» START AND GROW The top source for startup resources, business resources and startup business ideas for young entrepreneurs Mon, 01 Sep 2014 19:14:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Stop Promoting Your Business. Start Creating Useful Content! Mon, 01 Sep 2014 11:42:57 +0000 The time to be genuine and human as a business is now. Business is personal, make it personal. Educative content is one of  the best opportunities you can ever have as a business to attract and retain customers who can confidently trust you. There are just too many marketing messages without value. Prospective customers know the difference between messages that add value to their lives and infomercials that pretend to be useful but are actually sales pitches. The time to show the human side of your business is now more important than ever. You have a real opportunity to show your audience that you care about their education.

Start thinking about how you can help your customers. People are tired of the constant intrusive messages about products and services they receive in their inboxes. Those banners about your products won’t make the real difference you expect. People will continue to ignore them. Consumers have made their messages clear: they don’t want to be sold, they want to be educated.

Take advantage of that. The social ads on Facebook that keep showing up our personal feeds are obvious. Businesses could get a few clicks but they won’t get loads of customers like they expect. The time to be authentic is now. How can you actually help your customers? That should be your most important question if you really want to promote your business.

Stop selling, start educating!

There are lots of evidence about companies that are benefiting from creating and sharing great content that are geared towards educating their audience. Neil Patel of Quicksprout has consistently invested thousands of dollars into timeless, great and useful content that are still relevant to his audience today. And he continues to reap the benefits of his investments. He has earned trust as an authority on search and content marketing.

There are great companies out there that investing similar resources into content marketing and it’s paying off. If you don’t have the money to hire content marketing experts, share your expert knowledge about your industry with your audience. With time, you will earn their trust. And when the time comes for them to sign on to a relevant and related product in your industry, you will be the first they will think of.

“For instance, Neil mentions the success that Moz has had with its free Open Site Explorer tool, which allows users to compare their websites with others as well as receive a copy of their link profile. The referral traffic that Moz receives from the Open Site Explorer website to pages on its main site,, are large and steady. While many of their competitors charge for similar tools (and users pay for them), making this tool free has helped Moz maintain one of the best reputations online for search engine marketing. It also serves as a good introduction to Moz’s paid suite of tools, which charge users a monthly cost.”  says 

Timeless epic content pays!

Your content should be the first point of contact for consumers who don’t even know you exist. Users are more likely to trust companies that have useful content rather than one that has a website that just explains a service or product. Buffer is doing a great job at educating prospective users who want to know how to productively use social tools. They even organise #Bufferchats on Twitter for free on regular basis to help users understand social tools better and how to be productive. Users won’t hesitate to sign on to the buffer app if they need any tool to help with social promotion. Buffer is winning, you should learn from them.

Related: 8 Experts Reveal What Works Today In Content Marketing

Don’t just write a short posts about the importance of a particular topic on your industry. Long content tend to do better. They can pay off in more leads and recurring revenue when done properly. Or better still, ebooks or white papers. Don’t tell people to sign up to your blog updates without providing something of great value. You should provide convincing reasons why prospective users should share their emails with you. Awesome free resources can significantly improve your sign up rate.

Other resources like webinars and exclusive studies about your industry can also be offered to customers as an incentive for email list sign-ups and to increase your credibility as a great source for content. Focus on what works best and converts in your industry.

To be successful at content marketing, consistently deliver high quality content and promote to a relevant audience.  Write for yourself & be true to that as well. Always focus on how you can help people. Research both your audience’s interests and what has already been written about around a topic. Find your unique perspective. Back up your blog posts with data & facts. Your best bet at marketing is epic content.

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How Synergyse Grew Their B2B Startup to 1 Million Subscribers in 1 Year Sun, 31 Aug 2014 18:12:29 +0000 Originally published by Majid Manzarpour (Founder & CTO @Synergyse) on Medium. Synergyse is an interactive training system for Google Apps.

This is our story to date of how we have built and grown our business to provide over 1000 organizations and 1 million people Google Apps training in 1 year.

One of the main issues with training is getting people to take it, generally training is not viewed as an exciting activity and something you are forced to do. We decided that this was the problem we were going to solve, we were going to make training fun, interactive and available directly in the applications you needed training on.

We are strong believers in the Lean Startup movement, utilizing the techniques we learned from Eric Reis we were able to define our solution clearly, and filter down the key activities we needed to take. We also took advantage of the Business Model Canvas to define exactly how we were going to build our business, bring it to market and solve real problems in the training market.

