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How to Choose the Right eCommerce Software for your Business

July 23rd, 2014 by

Are you one of the many people who juggle 2 different jobs, a family, some even school? If so, you most probably experienced missing out on a lot of sales in your favorite stores in the mall, as you simply did not have time to make the trip to the mall to make your purchase. There are a lot of other people like you, who just have enough time to spend resting at home or a few hours each night with the kids. When you do have spare time, online shopping is the more convenient way for you to check out different products and make your purchases, as well as other things like paying bills.

With the growing demand for online shopping, a lot of businesses have turned their attention to focusing on online customers. In order to cater to these customers, eCommerce software is needed. If you’re wondering what eCommerce software is and what it does, simply continue reading to find out more.

What is eCommerce Software?

eCommerce software is a system that allows your customers to purchase and pay for your goods, and the said software can keep track of your inventory, compute taxes and shipping rates, and also provide a secure means to process payments. Customers can choose different products they want to purchase (referred to as putting items in their shopping cart) and then pay for all of them at the same time. The software automatically computes how much the sales tax will be, as well as the shipping fee. There are software which allow customers to choose their shipment method and displays different prices depending on their selection. The software is basically integrated with your website, while there are some eCommerce software which your domain provider may also offer you as well for a monthly fee aside from the domain itself.

Why Use eCommerce Software for your Business

There are many reasons why you need eCommerce software for your business, especially if you want the ability to accept payments online and sell your goods online as well. This software basically allows you to stay open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week as customers can literally visit your website at any time they want to purchase your product. You will not need someone to man your online store at night to keep track of orders or your inventory levels, as the software will automatically do it for you.

Compared to a real person, eCommerce software offers more accurate order totals and pricing, especially useful if you have a lot of products to sell at different prices. It will be hard for anyone to memorize every single price, not to mention compute for taxes and shipping. Thus, human error is minimized.

eCommerce software also helps keep your customer’s payment information safe and sound. This helps create a more pleasant shopping experience, not to mention makes the whole transaction easier and faster.

How to Choose the Right eCommerce Software

Not all eCommerce software offers the same features. In order to choose the right one, determine how many products you will make available to your customers. Some software only accommodate up to 100 products, so you need to choose the software that can cater to all the products you are going to offer.

Will you be offering physical and downloadable products? If so, look for eCommerce software that gives you the ability to email customers the download link after their payment has been successfully processed, in addition to collecting their shipping information for physical products.

Will you be offering payment plans for your products or need recurring billing, like for memberships? If so, choose the software that allows for recurring payments so that your customer’s payments will automatically be taken out after a certain number of days from their credit card. This also applies if you want to offer installment payments for your products which some may find difficult to pay for in a single transaction.

How many customers do you have? If you have a lot of customers or foresee a growth in your business, make sure to choose eCommerce software with unlimited storage. This will help you keep customer records and also allows you to have a reference for older transactions.

The right ecommerce software really depends on what you want and what kind of business you have. Whether you need a system for multi channel retail or just an online sales order processing system, there is software out there that can fit your needs.

About the Author

Kathryn Dawson writes articles for Sparkstone, an expert in all aspects of technology for the retail and ecommerce sectors, supplying the most fully featured EPoS, mail order and ecommerce software available today. Sparkstone are the leading authors of multichannel retail software systems, and have been writing and installing retail and sales order processing system for over 15 years. Their experience can help your business to thrive and succeed.

Tips On Creating A Victorious Work Plan For Your Business

July 22nd, 2014 by

When you start in business you need to make one of your first actions to create a business plan. Too many people underestimate the value of a good business plan when they are starting a business. If you want to get your business off the ground, then you must understand not only the measures it intends to make such capital but also how the initial plans will take to really drive your business in the right direction.

To begin a business plan you must think frugally. After all, unless you are a Rockefeller you probably won’t have all the money you want to complete every last thing on your agenda. You will want to find a way to create the perfect business with as little overhead as possible because it will take a while to get a good cash flow and if you are spending a lot on your monthly expenses you will never get in the black.

Many people turn to other small business owners to exchange ideas about opening their own businesses. Using those who do the work as a guide can help you realistically assess what you are about to embark on and also help you know what pitfalls you’ll have to prepare.

