Surprise! Consumer apps get IT approval in small businesses:

Surprise! Consumer apps get IT approval in small businesses:

In a recent article on GigaOm, author Barb Darrow discusses the findings of a survey of small businesses in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, where it was found that the use of “consumer” information technology is being more widely accepted for use in small businesses, and that many of these selections are happening without the knowledge or participation of the IT department.

“Employees are driving business apps selection in many small and medium businesses, according to new research. A good percentage of productivity, social and collaborative apps now sanctioned by IT in SMBs were brought in by workers without IT knowledge.“

Reporting that small businesses are adopting “consumer” IT, and that it is OK with IT departments, isn’t a surprising finding.  Small businesses have begun leveraging mobility and cloud solutions to their benefit, being able to take advantage of powerful technologies that previously only enterprise IT departments could enjoy.

 “.. the line between personal and workplace technologies has become all but invisible. That poses real challenges to IT departments that have to deal with all sorts of technology coming in over the transom. But it also opens up opportunities for vendors that design easy-to-use consumer apps to enter the business realm as well.”

The cloud introduces new agility and capability for all businesses, not just small business. For IT departments in larger businesses, this is a big IT management issue. For smaller businesses, the IT manager is often the business owner or an occasionally contracted on-site technician.  When faced with IT needs in the business, many small business owners will at some level rely upon the solutions they also use in their personal lives – in many cases, there simply isn’t a budget for both.  The line between business and personal has always been “blurry” for the small business owner.

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Read more: Disruptive Trends = Emerging Opportunity: Adapting to a changing technology and business environment

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Everybody Clicks: Keeping in touch with your business online

Everybody Clicks

Keeping in touch with your business online

In today’s technology focused market, it’s hard to find a way to stand out from the crowd. Making that effort to communicate with clients is more than just sending them a quarterly newsletter or email. It’s about evolving your business to meet their needs. Everyone wants everything online these days. It’s not just convenient anymore, it’s expected.

If your business doesn’t provide your clients with the level of online service they have come to expect, they probably won’t stay your clients for very long. If you want to make sure these new expectations are being met it means building and maintaining a presence on the web. That’s right; your website is the new face of your business. It’s often the first thing new clients see so it has to make a good impression. As the old saying goes, “you only get one first impression.” This adage is just as true for your website as it is for you. Old, outdated websites just aren’t good enough anymore. People want somewhere they can go to get the latest updates on the services your business provides, and they want it to be easy to find that information. Maintaining your website, keeping it up to date and full of useful information is important. It can also be time-consuming or expensive.

As a business professional, probably a bookkeeper or accountant, you probably spend as little time as possible managing your website and composing newsletters. Now, imagine that you just got back to the office after lunch and you want to do some work on the company website, maybe check on the traffic statistics while you’re at it. Normally you’d go and log in to three or four different places, one or two to do the work on the site and the other one or two to look at your statistics. This is a waste of time and energy, but not one you can avoid. Now let’s say you have some time left before you go home for the night and you realize you haven’t sent out this month’s newsletter. That’s another site to go log into. Site after site, a new interface or dashboard each time. Not to mention the hassle of entering your new contacts into your CRM or selecting the right recipients for the newsletter from your contacts lists. Everywhere you go there is another step to the process of staying in touch with your clients, to keeping the website updated and accurate. Login after login and dashboard after dashboard. What if there was something that could streamline everything? Keep your company’s blog in the same place as your site traffic statistics or web-based CRM solution? (Wouldn’t that be neat?) One login to get to everything. Keeping your clients informed, organized, and satisfied. Everything you want at the click of a mouse.

Your time is your money, so saving time is saving money. Having all of your online tools in one place would do just that. No wasted time, no need to repeatedly log in. Just getting everything taken care of, from one place. Not to mention your clients’ needs. Every business has a website nowadays; online payment options, blogs, forms to request information, the list goes on and the need for them is not confined to accounting and bookkeeping firms.

Let’s say you’re a small hobby shop, selling model trains and cars with all the odds and ends needed to build or maintain them. Do you rely solely on word of mouth or paper ads to bring you the business you need? Of course not. You get a website. The problem is you don’t know where to start. So, you hire someone to build it for you and to make changes when needed. That gets expensive. Ok, so you build it yourself using one of the many solutions available on the web today. Now you control everything, from the colors and graphics to the content but how do you track the traffic your site gets? Or what information your customers look at the most? Analytics of course! Unfortunately that means another thing to buy and another page to log into. The same goes for CRM solutions or email domains. Each aspect of your business is locked away in its own little corner. Frustrating, isn’t it?

Wouldn’t it be grand if you could change your homepage, send a newsletter, and track today’s site visits all from one place? Well, that’s where comes in. is a solution that is perfect for any business. It has web design, analytics, email marketing, contact management, and much more all in one place. That’s right.  One login and you have your world at your fingertips.  Just click to log in, and it’s all right there, with easy to use features and templates that allow you to gear your website, and your communications, to your clients and customers.

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