involves risk. The value of your investment may fluctuate over time, and you may gain or lose money.

Online market and limit stock trades are just $7 for stocks priced $1 and above. Additional charges may apply for stocks priced under $1, mutual fund and option transactions. Detailed information on our fees can be found in the Explanation of Fees (PDF).

You must have $500 in equity in an Individual, Joint, Trust, IRA, Roth IRA, or SEP IRA account with Scottrade to be eligible for a Scottrade Bank® account. In this instance, equity is defined as Total Brokerage Account Value minus Recent Brokerage Deposits on Hold.

The performance data quoted represents past performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results. The research, tools and information provided will not include every security available to the public. Although the sources of the research tools provided on this website are believed to be reliable, Scottrade makes no warranty with respect to the contents, accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability or reliability of the information. Information on this website is for informational use only and should not be considered investment advice or recommendation to invest.

Scottrade does not charge setup, inactivity or annual maintenance fees. Applicable transaction fees still apply.

Scottrade does not provide tax advice. The material provided is for informational purposes only. Please consult your tax or legal advisor for questions concerning your personal tax or financial situation.

Any specific securities, or types of securities, used as examples are for demonstration purposes only. None of the information provided should be considered a recommendation or solicitation to invest in, or liquidate, a particular security or type of security.

Investors should consider the investment objectives, charges, expense, and unique risk profile of an exchange-traded fund (ETF) before investing. A prospectus contains this and other information about the fund and may be obtained online or by contacting Scottrade. The prospectus should be read carefully before investing.

Leveraged and inverse ETFs may not be suitable for all investors and may increase exposure to volatility through the use of leverage, short sales of securities, derivatives and other complex investment strategies. These funds’ performance will likely be significantly different than their benchmark over periods of more than one day, and their performance over time may in fact trend opposite of their benchmark. Investors should monitor these holdings, consistent with their strategies, as frequently as daily.

Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of a mutual fund before investing. A prospectus contains this and other information about the fund and may be obtained online or by contacting Scottrade. The prospectus should be read carefully before investing. No-transaction-fee (NTF) funds are subject to the terms and conditions of the NTF funds program. Scottrade is compensated by the funds participating in the NTF program through recordkeeping, shareholder or SEC 12b-1 fees.

Margin trading involves interest charges and risks, including the potential to lose more than deposited or the need to deposit additional collateral in a falling market. The Margin Disclosure Statement and Agreement (PDF) is available for download, or it is available at one of our branch offices. It contains information on our lending policies, interest charges, and the risks associated with margin accounts.

Options involve risk and are not suitable for all investors. Detailed information on our policies and the risks associated with options can be found in the Scottrade ® Options Application and Agreement. Brokerage Account Agreement. by downloading the Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options and Supplements (PDF) from The Options Clearing Corporation, or by requesting a copy by contacting Scottrade. Supporting documentation for any claims will be supplied upon request. Consult with your tax advisor for information on how taxes may affect the outcome of these strategies. Keep in mind, profit will be reduced or loss worsened, as applicable, by the deduction of commissions and fees.

Market volatility, volume and system availability may impact account access and trade execution.

Keep in mind that while diversification may help spread risk, it does not assure a profit, or protect against loss, in a down market.

Scottrade®, the Scottrade® logo and all other trademarks, whether registered or unregistered, are the property of Scottrade, Inc. and its affiliates.

Hyperlinks to third-party websites contain information that may be of interest or use to the reader. Third-party websites, research and tools are from sources deemed reliable. Scottrade does not guarantee accuracy or completeness of the information and makes no assurances with respect to results to be obtained from their use.

© 2016 Scottrade, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Business Process Modeling Tools (BPMN) #free #business #listing

#business process modeling


Business Process Modeling Tools (BPMN)

Visualize business workflows. Communicate business process ideas
with BPMN business process diagrams.

BPMN Business Process Diagram

Knowing how the business operates is the first and the most critical step of business process improvement. Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN), provides a graphical representation of business workflows that anyone, from business analyst to stakeholder, can easily understand; aiding in business process analysis and business process improvements.

Document working procedure for task/sub process

Write step-by-step working procedures to each of the business activity in business process diagram.

Drill-down sub process

Business process modeling with abstraction by maintaining multiple process diagram layers. Easily drill down a sub process right on the spot.

Collapsible sub process shape

Easily collapse sub process to hide the details, expand it to view the internal workflow in thumbnail.

Shared states among data object shapes

Model the change of data object state by maintaining a unique set of states per data object.

Automatic sequence and message flow correction

Automatically convert sequence flow to message flow, or the other way round when a wrong type of flow is used.

