Tag: tools

Top Business Intelligence (BI) Tools – 2016 Reviews & Pricing #get #a #business #loan

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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 #internet #businesses

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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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Business Process Modeling tools for the Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) – Enterprise Architect BPMN software #music #business #degree

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Tools for Business Process Modeling using the BPMN

Business Process Modeling is an important part of understanding and restructuring the activities and information a typical enterprise uses to achieve its business goals. With a modeling tool like Enterprise Architect. you can model, document and restructure those processes and information flows using industry standard UML and the Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN). Best of all, the process designs and models can be used to drive process re-structuring and software development .

With EA you can:

  • Model business processes with industry standard UML
  • Easily take advantage of the Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN)
  • Model processes. information flows and data stores
  • Manage requirements at a very detailed level
  • Take advantage of UML Profiles for business process modeling
  • Reverse engineer legacy code and database models
  • Produce great looking reports in standard RTF and HTML format
  • Connect your business process model to use case and software design models for end to end traceability

MDG Technology brings BPMN support to Enterprise Architect
The BPMN Add-in for Enterprise Architect provides a full-featured implementation of the Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN). This allows business processes to be expressed in a standard graphical notation.

Business Process Modeling is the discipline of defining and outlining business practices, processes, information flows, data stores and systems. BPM often involves using a notation such as UML to capture graphical representations of the major processes, flows and stores.

UML provides activity. state. object and class diagrams to capture important business processes and artifacts. More detailed BPM models can easily be built using UML Profiles. Sparx Systems has available for download a detailed UML Profile for Business Process Modeling based on the extensions defined by Hans-Erik Eriksson and Magnus Penker in their book, Business Modeling with UML . This profile is used to define a set of stereotypes for working with Business Activities, Processes, Objects and Information flows.

BPM differs from software system modeling in a number of important ways. The key difference between system modeling in UML and Business Process Modeling is that the emphasis on how the work is done within an organization, rather than what work is done. It is an important tool in understanding the activities a business undertakes, and the kind of information it needs to successfully engage in those activities. Enterprise Architect can help you identify and document processes within a business, and identify which business processes can be managed more effectively. Also, they serve the important function of situating new and existing software systems within the business context.

Enterprise Architect is ideally suited to capturing and documenting your business process models. Best of all, the models you create in EA can then be used to drive the requirements, use cases, analysis and design phases of new software development projects, all with complete traceability back to your original BPM.





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5 Open Source Business Intelligence Tools #sba #loan #programs

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5 Open Source Business Intelligence Tools

It’s impossible to imagine making good business decisions without the right information to back up the decision making process. Business intelligence (BI) tools help by making it easy to extract and understand the information that you need from the mass of business data that you collect and store. In other words, they can help turn piles of data into meaningful insights that help you run your business. Because the potential business benefits of a good business intelligence tool are so great, it’s not surprising that plenty of big-name vendors such as Microsoft, IBM, Oracle and SAS provide excellent proprietary business intelligence software — though sometimes at a significant price. Less well-known companies with strong BI offerings include Panorama Software, Tableau Software and Qlik. There are also a large number of powerful open source BI solutions – both free and commercial – which can be used as provided, or as base code which can be customized to suit your organization. These open source tools have typically been adopted by small and medium sized companies rather than large enterprises, but some are gaining acceptance in the large enterprise space.

5 Open Source Business Intelligence Tools

Many companies use business intelligence software from big-name vendors like Microsoft, Oracle, IBM and SAS and/or applications from smaller BI specialists like Qlik and Tableau Software. But it’s worth considering open source BI applications, which can offer low cost, ease of customization and other benefits. We’ve highlighted several open source business intelligence solutions – both free and commercial versions – which can be used as provided, or as base code which can be customized to suit your organization.

Jaspersoft

Jaspersoft was a top commercial open source software vendor focused on business intelligence, including data visualization, reporting and analytics – until it was purchased by Tibco Software in April.

Its BI software suite, now called Tibco Jaspersoft, is still available in a free community edition, which includes a report designer, a reporting engine, a server repository, report scheduling and mobile BI, along with community forums and a wiki for support.

Available in commercially licensed versions are a cloud-based offering (with pricing starting at less than $1 per hour), as well as more comprehensive Express, Professional and Enterprise editions that include features like interactive visualization and drag-and-drop report designing.

Pentaho

Pentaho offers a free community edition of its business analytics suite, which includes business analytics as well as data integration, a report designer and a marketplace of plugins developed by the community to extend the capabilities of the Pentaho platform.

The company promotes this as an entry-level tool that can be used for testing and evaluation before upgrading to the full commercial product, which includes visual analysis, predictive modeling, dashboards and a mobile element. Download Pentaho Community Edition

BIRT

BIRT is an open source software project that provides the BIRT technology platform to create data visualizations and reports that can be embedded into rich client and Web applications, especially those based on Java and Java EE.