To stay lean, we initially developed Synergyse to work with 3 key Google Apps: Gmail, Calendar and Drive. If we could show real value in helping people learn these core Apps, we could later expand into other Apps like Sites, Docs, Sheets and Slides.

Building the team

We started looking in the usual places, for this business we wanted to get someone on board who would have a vested interest in the company, and more importantly believed in our vision and mission.

We ended up looking into our own networks and connected with Alex Kennberg, who I had previously worked with at Google, and he was now out on his own bringing great technology ideas to life.

We also ended up using oDesk to outsource some of our part-time roles like QA and administrative work, this allowed us to stay lean in hiring and easily manage remote workers on our team.

Launching to market

Our launch strategy was fairly simple, we wanted to have a pre-launch website up that we could direct interested people to and collect their email addresses, and we wanted to get some press. To the tackle the first task, we made use of LaunchRock which provided us with a fully functional website and contact form, and required no programming. We did some basic online marketing by posting in social communities relevant to Google Apps and started collecting email addresses, this also didn’t cost us anything.

To try and get press, we researched the most prominent technology blogs and reached out directly to writers who were writing about topics related to our market, such as Google Apps and Chromebooks. We probably reached out to over 100 writers, and luckily got a response from TechCrunch, who agreed to blog about us on our launch day. Thanks to the TechCrunch post we received over 1500 unique visitors to our website on launch, and actually secured a few small and medium sized organizations as clients because of it.

Money matters

One of the most important decisions we had to make was whether or not we were going to charge customers for our product, many advisors said it would be better to offer the product for free, gain traction and then try to charge for it later.

We also demonstrated an early beta version of the software to potential clients and they immediately saw value in our training system and they wish that it had previously existed.

This gave us some validation to our hypothesis, we believed strongly in the value we could deliver and decided we were going to charge $10 per user per year, to be in-line with Google’s pricing for Google Apps which is $50 per user per year. We would also offer our training software to students for free if an education client purchased licenses for their full-time staff.

This turned out to be a wise decision, as we closed a large enterprise deal on our second day of business. We also starting seeing traction in the education market, where Google Apps is free, and we turned a profit in our first few months of business.

B2B sales strategy

Developing our sales strategy involved understanding the Google Apps ecosystem, developing leads, utilizing multiple channels and working with partners.

We learned there was a strong community presence amongst educators, particularly those which use Google Apps in their schools. They share lot of valuable information with each other on Google+ and Twitter. We also learned about a strong third-party ecosystem of solutions for Google Apps, covering security, administration, automation and more verticals.

We developed leads through social media, we also launched a blog that contributed valuable tips to the Google Apps community. We had to understand who the decision maker was, and we suspected it would be the IT department, through meetings with potential clients we learned this to be true. We leveraged LinkedIn to find the right contacts and established meetings over Google Hangouts where we could easily demonstrate our software, and not have to travel.

We were fortunate that Google already had a strong partner channel established for reselling Google Apps and third-party solutions. We learned who all the major partners were in the Google Apps reseller ecosystem, and managed to partner with over 40 of them throughout the year through demonstrations and meetings.

Our valued clients

Growing to 1 million users has been faster than we anticipated, this is partly because in B2B you have the potential to sign on really large customers. We provide training for some large enterprise clients with over 25,000 employees. In the education market, we have a few school districts on board with over 100,000 students covering schools across entire cities and regions.

When we sign on a new client, we make sure to establish technical deployment calls to go over how to deploy our Chrome extension to their entire fleet of computers. Deployment of Synergyse typically takes less than 30 minutes and we worked to make this process as easy as possible for IT departments, we provide them with documentation, a direct support channel and assistance where necessary.

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Why Your Startup Should Consider a Coworking Space (Before Getting Locked into a Lease) Fri, 29 Aug 2014 10:28:50 +0000 It is no big secret that money is a major concern for many startups. Unless they have a hefty investment or a fair amount of funding, startups often rely on bootstrapping. Startups need a space for their base of operations; however, a dedicated office space can exceed far beyond the entrepreneur’s budget. Many entrepreneurs rely on coffee shops, cafes, or even working from home in their early years.

But there is another option for startups, who require a space without the high costs. Coworking spaces are an attractive alternative, providing a dedicated space at a cost-effective price. Before you strike out on your own and get locked into a lease, consider a coworking space. They’re more affordable, full of startup geeks like you, and probably cooler than any office your startup could afford.