BPMN conversation diagram

Conversation diagrams visualize messages exchange between pools.

Generate to-be process diagram from as-is diagram

Generate to-be business process model from the as-is process model, and keep the two models connected.

Select all shapes in a direction

Use the Handi-Selection tool to select a range of shapes. For example, select all shapes on right hand side of mouse cursor position.

Select all shapes in same type

Improve business process modeling efficiency by selecting all workflow elements in same type.

Identify workflow elements from textual analysis

Discover pools, lanes and tasks of process from text document, with the help of textual analysis.

Process statistic

Show the number of message flows, total process costs and total processing of hours of a business process.

Export BPMN 2.0

Export BPMN business process diagrams to standard BPMN 2.0 XML format.

Import BPMN 2.0

Form business process diagrams from BPMN 2.0 XML by importing it into Visual Paradigm.

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Top Business Intelligence (BI) Tools – 2016 Reviews & Pricing #small #business #banking

#business intelligence tools


Compare Business Intelligence (BI) Software Tools

Business intelligence (BI) software has gained considerable traction since its introduction as “decision support systems” in the 1960s. Today, there are over 100 BI software companies selling some type of business intelligence tool. We put together this buyer’s guide to help buyers understand the market. In this guide, we’ll review:

What Is Business Intelligence Software?

BI software helps organizations organize and analyze data to make better decisions. This could include internal data from company departments as well as from external sources, such as marketing data services, social media channels or even macroeconomic information.

The BI market is growing rapidly because of the proliferation of data to analyze. Over the past few decades, companies that have deployed Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and other applications are now sitting on a mountain of data that can be analyzed. In addition, the growth of the Web has increased the demand for tools that can analyze large data sets.

One of the biggest trends in the BI market is the shift in software architecture and design to more user-friendly applications. These applications are now being used by business users not just IT staff to analyze particular sets of departmental data, including marketing, procurement, retail and Web data.

Common Features of Business Intelligence Software

BI software can be divided into three broad application categories: data management tools, data discovery applications and reporting tools (including dashboards and visualization software). In the next section, we’ll explain how these applications can help your organization’s decision-making process become more data-driven.

What BI tools you need depends on how your data is currently managed and how you would like to analyze it. For example, if it is currently scattered across disparate transactional databases, you might need to build a data warehouse to centralize it and invest in data management tools that offer Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) functionality to move and re-structure it.

Once data is given a common structure and format, you can invest in data discovery solutions such as Online Analytical Processing (OLAP), data mining and semantic or text mining applications, with the capability to create custom, ad hoc reports. And because information is stored within the warehouse, users can quickly pull reports without impacting the performance of the organization s software applications, such as CRM, ERP and supply chain management solutions.

We ve illustrated this concept in the image below:

But this isn t the only way to implement BI within your organization. If you re only analyzing data from a single source, ETL and data warehouses are unnecessary. Alternatively, you might require multiple warehouses, and thus, require different tools to connect data between both these servers and other BI applications that need access to this data.

We’ll cover these in detail in the next section, but in general, the features you should seek in a new BI solution should include:

  • Data quality management
  • Extract, transform and load (ETL)
  • Data mining
  • Online analytical processing (OLAP)
  • Predictive analytics
  • Semantic and text analytics
  • Visualizations
  • Dashboards
  • Report writers
  • Scorecarding

Top Business Intelligence Tools

This table will help you understand some of the top BI tools available on the market today.

BI Tools Comparison

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Top 5 Small Business Tools #cheap #business #insurance

#small business tools


Top 5 Small Business Tools

Being your own boss can mean being your own marketing department, public relations team or sales squad you name it, small business owners often end up handling it themselves, at least at some point. With so many hats to wear, you need to make every second count.

Luckily, there are plenty of tools out there that can streamline tasks, boost productivity and, in sum, save lots of time and money. Since I travel frequently, I ve built up a list of favorites that help me prioritize when I m short on time and that get me where I need to go as quickly as possible. Most of these services are free, and all of them do a fantastic job addressing the everyday challenges that small business owners face. What s not to love?

Buffer — Social media made easy

This user-friendly social media management tool helps me distribute content across major channels Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. with minimum hassle. It lets me schedule posts in advance, selecting prime times to optimize my reach, which is especially helpful when I m away from my computer or traveling. And it allows me to leverage analytics to improve my engagement rates, as well as add clean visual elements, perfectly formatted for each different channel, through its intuitive Pablo tool.

You can use Buffer as a browser extension or handle your social media on the go through the mobile app for iOS and Android. It s free for individuals, but Buffer offers upgraded packages starting at $10 a month to cover multiple profiles, teams and agencies. Sleeker and easier for beginners than tools like Hootsuite, Buffer simplifies the management aspect so you ve got more time to hone your message.

