January 25th, 2010 by Ben Hwang
In spite of people like us, whom look to provide a web based accounting product easier to use and simplifying many processes, at the end of the day the responsibility of the bookkeeping for your small business still relies on YOU.
That’s right. It’s amazing that in this business, we find that there are some businesses out there that still manage to go all year without entering a single entry until the end of the fiscal year where then there’s a mad scramble to fill in whatever entries there were for the entire year. Call us crazy, but that’s just nuts.
So with the New Year, perhaps one of your new resolutions for this fiscal year is to:
- Schedule out a set time slot every month to manage your books.
- Hold that schedule unless there isn’t any accounting to be done.
It sounds strange, but no matter how boring it sounds, or how difficult it may be to put in a few hours in the middle or at the end of the month, you’ll thank us later. Because nothing drives a person mad than trying to figure out whether or not the receipt from last January was part of a project expense or just a petty cash purchase.
December 18th, 2009 by Ben Hwang
In an effort to create more transparent support, and to just make it easier to answer questions about Merchant’s Mirror, we’ve decided to use Get Satisfaction as our support area. Get Satisfaction puts all of your support needs in an area where the power of the community weighs in. And since there are things coming down the pipeline that have to deal with community… (we won’t get into it here today although we can already here the half-hearted and playful boos), we decided that this was a good shift for us.
When you get right down to it, all small business is people powered, community driven, and the web 2.0 era has re-proven that fact. This allows both the corporate side to show that they’re listening, and not have to be repetitive with question answering which helps users find what they need, (maybe throw in some praise), and move on. The worst that can happen is when we hear about how some business shelled out hundreds if not thousands of dollars on accounting software to find that the company behind it never replies to emails or phone calls.
So if you have questions, comments, or whatever, just head over there and find out what you want to know. If you want to keep it private? There’s a place for that too.
November 14th, 2009 by Ben Hwang
Interestingly enough, there are a few things that you can do to build trust in your small business. One is a time factor. The longer you’ve been around, means that you will probably be around in the future to support your product. This is one of the keys to getting a new product line out there for the world to use. But if you don’t have that? What do you do?
You network. Network, network, network.
As a small business, there are many events you can participate in, and all sorts of groups to participate in. I personally would recommend you take a look at Business Networking International (BNI). There are local chapters internationally and they allow you to not only sell your product to the group, but have the group help sell your product. It’s not for everyone, although I believe that the membership fee is probably one of the most worthwhile ones yet that I have encountered when it comes to bang-for-buck.
Overall, the real key takeaway is that you build trust from facial recognition. Even as a younger company, if your face is shown at multiple events, then it reinforces that you’re out to move and shake for your corporation. And if you’re willing to do that, then you’ll eventually build the trust in your business needed to succeed.
September 7th, 2009 by Ben Hwang
One of the pitholes that many small businesses fall into is that because a larger business uses a product, then the small business must also use the same one to succeed.
Yet there are many pieces of software more suited towards small business needs. For instance, an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is something that many larger businesses use as a one-stop shop system. While it seems like it could possibly be tuned for small business use, there are just so many things that a small business doesn’t need to operate whereas a larger one does. For instance, do you need to track all of your HR employees? Chances are, you are THE HR employee. Along with the IT guy, and so on so forth.
That’s why you would look into using systems that are more cost effective and better engineered for your small business use such as web based accounting. It’s good for you, it saves you money, and it has the features that you need to get your business from point A to point B. If you grow beyond these needs, then perhaps its time to shop around for something more on your business scale. But until then, get the right package for the right business.
August 24th, 2009 by Ben Hwang
If you’re an Internet based business such as our web based accounting, then you might already be leveraging your social media networks.
There are plenty out there from Twitter to Facebook, and all of them have different types of scenarios that you should be paying attention to since the audiences are actually somewhat different. For example, if you are leveraging Facebook, there’s a good chance that you’re trying to sell a product or service to friends and acquaintances that you’ve met along the ways. However, microblogging sites such as Twitter provide a different type of scenario where the audience is not only the people that are looking to follow you, but also the real-time stream of information going across like a river. If it passes at just the right time, when someone is looking, you’ll have gained more eyes on your marketing.
Now, there’s multiple reasons to do social media networks, and it truly depends on whether or not your segmented market audience happens to use these services. For us, many of our clients happen to be freelancers of all types and are very in-tune with social networks in general which makes it a great area to not only market to those individuals, but communicate and provide customer relations through those channels. I do not believe that all small businesses should use this as a shotgun blast type marketing since it’s way too broad and is very much dependent to whom you are catering. But if you do provide products and services to an Internet market? Leverage your social networks like there’s no tomorrow.