The potential gains of a coworking space can be enormous, providing enormous benefits for the entrepreneur.  The startup simply needs to pay a relatively low cost to gain access to a wealth of resources. Depending on the coworking space, the entrepreneur can take advantage of a dedicated workspace, all with the amenities of a traditional office. In addition, coworking spaces can also offer conference rooms, networking events, and a foothold into the local startup community.

Coworking spaces have increased in the recent years, with spaces appearing in major cities throughout the world. Each has their own individual flavor, culture, and community. Before signing a contract, startups looking for spaces should consider the following.

What to Look for in a coworking space

1. The Space: The workspace itself should be the main concern for the entrepreneur. Many spaces will give the startup the opportunity to tour the offices. While walking through the area, keep an eye out for type of furniture and the general layout of working space.

Does the space possess a kitchen, office equipment, and wireless, high speed internet? A good frame of reference is whether an individual can consider working within the space for an extended period of time.

2. Cost: Again, a major concern of any startup involves effective management of costs. One of the major attractive qualities of coworking spaces is the relatively low prices. Many spaces offer space at a daily or monthly rates, and others even offer on a per hour basis. A number of different factors will have an effect on the price, such as size of space, number of dedicated users and use of additional rooms.

3. Resources: Certain coworking spaces have entrepreneurs in mind, tailoring their services to meet the exact needs of a startup. Some coworking spaces offer meeting and conference rooms, allowing startups to meet with clients and display a level of professionalism.

Other coworking spaces will feature incubator services, connecting startups to potential investors, mentors, and other valuable resources. While looking for a space, entrepreneurs should carefully consider whether a coworking model can provide more than just a place to work.

4. Community:  Coworking spaces should possess an active, vibrant environment, with startups constantly brainstorming and pitching ideas back and forth. Successful coworking spaces often possess their own community, with many dedicated startups.

By joining a space, an entrepreneur can get more than a workspace from a subscription; he or she can also take advantage of speaking and networking with many peers.

5. Events Calendar: One indication of a great coworking space is to see if it possesses an active events calendar. These events can be a priceless opportunity for startups, giving them the ability to network with others. Whether they participate in community events or host events themselves, a calendar can show the involvement of the coworking space in the startup environment.

With coworking spaces appearing in major cities everywhere, startups have little reason not to join this movement. At a low cost, the startup has the opportunity to join a community, network with peers, and establish their business at once. Startups no longer have to rely on the confines of their local coffee shop. Coworking spaces can facilitate the entrepreneur’s journey and help them achieve success.

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The Type of CEO You Don’t Need to Be Thu, 28 Aug 2014 12:51:56 +0000 Many people only dream of becoming a CEO, but most would agree that this is a great goal to aspire to. Good CEOs need to possess certain traits in order to lead effectively. Experience and education both make a difference, but must be used in conjunction with good leadership skills. Otherwise, a natural leader with a bright future could end up being the type of CEO who ends up failing.

1. Maverick – One of the 6 types of bad CEOs, a maverick often ends up taking their independence too far. Some of the things done by maverick CEOs in the past that have caused problems include becoming too overconfident about unorthodox practices, using accounting methods that don’t conform to established standards and attention-seeking behavior.

One of the most reckless things that these leaders can possibly do is end up turning down offers to buy the company when their antics put it into financial distress. A CEO who makes that many mistakes will often find himself out of a job.

2. Despot – A despot is a classic example of what happens when somebody abuses their power. When someone at the highest level of leadership has a problem with power, it can easily infect the rest of the organization. A good leader in the corporate world needs to remember that he or she is accountable to others. When unethical business dealings come to light or leaders use company money for personal expenses, this causes the value of the company to plummet and the public to lose confidence in it.

3. Cowboy – A cowboy is very similar to a maverick, but takes things even further. Someone with this type of attitude throws out the opinions of their customers, employees and fellow board members. The problem with this way of thinking is that it can drive a stable company to financial ruin. Examples of bad decisions of this type include reinventing long-established brands with minimal or no input from others.

When all-important people, especially the customers, are excluded from this process, it can lead to steep declines in sales or location closures. Some companies continue to have problems even after such CEOs are replaced.

