Microsoft Righting Its Ship Towards Re-inventing the Enterprise in Asia Pacific

AMI Partners - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 07:01
AMI-Partners Singapore team attended Microsoft’s Asia Pacific Analyst Summit in Singapore last week for an extensive and well-timed strategy update with few months to go before the launch of Windows 10. I’m going to attempt to explain what I think I saw and heard at the Microsoft analyst summit last week – which is a […]
Categories: SMB

3 Secrets to Big Small Business Growth

SmallBiz Technology - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 22:12

Growing a small business consumes a lot of your time. Since there are only 24 hours in a day, and at least some of them have to be devoted to sleep and personal hygiene, the best you can do is make the most of your time with helpful tools. Here are three that will help you find  big small business growth.

#1. Use a Great Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Solution

CRM is a vital part of business success, regardless of industry. It’s never too early to implement CRM software into your business systems. Using CRM helps you discover who your customers are and how to market to them. With this information you can craft strategies that will keep your customers coming back for more, draw new customers in, and ultimately increase your profits.

The information within a CRM gives you the insight necessary to better serve the needs of your customers and enhance your overall customer service. You can see who is likely to respond to a product upsell or cross-sell. The data from your CRM will help you tailor marketing campaigns toward segments of your audience that you’d like to reach. The notes in your CRM can also clue you in to why customers leave you for your competitors – so you can change course before the situation becomes dire.

With integrated tools, your business can get more done in less time. Full-featured CRM software offers a multitude of integrated functions to save you time and money. Insightly CRM integrations include: Dropbox, Google Apps™, QuickBooks®, Proposable™, and more.

#2. Automate Tasks

How much time do you spend on mundane, repetitive tasks every day? With Zapier, you can automate tasks by creating “zaps.” These zaps are two part functions, set to automatically take action when the trigger event happens. For example, when a customer fills out the lead capture form, you can automatically create the new lead in your CRM. Since Zapier works with more than 200 apps, you can automate everything from saving email attachments to cloud storage to automatically tweeting from your Facebook.

#3 Get Better Control of Your Inbox

Research shows workers spend about 25% of their workday reading and replying to email. Two hours a day over the course of the year adds up to 27 days of nothing but email. With Boomerang for Gmail, you can save time every day, and get some cool extras to go along with it. Boomerang works with personal and business Gmail accounts, and allows you to:

● See when someone has read your email
● Schedule emails to send later
● Create follow up reminders so you see emails when you actually need them
● Send reminder messages so you can be sure to follow up after a certain amount of time, so nothing important gets lost in the shuffle

It works with mobile devices, so you can wrangle your email account from wherever you are.

These tools will squeeze precious minutes from your day that were once used on necessary, but not always productive tasks. With CRM, task automation, and your email box under control, you’re free to move on to more important tasks, like landing that next big contract.

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Categories: SMB

11 Reasons to Considering Bringing on SEO Expertise

SmallBiz Technology - Mon, 03/16/2015 - 15:00
Should my growing company hire an SEO Expert? Why or why not?

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

1. Maybe: Consider the Long-Term Investment in Your Marketing Budget SEO is a vital long-term strategy. Plan for about nine to 18 months before you start seeing returns. If your growing company is taking off like a rocket and has revenues that can be reinvested knowing this time frame, then do so. It’s a question of numbers in your marketing budget. Vetting the link-building tactics your SEO company uses is critical to your site not getting penalized by Google. – Joshua LeeStandOut Authority

2. Yes: Worth It for Attracting Talent Alone If your company is growing, your top priority is attracting the right talent. Recruitment options range from hiring recruiters (expensive) to posting jobs (ineffective) to relying on employee networks (limited). Hiring someone to create a SEO strategy around attracting talent is worth it alone when compared to the other recruiting options. Plus, they can attract customers as effectively as talent. – Brett FarmiloeMarkitors