Outlook — Smarter inbox, smarter email

I don t spend enough time on email, said no small business owner ever. Managing and organizing an email inbox can be one of the biggest time wasters entrepreneurs face. That s why I use Microsoft Outlook to either delete, respond, drag to, task or process all mail. Never keep email in your inbox. It creates unnecessary stress and leaves you always feeling behind. Most people use folders, but that s highly inefficient. Processing mail immediately helps me prioritize and label every email that comes my way. This eliminates the need for folders (and trying to determine which one an email should be assigned to), by allowing me to label each email with one or many categories of my choosing. This makes them simple to find when the time comes.

OnStar — Your car as your ally

Since many newer cars include a free trial of OnStar, people already know about many features it offers: a turn-by-turn navigation system, a mobile hotspot, a diagnostics system, and services such as emergency response, stolen vehicle and roadside assistance. When I m on the road, OnStar is my go-to. I rely on its excellent AtYourService tool, which comes at no extra cost with my Guidance Plan. With a press of OnStar s blue button, I can connect to a live adviser for assistance in looking up destination addresses, finding nearby gas stations, making restaurant reservations and even booking hotel rooms. There s a mobile app as well.

Waze — Savvy navigation

There s nothing more frustrating than wasting time in a traffic jam especially here in the Seattle area. Enter Waze . a community-based navigation app that issues turn-by-turn voice directions and provides road alerts before you get stuck in a back-up. When you enter a new destination and leave the app open on your phone, it contributes passively to traffic data, but app users can also actively share information, pointing out cheap prices at gas stations, reporting accidents and editing maps to update local road data. Available free for iOS, Android and Windows Phones, this handy app saves me time, gas money and headaches.

TripIt — Taming your travel itinerary

Gone are the days of shuffling through reams of printed travel reservations or even searching through multiple emails, for that matter. TripIt consolidates confirmations for flights, hotels, car rentals and restaurant bookings into an easy-to-digest master itinerary that I synchronize with my calendar or share selectively with colleagues or family. The free app allows me to access all my info on most of my devices, even offline.

For $49 annually, you can upgrade TripIt to receive real-time travel alerts, alternative flight route information, notifications for potential seat upgrades and frequent-flyer point tracking. TripIt also offers group packages to coordinate itineraries for whole teams, with master calendars and expense tracking.

Saving time for what really matters

These tools leverage technology so that you don t lose time that s critical to your business success. You can turn your car into your office, and you can use the spare minutes you spend waiting in line for coffee or to board a plane to knock out key communications. The more effectively you work, and the more time you save, the more you can concentrate on the aspects of your business (and life) that are near and dear to your heart. For me, that s what it all boils down to.

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Window Cleaning Coach: How to Start a Window Washing Business, Tips, Advice, Training, Tools,

#window cleaning business


Hi, my name is Dave and I run my own successful window cleaning business called ShineTime in Birmingham, England.

The reason I’ve created this website is because I found that there was a lack of free information on setting up your own window cleaning business when I first started.

Instead I found there are a lot of opportunist window cleaners on the internet who are selling their knowledge (you can’t blame them really can you).

I realise when you’re setting up your own business funds are tight, so I’ve decided to give my expertise away for free.

The reason for this generosity you might ask? Well window cleaning helped me out of a tight spot: I was working in a dead-end factory for minimum wage and wasn’t too happy about the situation.

I finally decided to start my own window cleaning business, and after a lot of trial and error my business became successful. I want to help other people thinking of starting their own window cleaning company avoid some of the mistakes I made when I first started by doing this informative website.

Let’s get one thing straight, being a window cleaner is a horrible job: in Winter you feel like your hands are going to drop off, if you’re working by yourself it can become very lonely, and sometimes your customers can give you hassle. As you’re the head of the company you’re the one who has to deal with troublesome customers because there’s nobody to pass the blame onto.

It’s not easy either, most people seem to think it’s just a case of buying a bucket, getting a chammy and you’re away. Sadly there’s a lot of competition out there, it’s highly likely you’ll find all the best areas where you live (the posh ones that make you the most money) are taken.

You have to be prepared to work hard to build up your round and be able to discipline yourself because there’s no boss to kick you up the arse when you feel like having an impromptu day off. It’s very easy to slip into the habit of thinking: I can’t be bothered with it today. or I think I’ll knock off early .

It’s good to have the freedom that only comes with being your own boss, but it still doesn’t mean you can spend every other day in bed. Disappointing I know, but that’s life.

