Learn Some New Business Skills on the Fly

Most of our readers are small to mid-sized business owners that have to make tough choices about doing things themselves or hiring a professional. You probably want to save the hiring of a professional for complicated tasks like software development or specialists like attorneys and accountants.

For all the stuff in between, Sclipo is a cool new video tutorial site that we found where you can watch and upload all kinds of different “how to” videos for free. In addition to learning how to create video email, watermark your photos, or create different Photoshop effects, you can also go outside of the computers/business category and learn how to do all kinds of miscellaneous things like how to open a beer bottle with paper or moonwalk.

Scilpo

What do you want to learn today?

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Google + Salesforce: A Smart Combination

Google and SalesforceJust after Microsoft declared that it would finally get on the bandwagon and start putting more focus on developing SaaS (Software as a Service) applications, Google announced that it may partner with the SaaS leader and innovator Salesforce.com.

This was one heck of a smart move for SalesForce.  Now all of the search engine marketers, who spent approximately $35 billion last year, have a serious incentive to integrate SalesForce into their operations. 

According the Sales Force, the merger would:

The new offering delivers seamless integration with the leading advertising platform, allowing users to buy keywords and instantly create ads directly within Salesforce that are compliant with Google’s editorial policies. With Salesforce for Google AdWords, companies can easily correlate ad clicks with sales metrics such as leads, opportunities, deals, and revenue. Customers can deploy Salesforce for Google AdWords to:

  • Simplify the process of search marketing
  • Track and correlate clicks to leads, sales opportunities, and deals
  • Measure exactly which ads and keywords are generating leads and results
  • Increase the ROI of their online advertising programs
  • Easily manage the entire process directly within Salesforce

We knew SalesForce was going to become more important to businesses in the future, which is why we began in-depth training and offering implementation to our clients over the past year.  But we had no idea that SalesForce was in talks to partner with Google and couldn’t be more pleased!

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Will Amazon’s New Music Download Store Sour Apple’s Sales?

Green appleRaise your hand if you’ve ever purchased anything from Amazon – or if you’ve ever found yourself reading customer reviews on Amazon before making a purchase. Amazon has been wildly successful in the area of making shopping online easy, fun, and downright addictive through their highly intuitive related products search.

The news that Amazon will soon begin selling downloadable music has the industry wondering – will Amazon seal a slice of Apple’s pie?

Amazon will offer its music in MP3 format – meaning it will work for the iPod, the Microsoft Zune, and just about every other music player out there. Amazon is already the largest online retailer of CD’s, so it seems inevitable that they will likely rule the digital world as well.

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35% of All Software Installed is Stolen – Finding a Better Solution to Software Sales

According to a recent survey by the Business Software Alliance, 35% of all software installed on computers is pirated software. The theft, they say, amounts to $40 billion in global losses.

It seems that the more expensive software is, the more likely people are to steal it. Although they say only 35% of software is stolen, they also state that for every $2 worth of software purchased, $1 worth of software is stolen.

Do people want to steal software, or are they backed into a corner by the high cost? The exorbitant prices of critical business software like Microsoft office is beyond the budgets of many people in wealthy countries, let alone those in countries where poverty is rampant and business owners are doing whatever they can to stay on top.

This isn’t to say that stealing software is acceptable – it’s not. But is there another way to create quality software without charging people more than they can afford?

SalesForce.comMany companies are moving to the SaaS (Software as a Service) model of profiting from software. With SaaS, software isn’t sent via CD or downloaded, it’s accessed online and users pay a monthly subscription. This cuts down on piracy drastically.

It also cuts down on up-front costs for users and can increases profits for vendors. Using software as a service, customers quite often pay more that they would have for software over time in monthly fees than if they would have purchased it up front. But because monthly subscription costs are more manageable, subscribers can easily make the payment.

As we’ve mentioned before, SalesForce.com has been one of the most successful SaaS companies. At first, the idea seemed ridiculous and foreign to many, but now it’s become apparent just how forward-thinking SalesForce was from the get-go.

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3 Custom Software Ideas to Drive Your Business Forward

There are a lot of prepackaged software solutions on the market today, but no company is exactly like your business.  Oftentimes, conforming to prepackaged software means not being as innovative as you’d like to be with your information.   Here are 3 software solution ideas that you can have customized precisely to fit your business that are designed to improve ROI, streamline processes, and drive your business ahead. 

Performance Management Tools

How do you evaluate your employees?  It’s likely that your measurements are unique to your company.  The way a business decides to set its goals and metrics, and their ability to track these goals and metrics, ultimately determines success.  A custom software program that allows you set and track the progress of employee goals effectively can help individuals work at their peak performance, which in turn helps your company succeed in its big-picture goals. 

Training Assessment and Tracking

How much better could your team perform as a whole if all of your employees consistently received advanced-level training?  Leadership skills, organizational skills, goal setting skills can all move your business light years ahead.  With so much training and so many employees, companies need a way to assess and track progress on an individual level and as a whole.  Using customizes software, you can create computer-based assessments and store results in a single database.

Customer Relations Software

A CRM does much more than just managing customer information – it allows you to understand how various pieces of your business are affecting each other.  Instead of building a CRM from scratch, we recommend using SalesForce.com’s platform.  This highly advanced platform requires some technical setup, but allows for so much customization that it’s like building your own personalized CRM from scratch. 

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