Sunday, January 29, 2012

Using Social Media for Businesses - Part 2

Social media has grown tremendously popular over the decade. Its reach is enormous that almost every single man of the world’s population has an account on Facebook, Twitter, Flicker, and MySpace. And why not? The advantages of having such accounts cannot be underestimated. People are able to reach old friends from several years back and friends who are at the other end of the globe. Individuals are able to connect with families and relatives that they have not even met. People, in fact, use the social media to start up their small online business. And with this last statement, why not business owners acknowledge the fact that the social media can also be used for their transactions?

Here are important tips to consider when using social media for one’s small business.

1. Before anyone signs up their business for a social media account, it is important for the owner to assess the type of product that is being sold or promoted. And chances are, there will be a greater market that can be targeted since there are millions who have such accounts.

2. Now is the time to sign up for an account. Facebook is the site that allows the business owner to create a business page. In fact, this can be done through the personal account of the owner. And when this is the case, the owner can more conveniently manage the account and not miss out on notifications and other updates.

3. Engage a social media manager. When one signs up for a number of social media sites, keeping up with all the notifications can be a daunting task. So before inviting friends and “likers”, it would be better to sign up for free to HootSuite and as these allow the user to manage all accounts in a single site. Messages are scheduled for deployment so that the user can still do other things while still getting advertised. And when the page has already reached greater transactions, then, which charges $49, may be contacted.

4. Next thing to do is to post updates. No user will follow a site that is empty and has nothing to show or sell. Updates would have to include profile of the company, situation of the industry, and some pictures and blogs for the guests to see and read.

5. Finding friends and followers comes next. Friends can be found by simply typing in some keywords. For example, if the target followers are pilots, then “pilot” has to be entered. The word “flying” can also be searched.

6. Engage followers and friends. It is important to remember to make friends and connections a primary priority. When inviting friends and followers, establishing rapport is very important. For example, when requesting to be a friend or follower, write a simple message introducing oneself.

7. Provide support. When client has a complaint or some comment, it is best and proper to answer that issue. This would make the customer or follower feel comfortable and valued.

8. Notice feedbacks. The customers are the owner’s patrons so value each feedback they have and base improvements on these.

Every business will grow when engaged in social media sites. And when this happens, there would now be the need for bookkeeping accounting. And when thinking about accounting software, think Shoebooks, Australia’s leading provider of accounting and invoicing software.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Business Conditions Continue Worsen Ever Since 1990's

The trading conditions have already been at their worst levels for about 14 years now. And this has led the business owners in believing that the economy is desperately in need of more interest rate reductions.

An appalling result in the latest survey of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) on investor confidence showed that most businesses are stabilizing at low levels while some others are “sinking to contractionary territory”.

According to the ACCI Director of Economics and Industry Policy, Greg Evans, "Overall the survey shows that mainstream Australian business is under significant pressure."

It was during the December quarter that the sales and profitability sank. To add to that, employment and investment intentions proved poor especially in the coming months.

"Businesses' view of their own conditions are at their lowest level since the survey began some 14 years ago, in 1998. Clearly this economy needs the benefit from further reductions in interest rates, and we would expect to see that in the first half of this year," added Mr. Evans.

The next meeting of the board of the Reserve Bank of Australia has been set on February 7 wherein the financial markets are expecting them to cut rates. However, the increasing “tug of war” between businesses and Australian banks remain a major concern of businesses. This war is over the two entities’ willingness to pass on the rate reduction’s full impacts.

"It underlines the lack of real competitive pressures in the Australian banking system," continued Mr. Evans.

The same survey also revealed that the largest constraint on investment remains to be taxes and government charges. This is followed by insufficient demand in Australia.

With these difficulties being experienced by businesses in Australia, there is a need for them to utilize accounting software for businesses and engage the services of online accounting to ensure that the processes and transactions are accurate. And in today’s time, there is no more place for assumptions in the business world.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Using Social Media for Businesses - Part 1

Do you have a small bookkeeping accounting business online?

With social media sites reporting users in billions of numbers, one cannot be wrong to presume that social media sites have gone viral.

Nowadays, with these billions of social media users, having no social media presence could now mean a slow death to your site. If you have a small business accounting software and you haven’t brought it into the social media craze, this would not do anymore.

Now, having no online social media presence even for those big accounting on line businesses is no longer an option as having a website and online presence is not anymore enough in this competitive world of internet marketing.

So here are some tips or ways on how to use social media for businesses:

1. Review and Identify Your Assets. Before engaging in online marketing or social media marketing and engagement, the first thing you should do is try to identify and assess what is your asset. What are you trying to promote? In this way, you can determine who your target audience would be.