4. Loudmouth – This type of leader is more known for their opinions than their leadership skills. When leaders act as though their opinions are the only ones of importance and show no restraint, this makes things hard for everyone. One of the worst things about a leader with this attitude is that their opinions could be hurtful or otherwise offensive.

It gets worse when these opinions include harsh or otherwise inappropriate attacks against anyone who disagrees. CEOs need to maintain a proper perspective where they remember that they are, first and foremost, a representative of the company.

5. Hesitator – Hesitation and procrastination are two of the most damaging traits that a person can have, especially in the business world. In some ways, this can be as bad as being too overconfident about making changes. A successful company needs leaders who can not only see the changes that need to be made, but be willing to act on them.

Opportunities to make major changes that result in success often have a short window of time that they can be taken advantage of in. It is never worth it to miss out on good opportunities that allow competitors to gain too much ground.

6. Gambler – For many, the idea of someone being considered to be a gambler is far from complimentary. CEOs who act like gamblers make reckless decisions without any regard for how they will impact everyone else in their organization. Many feel that traits associated with good card playing, such as bluffing, don’t work as well away from the card table. Leaders need to be able to make the distinction between a calculated, necessary risk and a gamble that ends in disaster.

The decisions that CEOs make both in and outside the workplace are good indicators of their overall leadership. Sometimes, it can be hard to draw clear lines between actions that will lead to success, in spite of the risk and those that will lead to failure. One of the things that distinguishes a CEO who makes the right decisions from one who makes the wrong ones is having and making use of a support staff.

Good CEOs practice openness and transparency in all areas. They take good advice when it is given to them. Most importantly, they give a lot of weight to the opinions of both their employees and their customers.

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[Marc Andreessen] The 10 Biggest Risks That Prevent VCs From Funding Your Startup Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:24:58 +0000 This great post was discovered in Marc Andreessen’s archives. It is still worth your time today. Pass it on to your fellow entrepreneurs. 

Marc Andreessen is an American entrepreneur, investor, and software engineer. He is co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz ($4 billion venture capital firm, founded in 2009), a venture capital firm. He is the Board Director of Hewlett-Packard and also a Director of eBay, Facebook, and several private companies.

Until the risk in your startup is reduced to the point where investing in your startup doesn’t look terrifying, investors will continue to say “No” to you for a very long time.

Here are some common startup risks that makes it difficult for VC’s to say “Yes” to your funding request.

1. Founder risk — does the startup have the right founding team? A common founding team might include a great technologist, plus someone who can run the company, at least to start. Is the technologist really all that? Is the business person capable of running the company? Is the business person missing from the team altogether? Is it a business person or business people with no technologist, and therefore virtually unfundable?

2. Market risk — is there a market for the product (using the term product and service interchangeably)? Will anyone want it? Will they pay for it? How much will they pay? How do we know?

3. Competition risk — are there too many other startups already doing this? Is this startup sufficiently differentiated from the other startups, and also differentiated from any large incumbents?

4. Timing risk — is it too early? Is it too late?

5. Financing risk — after we invest in this round, how many additional rounds of financing will be required for the company to become profitable, and what will the dollar total be? How certain are we about these estimates? How do we know?

6. Marketing risk — will this startup be able to cut through the noise? How much will marketing cost? Do the economics of customer acquisition — the cost to acquire a customer, and the revenue that customer will generate — work?

7. Technology risk — can the product be built? Does it involve rocket science — or an equivalent, like artificial intelligence or natural language processing? Are there fundamental breakthroughs that need to happen? If so, how certain are we that they will happen, or that this team will be able to make them?

8. Product risk — even assuming the product can in theory be built, can this team build it?

9. Hiring risk — what positions does the startup need to hire for in order to execute its plan? E.g. a startup planning to build a high-scale web service will need a VP of Operations — will the founding team be able to hire a good one?

10. Location risk – where is the startup located? Can it hire the right talent in that location?

What you need to do is take a hard-headed look at each of these risks — and any others that are specific to your startup and its category — and put yourself in the VC’s shoes: what could this startup do to minimize or eliminate enough of these risks to make the company fundable?

Some ideas on reducing the risks:

Founder risk – the tough one. If you’re the technologist on a founding team with a business person, you have to consider the possibility that the VCs don’t think the business person is strong enough to be the founding CEO. Or vice versa, maybe they think the technologist isn’t strong enough to build the product. You may have to swap out one or more founders, and/or add one or more founders.

I put this one right up front because it can be a huge issue and the odds of someone being honest with you about it in the specific are not that high.