BIRT is a top-level software project within the Eclipse Foundation. an independent not-for-profit consortium of software industry vendors and an open source community.

The project is sponsored by Actuate along with contributions from IBM and Innovent Solutions and support is available from the BIRT Developer Center .

RapidMiner

RapidMiner is a code-free analytics platform for data mining, machine learning and predictive analytics. This means you can design your data analysis routines visually and speed up delivery by eliminating the need to write code.

It works with a range of data formats including Hadoop, CSV, Excel, Oracle and MySQL. It can be extended with additional plugins created by open source developers in the community, and available in an extensions marketplace.

The Starter Edition is free and allows access to Excel and CSV data. Personal, Professional and Enterprise Editions are also available from $999.

You can download RapidMiner 5.3 from Sourceforge, and the more up to date RapidMiner 6 from RapidMiner’s website .

SpagoBI

SpagoBI styles itself as the only 100 percent open source, complete business intelligence suite. Its modular architecture, based on open standards, allows easy customization and integration into legacy environments .

Supporting professional services are provided by Engineering Group. the company managing the project on an ad-hoc basis. A one year maintenance subscription, including support, is available from Euros 5000 ($6,250 U.S.) per year.

Other Open Source Business Intelligence Options

Other open source BI tools include:

KNIME is a completely free open source, enterprise-grade analytics platform. Download KNIME .

TACTIC is an open source asset management platform that can connect to most corporate systems, offering workflow and project management and business process management, as well as business intelligence. Download TACTIC





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Coming Soon: New Instagram Business Tools – Instagram for Business #dallas #business #journal

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Welcome to the Instagram for Business blog. See how businesses of all sizes around the world are inspiring people with their stories, and get the latest news from Instagram HQ.

Instagram is a place where people can turn their passions into livelihoods. For instance, handmade accessory business JACKSON AND HYDE started an account a year and a half ago to raise awareness of its wares. Instagram has been critical for brand exposure, dialogue with new and potential customers and being discovered by partners and retailers, Genevieve Monroe, the CEO and co-Founder tells us. And other companies, like eCommerce business Caeden. are taking advantage of Instagram advertising to expand beyond their current following and find new customers.

With so many companies using Instagram, and many people on the platform interacting with them, there was a desire from our business community to do more. So we listened. And, after hundreds of interviews with businesses, three key needs became clear stand out, get insights and find new customers.

First, businesses want the ability to stand out on Instagram. Many companies, including a furniture store in San Francisco, shared that it would be easier for customers to email questions because comments are hard to track and take time to sift through. Second, businesses want a simple way to get insights. A retailer in Austin explained that many analytics are overwhelming and hard to apply to its marketing. And third, businesses want to reach even more customers. A do-it-yourself craft shop in New York City mentioned it s always looking for quick ways to fill seats in class.

With these insights in mind, we set out to make Instagram work even better for businesses. So today, we re excited to unveil our new Instagram Business Tools.

Business profiles are a free feature for accounts wanting to be recognized as a business on Instagram. With a business profile, businesses can choose how they want their customers to get in touch with them: call, text or email with a tap of the contact button as well as get directions. Business profiles also unlock access to insights and the ability to promote.

Insights on Instagram give businesses actionable information about who their followers are and which posts resonate better than others all from within the mobile app. By learning more about the behavior and demographics of your audience, you can create more relevant and timely content.

The ability to promote lets you turn well-performing posts into ads right within the app helping you connect with even more customers. Simply pick a post you ve already shared on Instagram and add a button encouraging people to take action. You can select a target audience or allow Instagram to suggest targeting for you. After that, your post will be promoted as an ad for any length of time you choose.

With these new business tools on Instagram, the furniture store in San Francisco can receive emails from customers saving valuable time responding. The retailer in Austin can better understand its audience, tailor its content and refine its marketing strategy even beyond digital. And the do-it-yourself craft shop in New York City can quickly fill a seat, move a product or get people into its store with ads on mobile.

These business tools are just some of the ways we hope to make growing a business on Instagram that much easier. Business profiles, insights and the ability to promote will be rolling out in the US, Australia and New Zealand in the coming months, and will be available in all regions globally by the end of the year.

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12 Cool Web Tools for Small Business #work #from #home #business #ideas

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Find Out Who is Visiting Your Website

Demandbase lets you know when those blue-chip customers are knocking at your virtual door. Its free real-time ticker analyzes your visitors’ IP addresses and compares them with information from sources such as Dun & Bradstreet and LexisNexis. With those data, Demandbase can tell you the names of the companies at which many of your visitors work. Click on a company name, and Demandbase will sell you the name and contact information for a lead at that company. Demandbase has been called the iTunes of CRM, and it’s almost as affordable: The average cost per lead is just $1.80.