3. Yes: Critical for Building a Foundation SEO is especially crucial in the early stages of business when you are laying your foundation. A good SEO consultant will help you design your website in an SEO friendly way so it ranks well. As you build your online presence, your website will become a key component of your inbound marketing strategy. It will help you attract leads and nurture them into paying customers. – Nicole MunozStart Ranking Now

4. Yes: If You Build It, You‘ll Need SEO SEO can help with traffic and awareness, so it’s relevant to any growing company. If you build it, people don’t just come — unless you‘ve optimized. If you have limited budget, you can start with an audit and action plan to inject into your own content strategies. Then grow into a more robust, fully managed program over time or as your budget allows. When done right, it’s a cost-effective marketing channel. – Kayla WagnerRevel Interactive

5. Depends: You Need Content First Getting found online should be a priority, especially for a growing company. Hiring an SEO will help with that. But assuming you have a limited budget, start by working on a content strategy. Think about value that you can provide to potential customers and create content to do so. For example, answer questions, create how-to’s, informative infographics, etc. Do this and SEO will be easy. – Ryan WilsonFiveFifty

6. Yes: It’s Part of Online Marketing SEO is only one part of the huge world of online marketing. I recommend having an online marketer on your team as soon as you have a web presence. Try to hire one with knowledge of organic and paid forms of marketing. – Elliot

7. No: Focus on Social Web While the old web is built upon the strength of search optimization, the new web is built around social. If you’re investing in someone to expand your reach, I recommend hiring someone strong in building social communities and leveraging social ads, specifically for Facebook and Twitter. Search is still important, but much of our growth is coming from leveraging opportunities in social. – Emerson SpartzSpartz

8. Yes: SEO Can Create and Grow a Company As the CEO of an online business, there has been nothing more important to our success than SEO. I am an SEO (that’s my background) and it allowed me to grow a multi-million dollar business. I would always suggest bringing an SEO in-house, because it will greatly benefit your company. If you‘re looking for one outside it, you‘ll need to do heavy due diligence and ask the right questions first. – Pablo

9. No: SEO Is a Dangerous, Ambiguous Catch All Too often, SEO is seen as a black box containing some magic pill for ranking higher in search engine results. This can be dangerous, because there is no way to beat the Google gods with optimization alone. Instead, consider hiring a head of content marketing. Create content that is relevant and informative for users, and traffic will follow. – Joel HollandVideo Blocks

10. Maybe: Only if Your Company Is Ready Don’t get too hasty in searching for and hiring SEO talent. Although having a SEO can put your company out there quickly and successfully, there are also many ways that you can easily optimize your search presence on your own. Strategies such as creating original content, using searchable keywords in titles and content, ensuring fast page load time and more can be used to optimize engine presence. – Miles

11. Yes: But Make Sure They Can Also Do More It would be good if your SEO person at least knew SEM at a minimum, but preferably online analytics as well. This way you can keep them busy continually and get extra value from the hire. If you‘re early stage, there are some simple SEO tactics that you can apply to your site in order to rank better. Most online marketers or developers know the basics which include keywords, titles, etc. – Andy KaruzaSpotSurvey

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Categories: SMB

Social Media Is The Ultimate Tool for Small Businesses Says @GuyKawasaki #sxswi

SmallBiz Technology - Sat, 03/14/2015 - 16:00

Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick gave an excellent presentation with 10 practical ways to do better with social content marketing. During the Q&A I asked Guy, what does he say to the many small business owners who feel social media is not giving them the return they want? What does he say to those who complain that they are not making a sale?

Watch this short video for his answer. Spoiler alert: He says that in summary – it’s too expensive for most small businesses to do traditional advertising so social media is all we have. He shares the story of a taco truck being able to Tweet to their 100,000 followers where they’ll be at on a given day. What other tool enables this kind of communication with your customers?

Check out the PDF download here.

Check out the video here or below:

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Categories: SMB

10 Tips From @GuyKawasaki – The Art of Social Media – 3 Page Downloadable PDF

SmallBiz Technology - Sat, 03/14/2015 - 07:35

At SXSW 2015 Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick dispensed simple and awesome insight in how everyone can get the most from social content marketing. I took notes and put them in this handy PDF.


