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Online Software Can Help You Grow Your Business -- If You Pick the RIGHT Software

by Employee on ‎03-21-2011 07:54 AM

Anita Campbell.jpgThe following is a guest blog from Anita Campbell, founder and CEO of Small Business Trends, an online resource for small businesses. 

 

 

As mentioned in an earlier post here at the Verizon Small Biz Blog, I am seeing more and more small businesses and entrepreneurs jumping on the “cloud bandwagon.”  They are moving to online software, instead of software installed on local servers or desktop computers, because of certain advantages.  Those advantages include: speed of implementation; ability to scale the business despite lacking internal tech expertise; lower costs; relief from tech headaches enabling you to concentrate on strategy and core competencies; and, arguably, fewer security issues you have to worry about.

 

We explored those advantages in my last webinar on March 9th, In the Cloud:  5 Reasons to Move to Online Software (watch the webinar here).  In that webinar I polled those participating and learned that roughly 80% are already using cloud apps in the form of online banking. 

 

One person asked me about popular online software services that I recommend – here are some online services that I know other small businesses are getting good value from today:

 

Accounting/bookkeeping software:  Outright.com or Quickbooks Online

 

Invoicing/payment services:  PayPal.com;  Freshbooks.com; or  Blinksale.com

 

Email marketing services:  VerticalResponse.comMailChimp.com; or  ConstantContact.com.

 

This list is just a small smattering.  Edith Yeung, Founder of BizTech Day, where they profile new software, was kind enough to choose some of the best in class for us, in: 101 Small Business Web Applications You Must Check Out.  I also recommend you check out The Small Business Web for a directory of several hundred small business online software apps.

 

Now, despite being a proponent of online software services, I don’t want to give the impression that there are no risks or issues to consider.  The advantages of online software applications only apply if you make wise choices. If you make the wrong choices, those advantages may go out the window. Remember, you will have to place your trust in vendors to make sure the software is operational and does what it claims to do.  Your data will be online in a third party’s hands.  And, if something goes wrong with the software, you need confidence that the vendor will jump on the problem quickly and get it fixed to your satisfaction. 

 

So it becomes crucial to do a thorough due diligence when choosing online software.  This due diligence process for choosing online software is what we will cover in my next upcoming webinar presented by the Verizon Small Business Center.

 

In How to Choose the RIGHT online software webinar, I’ll offer a checklist of points to consider when evaluating online software, including how to assess vendors for reliability, and how to determine which software will actually make your organization more efficient and effective.  I’ll also answer your questions about the practical aspects of integrating online software with existing internal systems and software.

 

Online software services aren’t a cure-all for everything that may ail your business.  But they are a valuable technology strategy for growing your business while running “lean.” 

 

Choose the wrong technology and you’ll find your business working on your technology.  Choose the right technology, and it will work FOR your business.

 

Join me this Wednesday March 23 at 2pm Eastern for: How to Choose the RIGHT Online Software.

 

PS, if you can’t make the live webinar, watch the replay it will be taped and archived – just view it later.

 

 

 

Comments
by jerivespoli on ‎03-22-2011 12:49 PM

Great list http://smallbiztrends.com/2011/03/101-small-business-web-applications.html!  But, surprised that Zoho Business was missing - business productivity, crm, calendar, invoicing, email and more.  Now with mobile apps as well.

 

 

by lylaburns123 on ‎05-16-2012 09:01 AM

If there is one thing I've learned about owning a small business it is that EVERY single tiny decision can really make or break the company. These tips on finding some online sources are great and I can't wait to be able to do a little more research. I recently found outsourced bookkeeping services and it has really benefitted the company. http://www.ignitespot.com/ I can't wait to find other resources that will make us even more stronger!

About Verizon's Small Business
Get news from Verizon about small business services and market trends that affect your bottom line. Here, you'll find tips and commentary from the Verizon small business group and other experts to help keep your business growing.

       


Contact the editor: vzsmallbiz@verizon.net

About the Authors

Mark W. Adams

Director: Verizon National Marketing

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Mark leads the way to bring innovative solutions to small businesses.


Mark Smith

Executive Director: Verizon Ventures

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Mark works with and identifies entrepreneurial companies for Verizon to invest in and fund.


Dan Keoppel

Executive Director: Verizon Ventures

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Dan works with and identifies entrepreneurial companies for Verizon to invest in and fund.


Paul Macchia

National Public Relations Manager

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Paul handles corporate communications for Verizon Wireless with a focus on enterprise and government sectors.



Ellen Yu

Sr. Manager: Media Relations

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Ellen provides PR support to Verizon's small business team, landlines and FiOS in apartment buildings and small and medium-sized commercial properties such as strip malls, and street-level shops and offices.


Kathy Johnson

Manager: SMB Product Marketing Messaging, Verizon Wireless

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Kathy manages the SMB product Marketing Messaging Strategy for the Business Solution Group. She also develops and manages various SMB marketing programs to support channel enablement.

Jarryd Gonzales

Sr. Manager: Media Relations

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Jarryd provides PR support to Verizon in CA and TX.


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