Some of the initial startup costs are clear and the others could escape, simply because they are not so obvious. When you make a business plan is important to create a plan that covers what you need to spend, but at the same time it is useful to create another plan, which covers a step by step overview of what you are trying to achieve during the first year of business. This may help to alert you to any places where business expenses are mismatched with your final plans for your business, including expenses such as advertising, web design, web marketing, to name a few.

While you will want to find ways to cut expenses initially it is also important to make sure that you include those items that will help to propel your business to the next level. Finding a balance between keeping costs low and keeping necessary expenses in the budget is one of the biggest challenges a person faces when starting up their own business. Even though creating a business plan may be a challenge it is a necessary part of starting up your business.

About the Author

6 sigma is process which will help your business get rid of waste and increase productivity. Even the most successful of businesses have something to gain from the fabulous Six sigma process. To get started today, visit mbajournal.org.

7 Steps to Reduce On-going Costs with CRM

July 22nd, 2014 by

Typically, as a Small Business owner or manager, you don’t normally associate purchasing software to reduce costs. However, CRM software specifically has some cost reduction advantages that are discussed below:

1. No More Looking for Documents. According to research by Delphi Group, a Boston consultancy group, 30% of all employee time is spent trying to find “lost” documents. Do the math and you will be shocked at how much wastage is going on in your company!

2. No More Spending on Advertisements that Don’t Bring in Revenue. With marketing automation, you will know exactly which advertisements bring in the revenue so that you can toss out the other ads.

3. No More Wondering What Activities took place When & Where. Since all communication is tracked in CRM software, all your employees will always have insights as to a customer or vendors history with your business.

4. Reduce Customer Service costs up to 70%. By using web self-service (a way for your customers to receive Client Specific information from your web site), you will be able to reduce customer service calls and staffing.

5. Reduce printing costs. Why print when you can distribute your brochures online. With CRM, you can automate distribution of brochures and other documents through email and web self-service access.

6. Consolidate Custom Databases. Because you can create custom screens, consolidating other databases in your CRM Software will reduce licensing and maintenance costs.

7. Layoff the “extra” Help. With CRM, each of your employees will be able to accomplish a lot more. So, it will allow you to review your staffing needs for all the “extra” help that you have from time to time. For example, new leads can come in through your web-site automatically into your CRM system and assigned to the appropriate sales rep – all through automation. You will be able to import leads from other sources as well – no more manual data entry!
Now, Go Save Money with CRM!

www.SuradoCRM.com

About the Author

http://blog.suradocrm.com

Employing Moving Services: Do’s And Don’ts

July 21st, 2014 by

With combined revenues of US$12 billion per annum and 8,000 companies making up the US moving and storage industry, the size of this sector is comparable to the computer retailing industry. Companies that provide moving services are many, and you need to employ only one. The following discussion will help you choose the most appropriate one and also give you some tips on the ways to safeguard yourself against unfavorable events.

Employing Moving Services: Do’s

When you opt for moving services, there are certain questions you must ask and preparations that you must make. Information is the key to all locks. When you are in the process of choosing a reliable mover, it is wise to conduct in-depth background check on each company and read reviews of the projects executed by them. Also, try to gather a clear perspective on how to calculate costs.

To keep to a timeline, it is important to have your representative present at the points of loading and unloading. Insurance coverage provided by the moving company should be noted and weighed against the value of your goods.

Employing Moving Services: Don’ts

Companies that accept payments in cash and not in other form should be avoided. When there is ambiguity surrounding the language of the document you are signing, do not sign it until you have clarified all your doubts.

Do not sign any documents until you are completely satisfied with the service and all your goods have been properly unloaded and set up.

It is important to spring into action immediately if you discover that there has been neglect or your belongings have been damaged. The earlier you raise a red flag, the easier it will be for you to claim your losses from the provider of the moving services.

Some companies have long-term experience, great reputation as well as impeccable work standards. One such moving services provider is Yankee Movers, based in New York. If you employ professionals like Yankee Movers, you can let go of all your moving worries. Visit their website at www.YankeeMovers.com to learn more.

About the Author

You can be tension free if you will do some research on moving services. Gather detailed information on NYC Moving Services online here at Yankeemovers.com!