Market risk — you probably need to validate the market, at a practical level. Sometimes more detailed and analytical market research will solve the problem, but more often you actually need to go get some customers to demonstrate that the market exists. Preferably, paying customers. Or at least credible prospects who will talk to VCs to validate the market hypothesis.

Competition risk – is your differentiation really sharp enough? Rethink this one from the ground up. Lots of startups do not have strong enough differentiation out of the gate, even after they get funded. If you don’t have a really solid idea as to how you’re dramatically different from or advantaged over known and unknown competitors, you might not want to start a company in the first place.

Two additional points on competition risk that founders routinely screw up in VC pitches:

Never, ever say that you have no competitors. That signals naivety. Great markets draw competitors, and so if you really have no competition, you must not be in a great market. Even if you really believe you have no competitors, create a competitive landscape slide with adjacent companies in related market segments and be ready to talk crisply about how you are like and unlike those adjacent companies.

Timing risk — the only thing to do here is to make more progress, and demonstrate that you’re not too early or too late. Getting customers in the bag is the most valuable thing you can do on this one.

Financing risk — rethink very carefully how much money you will need to raise after this round of financing, and try to change the plan in plausible ways to require less money.

Marketing risk — first, make sure your differentiation is super-sharp, because without that, you probably won’t be able to stand out from the noise.

Then, model out your customer acquisition economics in detail and make sure that you can show how you’ll get more revenue from a customer than it will cost in sales and marketing expense to acquire that customer. This is a common problem for startups pursuing the small business market, for example.

If it turns out you need a lot of money in absolute terms for marketing, look for alternate approaches — perhaps guerilla marketing, or some form of virality.

Technology risk — there’s only one way around this, which is to build the product, or at least get it to beta, and then raise money.

Product risk — same answer — build it.

Hiring risk — the best way to address this is to figure out which position/positions the VCs are worried about, and add it/them to the founding team. This will mean additional dilution for you, but it’s probably the only way to solve the problem.

Location risk — this is the one you’re really not going to like. If you’re not in a major center of entrepreneurialism and you’re having trouble raising money, you probably need to move. There’s a reason why most films get made in Los Angeles, and there’s a reason most venture-backed US tech startups happen in Silicon Valley and handful of other places — that’s where the money is. You can start a company wherever you want, but you may not be able to get it funded there.

Try to raise angel money, or bootstrap off of initial customers or consulting contracts, or work on it after hours while keeping your current job, or quit your job and live off of credit cards for a while. Lots of entrepreneurs have done these things and succeeded — and of course, many have failed.

Nobody said this would be easy.

The most valuable thing you can do is actually build your product. When in doubt, focus on that.

The next most valuable thing you can do is get customers — or, for a consumer Internet service, establish a pattern of page view growth.

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The Most Comprehensive List of Ways to Make Money Online (200+ Resources) Tue, 26 Aug 2014 15:55:52 +0000 There are lots of resources online that can help you make money online. This long infographic covers the major resources that can help you put more money as a freelancer or in your spare time. The 200+ online resources compiled by include some of the best sites where you can earn money today: freelancing (as a writer, designer, programmer, etc.), product recommendation if you can’t create your own products or have not created your own products just yet (affiliate marketing and CPA or cost-per-action marketing), content publication on network sites, creating videos, and flipping your web assets.


Check out Survey Spencer’s post for descriptions of each resource and type of online business.

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Here Is Why Your Startup Blog Is The Most Valuable Investment Mon, 25 Aug 2014 13:05:33 +0000 With hundreds of thousands of new websites and millions of new pages added to the Internet every day, the biggest challenge for every new business is getting found and getting credibility. With success stories from the likes of HubSpot, KISSmetrics, Quicksprout, BufferGroove and Shopify, there is no denying the fact that blogging can significantly improve your marketing efforts.

These companies have consistency provided some of the best information about their industries and they continue to educate their customers with great content. Publishing regular educative content properly, even before your product launched, is one of the most cost effective approaches in time and money.

The biggest roadblock is that startup founders already have too much to do building a product, mapping strategy, courting investors, etc. So finding time is hard, and good writing is simply not what most people do. But here are some key reasons why you need to give blogging some priority:

1. You can validate the need and your solution before spending money. Too many entrepreneurs spend big money on development, only to find out that the solution isn’t quite right. Feedback from your blog will tell you quickly whether anyone agrees with your assessment, and whether you have a customer base waiting.