The post 10 Tips From @GuyKawasaki – The Art of Social Media – 3 Page Downloadable PDF appeared first on SmallBizTechnology.

Categories: SMB

Canva – An Imaging Tool Built For Social Engagement

SmallBiz Technology - Sat, 03/14/2015 - 05:24

The best social media is all about how well you can engage your audience. One of the best ways to engage your audience is with good imagery. Just posting a photo is easy to do. However, for some of us, adding text and/or ensuring that image is formatted properly for a particular social network is challenging.

I’d hear of Canva a service backed by Guy Kawasaki, before, but never used it. Today, hearing him speak about it during SXSW, I tried it out. It’s simple and awesome to use.

Canva lets u take an image, format it for a particular social network and add text to it. Check it out for yourself, it’ll make your use of images so much easier and fun.

The post Canva – An Imaging Tool Built For Social Engagement appeared first on SmallBizTechnology.

Categories: SMB

Atlanta SMB Named To Top 40 Tech

SMB News - Fri, 03/13/2015 - 17:17


The 2015 Georgia Technology Summit (GTS) is coming up soon, set for March 25, and will be held at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta and the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) will be on hand to present its list of the Top 40 Innovative Technology Companies in Georgia. The Technology Association of Georgia is the state's leading association dedicated to the promotion and economic advancement of the technology industry in Georgia. 

The Top 40 Awards from TAG are given to tech companies based in Georgia for their innovation, financial impact and their efforts in spreading tech initiatives from Georgia throught the globe. One of the recipients of this award is HiLumz USA. HiLumz USA is a multinational lighting company and prides itself on offering customers LED and other lighting products that have longer life cycles, lower costs and smaller sized fixtures and components. 

According to President and CEO of TAG Tino Mantella, "The 2015 Top 40 finalists are an elite group of innovators who represent the very best of Georgia's Technology community. The 2015 Top 40 finalists are shining examples of what makes our state such a hotbed for technology and and we applaud them for standing out as leaders in Georgia's technology community."

The Top 40 companies for this year's award were selected from over 100 applications submitted by companies from all over the state of Georgia. The elite companies selected for the Top 40 will be showcased in an exhibition at GTS 2015. "Our eleventh year of the Top 40 was an overwhelming success, based on the number of truly innovative companies that aprticipated in the competition," according to Dennis Zakas, founder and partner of Zakas & Leonard, LLP, Chair of Group Office Buys, LLC, and chairperson of the Top 40 Selection Committee. "The Top 40 winners demonstrate the depth and breadth of Georgia's technology community," Zakas added.

The 2015 Georgia Technology Summit itself is expected to draw in over 1,300 C-level executives, entrepreneurs, technology professionals and academia. The summit will recognize and celebrate Georgia's technology community and will include presentations from some of the best technology influences in the country along with the induction of the newest members of the Technology Hall of Fame of Georgia.


Content originally published here

Categories: SMB

8 Remarketing Tools You Should Be Using

SmallBiz Technology - Mon, 03/09/2015 - 15:00
What is your favorite remarketing tool and why?

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

1. AdRoll

Adroll partners with companies like Facebook and Google for advertising, and it’s particularly well-suited for geo-targeting and customer segmentation. It comes with an easy to understand analytics interface as well.

– Andrew SchrageMoney Crashers Personal Finance

2. Facebook Email Remarketing

Facebook enables you to upload your existing email list and will match your emails to user accounts. Since your email list contains your best customers, you‘re able to extend offers and enjoy a high advertising ROI by remarketing to this group.

– Brett FarmiloeMarkitors

3. Hubspot

Hubspot has a lot of great functionality as it combines your email marketing, your content management, your social media and your sales CRM in one interface. The great part is that you no longer need five or six tools for all of your marketing initiatives, as you only have to use Hubspot and it integrates all the tools together.