I want to make it clear that not everybody is suited to self-employment, some people need a person watching over them to make them work. If this is a description of you then you probably shouldn’t bother wasting anymore of your time on this site. Instead, you may want to consider looking for other cleaning jobs first to get some experience and see if a window cleaning career is really for you.

Despite all the drawbacks however, I believe if you’re desperate, i.e. stuck in a job you absolutely hate, or unemployed and on the dole, then window cleaning could be for you because it’s a realistic way of making a respectable living for a person who has no other options, just don’t expect to be driving around in a Bentley anytime soon.

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The BIG list of today – s marketing channels – Smart Insights #best #online


Free Digital Planning Templates

The BIG list of today s marketing channels

120+ content delivery and marketing channels that marketers need to manage today

The current focus on multichannel and omnichannel strategies. highlights the need to prioritise investment on the relevant marketing channels for a company. It’s not practical for most to manage all channels and certainly you need to prioritise resources on the channels which will give the best returns. Should you focus on digital marketing channels? Or can offline channels still deliver good ROI? To help the process of channel review and selection, I have developed this list as a starting point for a comprehensive view on all current channels available to organisations.

List of all marketing, service, delivery and transactional channels

Here is my initial list of channels, you can see I have categorised each channel. Please review the channel list and let me know if key channels are missing. I’m hoping this will be a comprehensive list that can be used for strategic review, so I have provided it as a Google Docs spreadsheet list of all channels as a the list to be complete and updated regularly. Please let me know what you think!

View the Google Docs Spreadsheet: List of all channels (commenting enabled)

How to select the right channels?

With so many marketing channels; so little time the idea of using such a list is to:

  • Review performance of channels currently used
  • Score other potential channels for market fit and potential returns
  • Select new mix of channels for managing

Deciding which channels to use for what purposes is a critical element of business strategy regardless of whether you’re an Marketer in a B2B or B2C firm. Get it right and you can reap the rewards of reaching and retaining your customers. Get it wrong and you could spend a lot time and money trying to either persuade customers to shift channels or chasing a market that isn’t there.

Tealeaf researched consumer channel choice in a typical purchase journey. As you’ll see there is a large gap between the channel leaders and the lagards. However this gap may well have closed since the research was carried out back in 2012:

Channel choice by consumers for research and purchase

Customer research and journey mapping is key to identify which marketing channels to pursue. However what is critical is that you build up a set of core services (CRM, order management and product offers) that all of your channels can consume. Having these core services available will allow your business to quickly roll out services on emerging marketing channels.

Multichannel and omnichannel definitions

Based on the commonly used definitions; multichannel is considered the use of more than one channel for transaction or delivery. Often one channel is digital and the other physical (stores and an ecommerce website). Omnichannel is defined as the use of all channels available for service, distribution and transaction within a unified experience.

Given the breadth of channel availability for marketing, it is not necessary to distinguish multichannel and omnichannel.

How do you choose relevant marketing channels?

Please do review the channel list and let me know if any channel is missing. I want the list to be complete and updated regularly.

Also, how does your firm select relevant channels to invest in? Do you go after everything or have you taken a conservative approach? Let me know in the comments.

By David Sealey

David is a regular contributor to Smart Insights and other blogs. He typically writes about strategy, innovation and optimisation in digital marketing. David is currently Head of Digital Consulting at CACI. You can read more of David’s work at Storm81 .

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Conduct Online Surveys using Opinio, customer service tools.#Customer #service #tools


customer service tools

Design, publish, and manage all your surveys using one of the markets most powerful survey software.

  • Construct and publish your surveys in minutes
  • 100% web based, you only need your web browser
  • Increase response rates using automatic email reminders
  • Installed and hosted solutions available


  • Customer feedback
  • Employee satisfaction
  • Service evaluations
  • Product evaluations
  • Market research
  • Medical research
  • Course evaluations
  • Thesis research
  • Research classes
  • Online tests
  • Event invitations
  • Helpdesk evaluations


Following an extensive market scan, Opinio, from ObjectPlanet was selected. Opino far outweighed its competitors and was the obvious choice for Deakin. Overall Opinio is an excellent on-line survey system, with ObjectPlanet providing quality and timely support [read more. ]

– Helen Jacob, Manager, Evaluation and Surveys, Deakin University


Integrate Opinio with your existing information systems, extend it with customized functionality, and brand your surveys.

  • LDAP plugin modules available
  • Custom plugin development available
  • Extensive plugin API for customization
  • Company branding of survey forms


With over 250 members conducting hundreds of surveys over a span of more than two years, there is no question that Opinio has rapidly become an extremely popular service at Dalhousie University [read more. ]

– Poh Chua, Data Management Consultant, Information Technology Services, Dalhousie University


You can inspect the results of your survey as soon as responses start coming in.