CBEC � Issuing Central Excise Duties and Service Tax Drawback Rules

July 20th, 2014 by

The central board functioning under the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, responsible for framing laws and formulating taxes related to the import export trade is known as the Central Board of Excise and Customs. Also abbreviated as CEBC, this board is the governing body for looking after all the designing and formulation of tariff plans pertaining to the Import export trade. Indian Customs, Custom Excise and Service Tax Department are the important wings of this board, largely involved with the foreign trade. CBEC is the regulating board that governs the formulation and amendments of all the acts and legislations for import export trade. One of the most important task of this board is formulating the tariff and related updates for excise duties and customs. Issuing circulars for amendment and granting subsidies such as relaxation on the excise duties, Business schemes and duty exemption are also functions of this board.

CBEC is the governing authority for Indian Customs that has been vested with the powers conferred by section 75 of the Customs Act, 1962 (52 of 1962), section 37 of the Central Excise Act, 1944 (1 of 1944) and section 93A read with section 94 of the Finance Act, 1994 (32 of 1994), to formulate rules and also to make amendments in policies of the Customs, Central Excise Duties and Service Tax Drawback Rules, 1995. This rule is also acknowledged as Customs, Central Excise Duties and Service Tax Drawback (Second Amendment) Rules, 2010. These rules are integral aspects of the export business. Every exporter should be aware of the latest notification, containing relevant information such as hike in duties, exemptions, and drawback rates. This information is necessary to formulate business strategies as they are directly related to the financial aspect of the trade.

The relevant information regarding the policies and amendments of the Central Board of Excise and Customs can be easily reviewed on the internet. There are several online database companies that host relevant information on the board and also post the latest updates. Besides all this information, you can also review the notifications and circulars related to other eminent boards such Director General Foreign Trade (DGFT) and Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Infodrive India is one of the major players amongst the online database companies. An interesting section of their website is the Exim Guide (Import Export Guide), which is like an entry guide into the business of Foreign Trade. It contains all the mandatory details that a new entrant in the Foreign Trade Industry needs to know.

About the Author

Jayden William is an expert author who has written many articles on International Trade and Business. He is providing useful information on <strong>CBEC</strong> and <strong>Central Board of Excise and Customs</strong>.

Include Client Suggestions in Your Business Model

July 19th, 2014 by

Your clients are the right people to help you stabilize your business. Decision to include client suggestions in your business model leads to the overall growth of organization or business. A business is well executed through the help of client suggestion. You should always put yourself in the client’s shoes to know what they actually feel about your product. Through their valuable suggestion you get to know what they actually want and what they actual expect from you. If you want to know what exactly they are expecting from you, it is easy to identify it by deciding to include client suggestions in your business model.

If the clients are satisfied, it will ultimately lead to the growth of the business. It will help to enhance the processes of your business. Due to the clients suggestion the small problems of the company are solved immediately. It will lead to quality improvement in the organization. There will be no service or product issues faced by the managers. This is the easiest way of getting rid of any problem in the organization without any investment. It is easy and inexpensive way to increase and enhance the productivity of the organization and align it to the requirements of your organization.

If you include client suggestions in your business model it would ultimately lead to achievement of high level of efficiency in the organization. If you are able to satisfy the customers, the result is always positive from the point of view of your business. There should be a continuous survey to know the requirements of the customers. Many multinational companies throughout the world have given first preference to their clients and have saved billions. There are wel-known companies all over the world who provide best service to their clients. They consider the client suggestion and implement them in their business and record the changes that occur.

Clients are the most important factor for conducting any sort of business. Business can only run through proper client service. If the clients are satisfied it will ultimately lead to the overall development of the company. A company can only expand if it has a good relation with its clients. Clients are the ones who help in the overall growth of any business. That is why it is very important to include client suggestions in your business model. Consider all their suggestion as very important and try to put them in action. Once you start using the suggestions you actually get used to all of them and it will help you to prosper in business.

Once you start running a business and your business is running well, to continue the same and sustain the progress the most important thing you need to take care of is, client relation. A satisfied client may help you promote your business to others; this further reduces your promotional expenses as well. Once you’re clear about the client’s requirements and needs it is easier for you to plan your business accordingly. You can create web pages on tweeter, blog, facebook etc where clients can post their suggestion. These sites have proved to be a helping hand for running any sort of business.

Clients are always considered the first preference in any sort of business. It is therefore important to include client suggestions in your business model.

About the Author

Ryan Fyfe is the CEO of http://www.shiftplanning.com/ – An intuitive and free online employee scheduling tool for businesses of all sizes in all industries.