2. Proactively Post and Tweet. Proactively post or tweet questions that ask for customers’ thoughts on specific product ideas, marketing strategies, or anything else that is relevant. And when you get a response, dig deeper. Make any initial feedback when you get into a conversation and try to create something real from the dialogue. In this way you will get conversation that may go on for some time which will make your conversation active and be noticed not only by other users but also by search engine crawlers.

3. Proactively Post Updates. Provide valuable relevant information about your business or people enjoying your business. This can be in the form of pictures or videos. On YouTube, you can post videos of your business, customer experiences, and encourage customers to make their own. You can also ‘favorite’ other YouTube users’ videos and they will end up on your page. Remember to keep your updates relevant, interesting and attractive. In this way, other people will like and follow your page.

4. Post Fun Contests, Polls, And Questions. You should try to post interesting and fun contests, polls of questions that would let your customers know you value their opinion, and that they have a personality.

5. Leverage your Website’s Content. In order to draw more traffic to your website, put your website's content to work. Spread the word by encouraging visitors to share content they enjoy. Install a widget, such as AddThis, that automates linking to popular sites, in order to promote the sharing of your site's content.

6. Look for Friends And Followers. Search keywords to find followers and friends. Search your town and surrounding areas as well to find key influencers, news outlets, bloggers, and city officials. Also, search for large players in your market. Join in their conversation. If they share your posts, you have the potential to reach thousands. On Google+, post a comment on one of their posts immediately. On Twitter, mention them in a post immediately. You can also make a comment on one of their posts or simply say that you look forward to following their great content. Try to make them trust you.

7. Post relevantly. If you want a more useful feedback, you should post and tweet questions that are relevant to specific areas the business explores. Feedback in response to the question “What new online accounting should we offer?” will be more valuable than compliments on how nice your bookkeeping accounting is already are.

8. Provide Discounts. Offer discounts. In this way, people will follow you then and they also will buy.

9. Build Brand Loyalty. By providing quality and dependable goods and services or provide something for free, be it information or community, you can enable people to like your brand and then buy from it in the future again.

10. Offer Support. Provide customer support. Immediately answer questions that are posted on your Twitter or Facebook accounts.

11. Engage Friends and Followers. Build a relationship with people, not pitching your service or product. Provide them with story ideas and leads that have nothing to do with your business. Engage them in conversations and if possible give them a personal comment or responses. In this way, you can gather more friends and followers.

12. Interact With Visitors. Have a conversation with your visitors. Even though they are not your customers and just posting comments or questions, engage them and have a real conversation. Maybe in the future they will become your customers.

13. Monitor Trends. Find out more on social media. Use tools that allow you to watch trends unfold. In this way, you can determine what’s cool and where the demand is almost instantly by scanning Facebook and Twitter with simple tools like Topsy.

14. Reach Out.Reach out to people who you know that like you. Contact them, simply express your gratitude, invite them to your next product presentation or send them your products for testing purposes.

15. Harness your expertise. Share the knowledge you've gathered through your trade. This could go a long way toward boosting your brand.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SMEs target on Increasing Client and Revenue Growth this 2012

A recent survey reflects that among the top priorities of small and medium business this 2012 are customer relationships and increasing business activity in the markets.

This was according to the Business Monitor Survey which was released recently by MYOB, a management service provider. And yes, the customers remain the main focus of small and medium businesses.

"Customers will understandably remain the core focus for Australian SMEs in maintaining and strengthening their business health in 2012, with our research finding more than one third of businesses are set to increase activity around attracting customers' attention and building their loyalty,” said Tim Reed, Executive Chief of MYOB.

"It makes sense for today's business owners, many of whom face increasingly financially conservative consumers, to foster a 'stickier' customer by providing more products or services to whet their appetite," he added. "For many it will be the key to their survival in a two-speed economy,” Reed continued.
It was also seen that about 24 percent of businesses are intending to enter online sales this year.
According to the survey, about a third of the more than 1000 Australian small and medium businesses include in their key strategies for this year attracting and retaining customers, as well as diversifying businesses into new areas or fields.

It is interesting to note that the Australian accounting software, cloud computing, has been seen to have played a vital role in the expansion of businesses offshore. It is said that those firms that have their own website were able to increase their revenue by six percent in the past 12 months. This is in comparison to those who did not have it or used accounting software for business.

According to Mr. Reed, "The key is getting online, being found, communicating well to your online audience and in doing so getting solid access to the digital economy.”

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Australian Share Market Up 0.4 percent

A two percent rise was seen in the Australian shares as it closed this week. This was after the yields on government debt issues by Italy and Spain had fallen to their lowest. A total of 10 billion euros in bond were sold by Spain while Italy sold 12 billion euros of bills.

"Spain’s auction was met with strong demand at resulting yields lower than the same maturities late last year, while the Italian auction also saw yields on one-year maturities falling to their lowest levels since June 2011. Obviously investors welcomed these developments,” said Cameron Peacock at IG Markets.

Also, the European Central Bank (ECB) had kept interest rates unmoving in the early part of 2012.