– Randy RayessVenturePact

4. Smarter HQ

This software presents a new way of thinking about the customer journey. Smarter HQ was built by a founder with decades of experience in online sales. It does so much more than simply remarket. By using all available data, Smarter HQ is able to create highly customized experiences and reengage prospects in a way that maximizes sales and lifetime value. I love it.

– Matt HuncklerVerge

5. Analyzing Online Behavior

My favorite remarketing tool is not actually a remarketing tool – it’s customer and web data. Anyone can run ads. But for competitive advantage, analyze customer attributes and online behaviors to predict high probabilities for sales. Creating segments out of these lets you target with just the right offer at scale. You’ll never stop finding interesting segments to create highly effective campaigns.

– David Booth, Cardinal Path

6. LinkedIn Groups

Our company manages and takes part in many LinkedIn Groups, some with hundreds of thousands of members. To remarket our top content and reiterate our message, we make sure that we are active within these groups. We send out announcements and make connections with other professionals so that our marketing comes more naturally through meaningful relationships and word of mouth.

– Miles

7. Vertical Mass

Hands down, Vertical Mass is the best tool that any musician or public figure can use in regards to gathering data on their fan base. What’s even better – you can use the same technology for remarketing purposes if you choose to do so. This platform has given my clients a true, quantifiable way to show that data about their consumers is extremely valuable.

– Cassie PetreyCrowd Surf

8. Google Ad Words

Google Ad Words is our favorite remarketing tool that is underutilized. Many companies go out and try other tools before they explore what is right under their fingertips. Try it out and see how effective it is.

– Joe ApfelbaumAjax Union

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Categories: SMB

Is Facebook Advertising The Favorite Option for Small Businesses?

SmallBiz Technology - Mon, 03/09/2015 - 15:00

Google has long been the dominate advertiser of choice for many small businesses – in part because that’s all we’ve had. But over the years as more and more eyeballs have consumed more and more content on more and more platforms. there’s a lot more options.

One of these options is Facebook. They reported that they have about 2 million advertisers and most of them are small business owners.

Yep, I’m one of those two million advertisers who have clicked the “boost post” button and then spent even more to get more engagement with this or that post.

What’s nice about Facebook is that it makes it VERY easy to spend money to advertise. With one click “boost post” you can start to advertise. If you want to do more, you can do that as well – targeting specific users, testing different advertisements and more.

The NY Times writes, “Getting more advertisers onto its platform is critical for Facebook as it tries to increase global share. Facebook’s fourth-quarter revenue grew 49 percent to $3.85 billion from the same period a year ago, with mobile accounting for 69 percent of advertising revenue. Google is the worldwide leader in digital advertising market share, at 31.1 percent, according to estimates from research firm eMarketer. But Google’s slice has shrunk slightly, down from 33.6 percent in 2013. Facebook, on the other hand, increased its share to 7.8 percent in 2014 from 5.8 percent in 2013, according to eMarketer.”

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Categories: SMB

3 Ways to Bridge the Gap Between Small Businesses and Retail Giants

SmallBiz Technology - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 17:48

Amazon is known for being one of the largest online retailers in the eCommerce world however, despite their many resources, it seems that small businesses still have a fighting chance to compete with them and all the other big dogs. Amazon, along with other retail giants, create stiff competition for small businesses, but there are some unique opportunities that smaller retailers can take advantage of to bridge the gap between themselves and larger retail stores.

In a recent article posted by Endicia, provider of online postage and shipping solutions for small businesses, “3 Ways Online Businesses Can Keep Up With Retail Giants”, Ramon Ray shares three ways that small businesses can make their online shop stand out from the retail giants.  As a small business evangelist, Ramon knows a thing or two about competing with the big dogs.  There are three ways, Ramon says, that small businesses can stand out and close the gap between other ecommerce businesses:

  1. Be Unique
  2. Focus on Personalization
  3. Make it Convenient

So, don’t let your small business get smothered by the retail giants! Check out Ramon’s article, here to find out how you can set yourself apart from your competition.

The post 3 Ways to Bridge the Gap Between Small Businesses and Retail Giants appeared first on SmallBizTechnology.

Categories: SMB

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