Business Facilities Management

July 19th, 2014 by

People always tend to make the best utilization of the facilities available in their possession. When it comes to business owners, there is a mandatory need to understand the perspectives of exploiting each and every facility without wasting it. Facilities management consultancy can be expressed as a support group which is required to guide people in carrying out the effective utilization of the resources in their hand. People should not mistake such consultancies which only support in the fields of planning and designing. These consultancies can help in identifying profit-generating areas for which the particular facilities are intended for. This consultancy will be responsible for approximately 90 percent of the final cost for the period of the business life succession.

Facilities management consultancy takes hold of all the factors of responsibility for carrying out the smooth running and free flowing of an organization. Instead of these responsibilities, these consultancies offer many other services. For example, constructive infrastructure is the chief area of production in any company and facilities management consultancies can help people in attaining a big place amongst all the competitive industries. These consultancies are growing their business with a rapid speed and soon, every other businessman will understand the need of having the services of Facilities management consultancies. They offer a secure and protective working environment to the company which has been considered as an essential requirement of the company from the older times.

For making the best use of the available capital in the company’s finances, there is a need to obtain the mandatory details and drawings. These details can be availed with the help of facilities management consultancy. One of the major reason for the success of these consultancies is their round the clock availability. The presence of this kind of support can be considered as an intelligent tool for accomplishing all the types of business processes. They specifically segment their work amongst various professionals according to their capabilities for achieving the optimum effectiveness in every other sector.

For more information please visit Facilities Management Consultancy

About the Author

Leigh Young

Farm Management Software – Speciality Software for a Specific Industry

July 18th, 2014 by

Managing a farm successfully in today’s economic environment requires dedication and a balance of well-rounded skills of the farming team. Like all business, the quality of decisions made that drive the implementation of the business strategy strongly determines the bottom line profitability and success of the venture, now and into the future.

Dairy farming and agricultural businesses are complex, with a plethora of inputs and outputs that must be accurately managed and accounted for. It is essential that both productive and financial records are kept in a reliable format that are easy to access and understand, to enable farm owners and managers to make critical business decisions. Other industries have long standing relationships in their implementation of technology to assist in the managerial functions of planning, implementation and control. Although the farming and agricultural industry has somewhat lagged behind others in their adaption of information technology, the current economy and the increasing pressures placed on farms to perform, their adoption of such technology has been nothing but revolutionary during the past decade.

One such example of information technology implementation into the farming environment is comprehensive farm management software. Incorporating the nuances of the industry, farm management software enables easy and accurate reporting and analysis of the farms performance, and outlines the investment required in each area of the business to achieve these results. One such example of this is the paddock diary component of farm management software, which enables the mapping of the actual farm to be completed on the farm management software. This can easily be accessed through home-based personal computers, laptops and mobile PDA’s. This aspect of the software empowers the management team to record, analyse and evaluate crop and feed growth, fertiliser inputs, soil tests, weed control and monitoring, harvest production and irrigation, among numerous other functions.

Additionally, the stock diary component of the software enables farms to accurately measure and manage mobs and individual animals; even multiple animals who are receiving the same treatment. Regular productive activities, including mating, birthing, milk and meat production, stock movements, vaccinations, dipping and weighing can be accurately recorded. In an intuitive and easy to use farm management software package, specific reporting tools allow farm managers and owners to accurately measure the performance of specific initiatives and management processes, and their direct and indirect impact upon productivity and bottom line profitability of the business. Take control of the future of your farming business today and source a reputable farm management software which will provide structure, accountability and measurability into your enterprise.

About the Author

iAgri Ltd is a market leader in farm and small business management software, exporting to many countries around the world.

Our LandMark Farm management software package will assist you with stock management, financial budgeting and planning for the forthcoming seasons feed requirements.

Emotionally Intelligent Communication

July 17th, 2014 by

All of us are familiar with the defining guidelines of workplace behavior. But when stress takes a toll in the office environment, tempers start to fray and many times lead to outbreaks of ‘unprofessional behavior’. This is where emotionally intelligent communication should come to the forefront.

People with high Emotional Intelligence are great communicators. This includes both aspects of communication – verbal and non-verbal. Listening with empathy (an EQ competency) defines high EI. Also, possessing the intuition (another EQ competency) to understand just when to interject and speak also defines high EI.