Calendar, Meet Social Networking

LuckyCal aims to make it easier for you to meet up with friends or business contacts. The free Web tool, which launched in December, integrates your work and personal calendars with those of your employees, friends, and business associates (as long as they give you permission). The main benefit could be for road-weary sales teams; LuckyCal will scan your colleagues’ and clients’ Outlook calendars and Facebook profiles and e-mail you when they are in your area. LuckyCal plans to charge for an enterprise version that launches later this year.

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Three new software programs can help companies cut carbon emissions. Edison (verdiem.com/edison), CO2 Saver (co2saver.snap.com), and Carbon Control Software (carboncontrolsoftware.com) all use Windows power settings to reduce the energy consumed by computers while they are idle. All the programs provide information on how much carbon you have saved, and Edison estimates how much money you have saved as well. The personal versions of the programs are free. Carbon Control Software’s business version costs $10.50 and up per license per year and Verdiem, the maker of Edison, has a corporate version that sells for $20 per computer per year. It may be worth the price: Globally, IT infrastructure emits as much carbon as the aviation industry, according to research firm Gartner.

Ditch That Phone Tree

Fonolo.com has mapped out the automated customer service phone trees of 200 companies. Log on, click on the department you want to reach (reservations at American Airlines, for example), and Fonolo will make the call, navigate the system, and call you when it has reached your desired department. When we used it to call Citibank, it connected us with a rep in less than 20 seconds, compared with two minutes when calling directly. Fonolo has an iPhone app as well.

Save Money on Travel

When you cancel a flight, you are entitled to a refund of the taxes and fuel charges you paid — even on a nonrefundable ticket. For 25 euros ($32), MissRefund.com will get that money for you. The company has secured refunds as large as $262; the average is $101. If you don’t receive a refund, you don’t have to pay. Meawhile, Vayama.com is an airfare booking site focused on routes and destinations that aren’t generally available online, like Seattle to Denpasar, Bali. But it doesn’t always have the best prices, particularly on run-of-the-mill trips, so make sure to shop around. Airfarewatchdog.com scours listing sites such as Travelocity and Orbitz to find the best deals, even on small airlines like Allegiant. And Yapta.com will alert you when a good price appears on the flight you want. If the price falls after you have bought the ticket, Yapta will, for $15, try to get you a refund or credit for the difference.

Name Your Price for Coding Help

The world’s largest community of software developers and graphic designers is now ready to serve small companies. Since 2001, TopCoder has been holding coding and design competitions to help companies like ESPN develop new software tools, websites, and logos. Late last year, it launched TopCoder Direct, a do-it-yourself version that allows small and midsize companies to get in the game. Log in at topcoder.com/direct, describe what you want, and determine how much money you will award the first- and second-place finishers. When the submissions come in, you pick the best. A prototype for a simple website might cost $1,200.

Skype on Steroids

Chances are you have a cell phone, a work phone, a home phone, a couple of e-mail accounts, and maybe an instant-messaging program. With free software from VoxOx, you can keep them all in one place. Import contacts from all of your e-mail and IM accounts. Then, e-mail, IM, text, or call anyone you know, all through VoxOx. Every user gets a phone number, which shows up in the caller ID of the person receiving the call. If someone uses the number to call you, you can pick up at the computer or have the call forwarded to any phone. But there is one drawback: VoxOx gives users only two free hours of calls. Then, you can either pay a fee or get more free calls by watching ads.





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Best Small Business Apps: 35 Must-Have Tools #franchise #opportunities

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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.

CRM

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.

Marketing

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 #to #business

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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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Small Business Websites: Tips – Tools #work #from #home #business #ideas

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Small Business Resources

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Here at Webs, we are passionate about small business marketing. And while Webs family of products offers the tools small business owners need for great online marketing, we know that sometimes tools alone are not enough. Sometimes, you also need the instructions.

That s why we created the Webs Small Business Resource Center, where you will find informative articles to help your small business succeed from branding advice to website tips to infographics. We also have advice for various small business types, to address their specific marketing challenges. We hope you ll find this information helpful, and best of luck with your small business!

Marketing a Small Business

You’ve started a small business, and now you need to tell the world! Whether you need advice on email marketing, branding, or social media strategy, you’ll find it here.

Running a Small Business

Running a small business can be incredibly rewarding it can also be tricky. Here you’ll find tips on running a business, some helpful infographics, and more.

Small Business Websites

These days, a small business website is an essential for success. Check out some example websites, get tips for making your own, and learn about strategies like SEO.

Small Business Types

Every small business type has its own specific set of rewards and challenges. Here you ll find tailored advice for industries from art to real estate and more.





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

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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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