Most sectors ended positively but miners, industrials, and energy had it higher. The retail sector also kept up as it added 0.1 percent.

BHP Billiton shares went up by 0.6 percent while Fortescue Metals Group raised it shares at 1.9 percent.

“Commodity prices overall remain robust...however, mining equities face sentiment headwinds. The market continues to price in further downside, which also creates an opportunity as equity prices aren’t challenging.” This is according to mining-sector strategists at Japanese bank Nomura Securities.

Energy firms, on the other hand, also performed well. A rise of 1.5 percent in the shares of Woodside Petroleum was seen while a 17.7 percent increase in shares was experienced by Linc Energy.

JP Morgan, US banking giant, released its earnings report Friday night. A profit downgrade was experienced by QBE, an insurer, which dragged the Australian market lower. Its shares went down by 3.1 percent at $11.

"With a company like QBE, it could take them nine months before they crawl back up again," said Ord Minnett Equities Consultant, Ian Merrick.

Shoebooks is a premium provider of accounting on line solutions for SME businesses in Australia. Check out Shoebooks Australian accounting software services and experience the advantages of our accounting online software solutions. Shoebooks is located at Unit 12, 118 Church Street, Hawthorn Victoria 3122, Australia. Call Shoebooks at +613-9818-1515

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cloud Computing Benefits to your Business

Cloud computing has been increasingly becoming very popular today. As forecasted, it will even grow bigger this year. And why should it not? Cloud computing, an accounting on line, has numerous benefits for its users.

Here are among the Cloud Computing benefits:

1. The cloud saves time. Software programs that are used by businesses will demand time to set up and operate. The cloud, on the other hand, is simple as it needs only a computer and an internet connection to access the accounts.

2. Updates are minimal. What is even better than this is that updates are taken care of by the IT people of this software for accounting. Unlike using software programs, updates are not necessary all the time.

3. Energy is saved because only 10 to 20 percent of the PC will be used. And when we put together all these PCs that are idle, a great amount of energy is saved.

4. Accessibility and Mobility are among the benefits of this software for bookkeeping. A business owner can check his account and transactions from any part of the world using a computer with internet connection.

5. Services are offered by the cloud itself. These include emails and collaboration.

6. There is no need to spend on support and administrative overhead which are necessary when a business buys servers and needs services in running an IT shop. More than that, the business owner can rely on the cloud anytime, even during holidays, to perform transactions and processes.

7. Pricing is dependent on the needs of the user. The user only has to pay for as much as what is being used by the business. In time, this can increase as the needs of the business also increase. Therefore, scalability is also an advantage.

8. Better and speedier responses are delivered by cloud computing.

With these, cloud computing can really help every business with its operations.

Monday, January 9, 2012

5 Surprising Cloud Computing Statistics

The year 2011 has seen many businesses turning to the clouds for their software for accounting computing. Topics and issues on accounting software online and Cloud Computing have become one of the favored topics of discussions and debates among the IT community.

In recent months, countless polls and surveys have been conducted, with the focus of making improvements on the people’s understanding of the cloud computing market and industry trends.

Here are the 5 key Cloud Computing statistics from 2011:

1. The size of the Cloud Computing Market by 2013 will $150 Billion. With more and more businesses just recently starting to turn to the clouds as they feel the pressure to move into cloud computing, it is no longer a surprise that experts like Merrill Lynch’s research predicts that the cloud computing market will be worth $160 billion by the 2013, the same with other experts who has predicted that market will grow at such a high rate in the next few years.

2. The Amount’s AWS expects to earn Million in 2011 was $750. Since it started, Amazon’s Web Services have been providing businesses with an infrastructure web services platform based in the cloud. Their offering, which started in 2006, has hit a revenue of around $500 Million in 2010, which is an estimate based on research done by analysts at UBS, a financial analyst firm based in Switzerland.

3. 7 out of 10 companies are using cloud services that will move new applications to the cloud. According to statistic based on a study conducted by Mimecast, a company that offers Software as a Service enterprise e-mail, many companies have started their transition into the cloud with a small “trial;” testing it with only some of their infrastructure, applications, or data. It is then expected that a large portion of the industry growth in the next few years will be from the companies who are happy with their “trial period” and are ready to make the transition to the cloud.

4. 54% of respondents have citied security as their top concern for transitioning to the cloud. According to a recent survey conducted by LinkedIn with 7052 respondents, security has been the top deterrent for many businesses looking to use cloud computing in their company. This is especially true for those industries that make use and store sensitive data such as the financial and healthcare industries.

5. 60% of server workloads will be virtualized by 2014. According to a research conducted by Gartner, the research revealed that many companies are now feeling pressure to go to the clouds for their computing as consumers and businesses alike are now realizing that the cloud offers a variety of solutions to problems that plague computer-users daily.