  • Real-time reporting and data inspection
  • Drill down in reports to reveal details
  • Export to Excel or SPSS for further analysis


Not only have we seen an increase in response rate, the time for survey administration is significantly reduced and the data obtained from Opinio is clean and coded [read more. ]

– Gary Doucette, Manager of Management Information Systems, St. Francis Xavier University

Please note that the login information is sent to your email address.

Did you type in your correct email address?

Opinio supports multiple users, multilingual surveys, survey collaboration, powerful features such as skip logic and piping, and a highly scalable architecture so it will cover the survey needs for everyone in your organization.

Mobile Surveys

Conduct mobile surveys and interviews using Opinio and your iPhone Customer service tools

The Survey Future

Opinio How-To Guides

See Product Video

Survey Samples

Hosted or installed?

Easy survey creation

Customizable survey forms

Small needs or large needs?

Complete set of tools

Opinio comes with a complete set of survey tools for all your needs. Customer service tools

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25 Best Business Software Tools and Web Services #catchy #business #names

#business software


25 Best Business Software Tools and Web Services

Anyone who says their business “runs itself” probably owes a great debt of gratitude to a small army of software applications and Web services that tirelessly feeds the machine from behind the scenes. From creating and storing documents and staying on top of e-mail to keeping the books and getting teams working together, it takes a lot of code to run a business, or at least to run it well. But setting up your company isn’t as easy as just fishing apps out of a barrel. You want the best you can get, and at a price that isn’t through the roof.

With capability and frugality firmly in mind, we rounded up 25 of our favorite software tools and Web services that we deem the best for powering small and medium-size businesses. Of course, not every business needs every type of program or service, but if your small business could use some help in any of the categories below, our list will give you a pretty good shot at picking a winner.

Accounting Software

The flowchart-based accounting of QuickBooks is as close to a standard in financial management as the small-business world has, and it’s arguably the easiest way for nonprofessionals to transfer their books from the filing cabinet to the computer, where they belong. Most actions, from cutting a check to billing a client, are just a click or two away from the start screen. ($200)

Backup and Recovery

You can (and should) regularly back up files to an external hard drive or NAS (network-attached storage) de­­vice in your office–but what if the whole place goes up in smoke? Hedge your bet with an online backup service like Mozy, which automatically archives whatever you’d like across the Internet, safe and sound. Just select what you want backed up, and Mozy does the rest, either in bulk while you sleep, or in real time, as files are changed. ($5 per month for unlimited service)

Blogging Tool

If your business still doesn’t have a blog–one of the best ways around to provide up-to-date company and product news–you’re only about three years behind the curve. Hey, it’s not too late to catch up: WordPress installs in minutes (it even offers a free, hosted option on WordPress.com), and the platform is dazzlingly easy to use (the site’s home page carries an ad for WordPress for Dummies. but we doubt you’ll need to crack that volume). WordPress so simple, your team will be begging to contribute to the blog instead of whining that it’s too laborious. (free)


Mozilla’s Thunderbird (our e-mail pick; see that category below) lacks a calendar, so most business users rely on the equally free Sunbird for scheduling. It’s a very straightforward application, with day, week, and month views, and even a publishing feature to enable sending your calendar to a Web site, should you wish to make it public. Get the Lightning plug-in to integrate Sunbird directly with Thunderbird. (free)


With Vyew, anyone can host an Internet session that lets scattered colleagues work together on a project in real time. This Web conferencing platform gives you a very simple whiteboard where you can upload documents for discussion, share your desktop, or create designs from scratch. You don’t even have to register to use Vyew, but if you do, you get access to VoIP and other audio services. (free for up to 20 live participants; additional services extra)

Collaboration/Office Suite

If your team members all have Google accounts (and why wouldn’t they?), sharing files and collaborating on them simultaneously and in real-time is a snap with Google Docs. A word processor and spreadsheet are your only choices–no free-form whiteboarding here–but the service is free and easy as pie to operate. Upgrading to the Premier Edition brings extra space (a 25GB limit versus 7GB for free) and a conference-room scheduling system. (Standard Edition is free)


Customer relationship management isn’t just for the Fortune 500. Even one-person shops can benefit from a more ordered approach to managing the sales process, tracking leads, and ensuring that follow-ups are done in a timely fashion. Salesforce.com requires some training and patience due to its vastness, but its exhaustive feature set and affordable pricing options make it a business must-have. ($8.25 to $250 per user per month)

25 Best Business Software Tools and Web.

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