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Tag Archives: E-Commerce

Why You Small Business Needs to Get with the Cloud

When you first started your small business, perhaps some people told you that your head was in the clouds. They didn’t quite mean it in a good way, but they were on to something. Every small business owner should be in the clouds – they need to get with cloud computing, that is. Cloud computing is said to be the future, and it is. You need to rethink anything you ever knew about data storage and get with the cloud. Here are some important reasons why you should get your feet off the ground now.

It’s Easy

If you’re not the most tech savvy of small business owners, cloud computing is the easiest option for you when it comes to data storage. If you don’t choose to use the cloud, you’ll have to install expensive programs and buy expensive hardware. What happens if they break or stop working properly? You’ll have to figure it out yourself, or pay an expensive IT person to do it for you. With cloud computing, you don’t have to worry about that. Your hosting company will take care of everything IT.
It’s Cheap

Look right above; did you see that? Expensive programs, expensive hardware, expensive IT… You get the picture. Not using a cloud is just plain costs a lot. You can’t afford to be spending money needlessly, and you want to save wherever you can. Cloud computing is inexpensive. Subscriptions are affordable for your business, no matter how big or small it is.
It’s Scalable

You might be wondering: are subscriptions really affordable to even the smallest of businesses? Yes, they are. The best part about cloud computing is that it’s entirely scalable. If you have a tiny business that only needs a tiny amount of space, you don’t have to pay for more than that tiny amount. You only have to purchase what you need, so you won’t be spending extra money on extra, unused space. And as your tiny business grows into a really big one, you can continue to purchase more space as you need it.
It’s Remote

How many times have you left your office and arrived at your destination only to think, “Oh shit, I forgot that really crucial, super important file?” When you get with the cloud, you never have to worry about leaving anything behind again. You can access your data at any time from any device with Internet access. This makes your business a lot more flexible, and it can help you work with other people and employees even when they’re not in town, making long-distance collaboration a breeze.
It’s Safe

You’re data and files are probably pretty important to the operation and success of your small business. If you don’t want to risk losing them, you should store them in the cloud. Your cloud provider will keep your stuff a lot safer than you will in your office, trust me. It’s crucial to always have backup copies of your data, and that’s what the cloud can provide.

Charlie Adams is a tech guru, entrepreneur, and marketing professional who loves to analyze how technology can help small businesses thrive.

Photo Credit: 24point0

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Reduce Setup Costs with Ecommerce Fulfilment

  The current harsh economic climate has created an environment whereby it is exceptionally difficult to establish a new business from scratch. Lenders are more cautious than ever to provide start-up businesses with the necessary capital to enable them to establish the infrastructure that is required to begin trading. Moreover, a reduction in disposable income in general has significantly reduced the amount of money that consumers have to spend on any given product. This in term has created tougher competition between companies even in different market sectors.

In view of such a climate it is important that start-up businesses take advantage of every cost saving available in order to reduce the initial investment required to establish the business and to ensure that the business is competitive. One way in which this can be achieved is through outsourcing some or all of the company’s critical processes. For example, by outsourcing a company’s storage and dispatch systems through ecommerce fulfilment a business can remove the need to purchase, maintain and operate extensive warehousing property and specialist dispatch and packing equipment.

Moreover, ecommerce fulfilment can offer considerable savings for businesses that make extensive use of direct website sales. By utilising an outsourced shopping basket and payment processing system companies eliminate the requirement to produce, implement and maintain their own system. Such website infrastructure can be exceptionally costly to develop, test and implement, therefore outsourcing provides an extremely attractive alternative. Tried and tested systems have the advantage of being refined through practical use and modified according to feedback. Moreover, they can be implemented immediately without the time consuming development and testing period. Outsourced website payment infrastructure offers considerable advantages in terms of both time and money to companies who provide direct sales through their website.

By selecting outsourced services businesses do not have to directly employ nearly so many staff as they would otherwise due to the reductions offered by using outsourced storage property and equipment and using outsourced website infrastructure. Company employees would not be required to operate and maintain the storage and dispatch facility and would likewise not be required to design, test and implement website infrastructure. As employees are one of the most expensive outgoings for any business, ecommerce fulfilment offers considerable cost savings when outsourcing services as opposed to providing such processes internally.

By outsourcing critical business processes businesses can enjoy large cost savings over providing the same service internally. The primary advantage is the reduction in initial investment required to setup a new business. This is followed by the time, effort and expense saved by utilising systems that are already in place and ready for immediate use. Moreover, a business that outsources its requirements for product storage, dispatch and website payment infrastructure takes advantage of the considerable experience accumulated by the service company over many years. This means that the client company does not need to begin at the start of the learning curve as regards these processes but can build on existing tried and tested processes.

This article was written by Amy Fowler on behalf of Hallmark Consumer Services. Amy writes on a variety of topics including ecommerce fulfilment and ways to reduce business setup costs.

 

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Some Tips on How to Successfully Incorporate a CRM System Into Your Business

by Lyuben Georgiev

Some of the most important things about a CRM system are both its connection to the computer technology and the collection of data from all the areas of your business.  The last decade has made it popular for the companies to incorporate different applications to help them manage their finances and improve the services they offer. If your company uses such applications the transition to a new system might lead to some serious problems. The employees will first need to be trained to work with it properly. Therefore, it is good to keep the changes to a minimum. This will ensure the understanding of the staff and the easier incorporation of the innovations.

If you are having troubles incorporating a CRM system then you need to revise your product-oriented policy because it is more commonly responsible for problems than the client-oriented policy. If this is the case for you then your policies might need a dramatic change in order to make them work better for you.

What does a CRM system look like?

The answer to this question is not simple. There are many different kinds of CRM systems depending on the purpose they are designed to serve and the area they will be applied to. Therefore, you can have an abundance of different options in your CRM system and you need to choose the most suitable one for your business. Basically, you need to know that every CRM system is aimed at collecting as much data about your customers as possible and using it to improve the quality of the services you provide in order to increase profits. There are new strategies for effective gathering of this information that are constantly emerging and improving the work of the CRM systems.

How does a CRM system work?

When your customers want to make a purchase from you, they will contact you in one of the following ways – over the phone, over the Internet or will come in person to your office. After each purchase the CRM system keeps the information about the sale in a database. The process of collecting data never stops and the database can be used to improve all aspects of your business such as the structure of your shops, the warehouses and the services available for the customers. By reviewing the data, you can find out which products are selling better than others are and can stop manufacturing the useless ones. This will make your business more functional and will help you save time and efforts for useless causes. Moreover, if the department responsible for analyzing the data finds out that a certain customer has purchased a product and might want to buy another one related to it, they can offer it at a discounted price and make sure the client buys it. These and a lot of other tricks can help your business flourish in no time.

I strongly recommend at first trying a CRM demo, before you spend your money on any of the products available on the market. That way, you will make sure that the solution you had chose will meet all of your requirements.

 

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