Let us look at a short list of important considerations to be kept in mind while conversing:

Intentionality:

An important competency of Emotional Intelligence is Intentionality. You need to talk about something informative, sensible, pleasant and non-offensive. You need to constantly ensure to develop this skill, as it leaves an indelible mark on others. Ensure that you know what you have to say beforehand. This adds credibility to your thoughts and can even help steer the course of the conversation in the direction you desire.

Focus:

Focus is important to build a business relationship, as it involves giving your undivided attention to the other person/s. It puts them at ease and encourages free flow of ideas. Refrain from interrupting with advice or anecdotes to prove your point till the other person is comfortable.

It also helps a lot to focus upon non-verbal cues while you speak. This can help you choose your words and also know when to stop. The objective here is to be “good company”. Be it an informal or formal gathering, it is best that you be prepared with a list of interesting or specific topics that you can put forward in an interesting manner.

Conveying Trust:

At a time when almost 48% of business hours are unproductive due to the lack of trust, the best thing for an emotionally intelligent person to do is to convey trust while communicating. This lowers barriers that may exist in communication, hence leading to free flow of ideas. This eventually leads to resolving of any problems that may have arisen due to gaps in communication.

I would like to re-instate that unlike EQ, EI is something that can be learnt over the years. According to Daniel Goleman in his record breaking bestseller, ‘Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ’, EQ amounts to 25% of successes in leadership as opposed to IQ. By learning the art of emotionally intelligent conversation, it is possible to take a step nearer towards achieving a state of self actualization in work and personal relationships.

About the Author

This article was authored by Pramila Mathew, M.Ed, MBA, an executive coach who helps individuals, groups, teams and organizations find the right solutions in the workplace. MMM Training Solutions conducts soft skills training and executive coaching anywhere in the world. We guarantee the effectiveness of our training. You may reprint this article by requesting permission from: pramila.mathew@mmmts.com

A Short Guide to Difficult Conversations

July 17th, 2014 by

Are you avoiding a conversation you know you must have? Quite often it’s because you don’t know where to start. Here’s a checklist of things to consider as you approach that conversation you’ve been avoiding.
1. Talk to yourself first

· What do you hope to achieve by having this conversation?

· What would be your ideal outcome?

· Can you adjust your attitude to expecting a positive outcome?

· What emotions are you feeling about this situation?

· Will you be able to keep those emotions under control?

· What assumptions have you made about the person and/or the situation?

· Do they know there’s a problem?

· Is there anything else you need to know before you start this conversation?

· Should you speak to someone else first, or get help?
2. Write an agenda for the conversation

· This may be just for your own reference. Look at the points in the next section for ideas on what to include.

· Remind yourself to stay centred and focused with your full attention on the discussion.
3. Choose an appropriate time and place

· Ensure no interruptions or distractions (switch mobiles off).

· Privacy is also important.
4. Prepare and practice

· If possible, practice with someone else. At the very least run through the conversation – and the likely responses of the other person – in your head.

· Be prepared for a range of possible reactions including tears, anger, blaming and silence.

Now you’re ready for the meeting, so let’s look at what’s needed for it to run smoothly.

Clarity of purpose. Know why you’re having this conversation and what outcome you with to achieve.

Curiosityand a willingness to listen to everything the other person has to say. You don’t know their perspective on the issue and this is your change to find out. This may require you to put your ego to one side and really listen to what they have to say, without interrupting and disputing their views. Be aware of what their non-verbal communication is telling you, too.

Acknowledge the other person’s viewpoint. You can show you understand what they’re saying by restating it back to them. To acknowledge doesn’t mean you agree.

Take your turn to express your perspective, so that your position on the issue is clear. While it is good to put words to your emotions (for example, “I feel angry that we’re in this situation”), avoid acting in an emotional or angry way.

Work together on a solution. You may already have an ideal solution in mind, but it’s worth asking first what the other person would suggest. Keep an open mind and if you feel you’re being led off-track, go back to the beginning.

Agree and document what will happen next. This will include any changes to behaviour, processes or performance. It’s also important to agree on when and how you will monitor the changes.

Above all, stay centred and stick to your purpose and be willing to consider alternative outcomes.

About the Author

Susan Rochester has many years of experience in staff development management as a recruitment consultant. Learn more about the revolutionary online psychometric assessment Australia wide use and benefits to employers.