Most products are in constant iteration. There is nothing wrong with sharing your progress with your customers via a blog. And seeking feedback from the people that use your product on daily basis.

2. Find potential partners. Most of the people you would want as co-founders are now cruising the relevant blogs for ideas and partners. It’s a great way to find like-minded people, and get a dialog going. From a networking standpoint, it’s a lot more efficient than going to seminars and other industry events.

If you do it right, you can attract some of the best thought leaders, and influencers in your industry, some of whom could even begin to share their ideas with your audience. You will indirectly gain exposure for your startup.

3. Attract smart potential employees. Smart potential employees are also reading blogs to stay up-to-date in their field, and find the new leaders. More and more, employees work for people they respect, rather than companies. Take the initiative to put yourself out there.

Of course, ultimately you want employees who can blog for you and your company as well. A great blog can attract great minds who could potentially work for you in the future. You could save time and resources when it comes to hiring the right people for your startup when the time is right.

4. Cultivate early customers. It’s never too early to start a dialog with customers, as long as you don’t mislead them about where you are in the cycle. Build your brand and get leads today. There’s also the opportunity to do some consulting with interested customers to provide needed revenue while the product is still under development.

Trust goes a long in business. If you can win their trust right from the beginning and respond to their comments and feedback, they could attract a lot more customers for you.

5. Build your credibility with investors. A blog is an excellent vehicle to meet investors, before you are ready to ask them for money. You will also learn about competitors, who can’t resist responding to a well-written blog.

Once you gain real traction as an expert in your space through the blog, investors will put you at the top of their funding list. Show investors that your team has industry knowledge to pull it off successfully.

6. Improve your communication skills. Writing a blog is all about communication, and that’s your number one job as founder of a new startup. Trying to write something down for someone else to understand quickly, will tell you if you really understand it yourself. Even if you use a ghost writer for your blog, the briefing process will enhance your team’s writing skills.

7. Your Google ranking will go up dramatically. Whereas Google and other search engines may take two or three weeks to list your new website in search results, new blog sites and new blog entries are indexed every day. From comments, you will accumulate external links both into and out of your site, and get additional ranking from Google.

Business blogging, or value-blogging, is all about helping others and helping yourself at the same time. Make that investment today and reap the long-term benefit. What’s holding you back?

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Why Distribution Companies Are Opting For Inventory Software Mon, 25 Aug 2014 12:18:33 +0000 Today, many manufacturing companies are discovering the benefits of using distribution inventory software in the daily operations of their businesses. One reason that this software is so popular is that it helps a company to quickly resolve inventory issues. For instance, if a particular item of inventory is missing, this software can track it down efficiently using a serial number.

In the past, it may have taken several people from various departments to find a missing item of inventory. This software helps to streamline the process of locating inventory so employees can move on to more important tasks.

Check out some of the other reasons why so many companies are opting for this type of software.

1. A Paperless System. Distribution software allows a company to avoid using large amounts of paper. This is because it is not necessary to print out lists of inventory so that all the items in a warehouse can be accounted for. The system keeps track of serial numbers and product types. Not surprisingly, when a company has accurate inventory numbers, it operates more efficiently.

The paperless system saves companies money and helps their bottom lines. Plus, a company is helping the environment by using less paper in the course of its operations.

2. Easily Accessible Information. Finally, employees in a company’s distribution department can easily access the inventory data on this software for greater efficiency. They can refer to the software to find different types of merchandise as well as total counts, reports, etc.

It saves time when an employee doesn’t have to stop what he or she is doing to call or go talk to a person in another location regarding an inventory issue. This software streamlines the process of keeping track of the inventory of a company and allows employees to focus on more important tasks.

3.  Consistency and efficiency. Consumers now require faster and efficient distribution of their goods when they place orders from almost every eCommerce or distribution company. Companies that don’t change with time can easily lose lots of consumer confidence and business. Most companies are changing with time and implementing new and improves software systems that makes it easy to track orders and make shipments on time and efficiently without losing consumer confidence.

4. Little room for error. Automation processes when implemented well, leaves little room for error on the part of employees. Errors cannot be avoided in a human institution, but with improved automation software, most companies are limiting these errors.

Distribution companies that deal with different suppliers can also minimise errors in inventory information. Requests from consumers for different products from different suppliers are all being handles efficiently with great software that are being improved everyday.

