Is your SMB seeking greater productivity? Consider the cloud

February 29, 2012

In our strained economy, it’s essential for small business owners to be able to do more with less, while maximizing productivity as much as possible. The advent of cloud computing has ushered in a host of ways small and midsized businesses (SMBs) can maintain and even increase productivity among workers. Here are a few areas in which cloud computing can help:

Collaboration and communication – It can be challenging to build a team of employees that work seamlessly together, with trust, transparency and teamwork as the foundation. Add to that the need to invest in and maintain technologies that facilitate effective collaboration – and you’ve got an even bigger hurdle.

Fortunately, the cloud makes it easy for SMBs to provide workers with integrated, intuitive ways to collaborate and remain productive in the process. Cloud productivity solutions that combine programs employees use the most – e-mail, document creation, messaging, conferencing, etc. – deliver enterprise-class capabilities at prices smaller organizations can afford, such as Office 365, which starts at just $6 per user per month.  (more…)

Evaluating the new virtual tools for start-ups and small business management, financing and communications

February 28, 2012

Launching a new business in a 21st century digital world requires using a lot of new and innovative financial tools, not only to plan, but to be able to keep track of the growth and financial success of your business. Almost every day we are introduced yet another great tool that streamlines complicated processes and procedures that just a few years ago would have taken weeks or months to complete or achieve. Millions of U.S. small-business owners are spending a lot of time reviewing and screening the digital bazaar of these new tools.

As technology gets cheaper and easier to use, small firms and Startups take advantage of financial tools more than ever before to run and track their small businesses. And today’s proliferating selection of smartphone and Tablet app’s are providing advantages and conveniences that wouldn’t’ have been imagined only a few years ago.

This year, we’ll introduce you to some of the exciting and innovative new cloud-based financial, project management and communications tools, and offer advice on how to determine which ones would best help you get your business either up and running, or set for further growth and efficiency.  (more…)

3 Easy Fixes to Triple Your Website Leads

February 23, 2012

By Eric Spellmann –

If you’ve heard me speak before, you know that I feel strongly that a website should never be just a virtual pamphlet or online billboard. It must DO something. In more than 90% of the cases, that “do” can be defined as “generating leads.”

But how do you get a website to drive leads, or more importantly, qualified leads to your business? The key is to understand online user behavior and build your site to not only accommodate your site visitors, but prompt them to action!

I’ve noticed three big mistakes most websites make when trying to meet the goal of lead generation:

Hiding Phone Numbers
When needing a phone number, very few people pull out their phonebooks. In fact, today, the number one use of the yellow pages is to prop up computer monitors! Most people simply “google” a business to find a number.  (more…)

5 Simple Ways Your Nonprofit Can Use LinkedIn to Find More Donors

February 20, 2012

By Gina Watkins –

With all the social networking sites available today, you may wonder which is best for your nonprofit organization. More importantly, you may be wondering which site is best for your organization in terms of finding more donors. The answer may surprise you: It’s LinkedIn.

Why LinkedIn? Well, according to the site’s own statistics, LinkedIn boasts more than 120 million affluent, influential professionals from over 200 countries and territories.

In 2010, HubSpot and LinkedIn teamed up to create an infographic that showed members are highly educated (more than 70% have a bachelor’s or graduate degree), affluent (close to 50% of users have an income of more than $100,000 per year), and they hold influential positions — more than 30% are senior-level executives and managers, while 50% are decision makers in the companies/organizations.

LinkedIn’s power comes from getting connected with the right people. How do you get your nonprofit connected with these potential donors? Here are 5 simple tips to build these connections fast:   (more…)