5. Customer satisfaction. Customers are the most greatest assets of every company. To keep pace in today’s commerce marketplace, manufacturing and distribution companies are required to meet customer needs at all times.

Robust software that improves the consistency of your day-to-day processes can translate into customer satisfaction. A satisfied customer means more business in the future. Focus on satisfying your customers and invest in the right software for your business.

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How to Make Your Business Disability Friendly Fri, 22 Aug 2014 09:08:01 +0000 The recent press surrounding disabled citizens has been extremely unflattering, primarily because it has centred on a supposedly floored benefits strategy and a rising number of fraudulent claims. Such stories can cloud readers’ judgement and create widespread misconceptions, while they always do a great disservice to those with a physical disability that attend work every single day.

How to Modify your Workspace for Disabled Employees in 3 Simple Steps

As an employee, it is crucial that you respect the physical requirements of disabled employees and create a workspace that ultimately empowers them. Consider the following 3 steps towards achieving this goal: -

1. Make Your Workplace Wheelchair Accessible

There are numerous forms of physical disability, but individuals with severely restricted levels of mobility will usually utilise a wheelchair during their daily travels. It is therefore crucial that your building is wheelchair accessible, whether you already employee disabled staff.

And when you are an equal opportunities employer who has a fair-minded approach to recruiting new members of staff. The installation of strategically placed access ramps is a key aspect of this, as it the decision to replace standard, interior doors with those that can opened electronically.

2. Install Electric Window Openers

On a similar note, it is important to create a comfortable environment where your staff can work without restriction. With summer now upon us, it is therefore crucial that you install electronic windows that can be opened with the touch of a button.

These fittings, which are sold by reputable outlets such as Rocburn, are easily accessible and offer individuals with restricted mobility the opportunity to open and close windows without the need for fuss or excess exertion.

3. Establish a Viable Fire Safety Regime

Fire safety is a crucial component of workplace compliance, but this becomes slightly more convoluted when you need to ensure that disabled or wheelchair bound individuals are able to leave the building quickly and efficiently. Remember that the lifts are out of bound during a fire drill or emergency evacuation, so unless you operate on the ground floor of a building you will need a stringent strategy in place.

The exact course of action that you take will depend on the size and layout of your structure, but it is important that you consult knowledgeable industry experts prior to making a decision. Without this necessary precaution, you run the risk of endangering your employee’s well-being in the event of an emergency.

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How Commercial Liability Can Help Protect Your Small Business Thu, 21 Aug 2014 20:22:27 +0000 If there is one thing guaranteed to scupper any small or medium sized business, it is complacency.

After all, a quick glance at the economic climate in the UK indicates that all is well in the world of business and commerce. With record employment growth driving down jobless levels to pre-recession levels, for example, there is genuine weight beyond the claim that Britain could emerge as Europe’s largest and most prosperous economy by the year 2030. While this may be good news for business owners, it may also create a sense of complacency that could drastically undermine your venture.

With this in mind, now represents the ideal time to protect your commercial interests and consolidate any growth that you have experienced in the last eighteen months. Investing in commercial liability insurance is an excellent way of achieving this, as it delivers numerous benefits to entrepreneurs. These include: -

1. Insure Against Product Exposures 

If your business delivers highly engineered products to the consumer market, it is not only the finished article that you are responsible for. You are also liable for every single component that is included within the product, including aesthetic fixtures and the small components that are crucial to its functionality. Liability insurance coverage can help to protect you in this instance, as it can be tailored to suit specific needs and is often used to underwrite product exposures.

2. Safeguard Individual Construction Projects

For small business involved in the construction sector, commercial liability insurance is particularly crucial. This is because it can be used to safeguard individual projects across a host of industries, paying specific attention to the action of direct employees and any participating sub-contractors.

When you employ external contractors to work on a specific construction product, it is imperative that you take out liability insurance as a way of protecting your businesses capital and its reputation.

3. Safeguard Against Specific Small and Medium Sized Business Risks

Small and medium sized businesses are unique entities, primarily because they are considered to be important economic engines despite the fact that they have minimal financial and human resources. These restrictions are also a threat to long-term growth, however, and investing in commercial liability insurance that has been specifically tailored to suit the needs of independent ventures can provide genuine peace of mind. Service providers Catlin Insurance are leaders in this field, as they are able to provide protection against the credit and financial risks associated with small businesses.

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